The Clippers crushed the 76ers 123-78 Sunday night before an
announced crowd of 19,157 at Staples Center.
"You play like that, a lot of good things happen," Rivers said.
Forward Blake Griffin, who played 25 minutes and didn't appear in
the fourth quarter, led Los Angeles with 26 points and added 11
rebounds and six assists.
"It was one of those nights," said Griffin who shot 11-for-14 from
the field and hit all four of his free throws. "They missed some
easy ones, they missed a lot of open shots, and we seem to hit
everything. We were playing well defensively. We were extremely hot,
and they were a little cold."
The Pacific Division-leading Clippers (36-18) beat the 76ers for the
fifth consecutive time. The margin of victory was the largest by the
Clippers against Philadelphia, topping last season's 101-72 rout at
"I just learned what a playoff team looks like in the playoffs,"
said rookie 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams, who scored 14
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 rebounds and scored 10
points, his 31st consecutive games with a double-digit rebound
total. Guard Jamal Crawford added 21 points in 26 minutes.
Paul, who missed the previous 18 games with a separated right
shoulder, scored seven points, handed out eight assists and recorded
four steals in 23 minutes.
"He looked great," Rivers said. "He ran into some people, which was
good. Obviously, his passing, he does what he does. He had some
fumbles, but I think that's something that the point-guard spot,
where you miss games, the speed, you're not used to it. You could
see he was fumbling the ball a little bit. But overall he was
Said Paul, "It felt good to get out there and compete. We've been
playing extremely well. I didn't want to break that rhythm also. But
at the end of the day, it's about winning games."
Crawford said it wasn't a coincidence that Paul's return resulted in
"It set the tone and energy from when he was introduced," Crawford
said. "It makes everybody better (and) it makes everybody's job
easier. We feed off of that."
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The Clippers feasted on the 76ers for a 46-15 lead after one quarter
and coasted the rest of the way. Los Angeles shot 72 percent (18 of
25) from the floor and held the 76ers to 18.5 percent (five of 27)
in the opening quarter. Crawford almost outscored the entire
Philadelphia team in the quarter, finishing with 14 points in 10
"They got going early and it didn't stop," said Philadelphia forward
Evan Turner, who missed seven of his eight shots and finished with
seven points. "They just started hitting us at all corners. They
didn't miss, and we didn't make anything. They played great
basketball. They just beat us down."
Griffin jammed home two highlight-reel slams midway through the
second period. The first one occurred when Paul tossed the ball off
the backboard, allowing Griffin to perform a windmill dunk. On Los
Angeles' next possession, Griffin threw a behind-the-back pass to
Paul, who returned it for an alley-oop slam and a 62-21 lead with
about five minutes left before halftime.
Los Angeles ended the half leading 69-30, limiting Philadelphia to
15.4 percent (8-for-52) shooting while hitting 56.8 percent
(25-for-44) of its attempts. The Clippers also connected on seven of
17 (41.2 percent) of their first-half 3-point attempts, compared to
one of 15 (6.7 percent) for the 76ers.
For the game, the Clippers shot 56.2 percent (50-for-89), and the
76ers shot 27 percent (27-for-100).
Guard Tony Wroten scored 21 points to lead Philadelphia, which lost
its sixth in a row. Forward Thaddeus Young finished with 15 points
and 11 rebounds.
NOTES: Los Angeles F Blake Griffin went to the locker room briefly
after he suffered a shin contusion in a first-quarter collision with
Philadelphia G Tony Wroten. Griffin returned in the second quarter
and didn't appear to be hampered by the injury. ... Clippers G J.J.
Redick sat out his third consecutive game due to a sore right hip.
Redick is listed as day-to-day. ... Philadelphia F Arnett Moultrie
rejoined the club Sunday after being assigned for three games to the
Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League. Moultrie, in his
second season out of Mississippi State, hadn't logged any NBA
minutes this season until playing in the first half against Los
Angeles. ... The 76ers visit the Golden State Warriors on Monday and
the Utah Jazz on Wednesday before taking off for the All-Star break.
... The Clippers cap the first half Wednesday when they host the
Portland Trail Blazers.
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