Instead, the Clippers (32-15) wrapped up their annual Grammy
Award-induced trip with a exclamation point, drubbing the Bucks
114-86 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
"We all said this was going to be the hardest game," Clippers guard
Jamal Crawford said. "It was good to close this out the right way."
Crawford led the Clippers with 25 points, including five 3-pointers
off the bench, and forward Blake Griffin added 20, with 11 points
coming in the second quarter when he made 5 of 6 shots from the
"The way Blake is playing down there, they (have) to double-team him
and it allows all our shooters to get good, clean looks," Crawford
Guard J.J. Redick added 14 points and guard Willie Green had 13 for
the Clippers, who shot 54.4 percent from the field and made 14 of 28
3-pointers while holding Milwaukee to 38 percent shooting from the
"It really was defense," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "The end of
the first, beginning of second, our second unit actually, started
getting stops. With our offense, we are going to keep scoring. I
thought that was the stretch that changed the game for us. The last
nine minutes of the second quarter changed the game."
Milwaukee got off to a decent start, hitting 11 of 22 from the field
in the first quarter and opened the second with a 7-0 run to cut the
deficit to 34-32 on forward Khris Middleton's 18-footer with 9:58
remaining. But Los Angeles responded with a 23-4 run in the next
8:25 and took a 64-41 lead into halftime.
"We got down but fought back and got within two," Bucks coach Larry
Drew said. "But we came out, missed a couple of shots and turned the
"Our margin for error is really small, particularly against really
Drew had just nine healthy bodies available, making things all the
more difficult against the Clippers, who had won three of four
coming into the game and are fourth in the Western Conference
[to top of second column]
"They're unbelievable," Bucks forward Caron Butler said. "They're
contenders. They're playing great basketball and one of their best
players isn't even out there yet. They're only going to get better
when Chris Paul returns."
Middleton led Milwaukee (8-36) with 16 points and forward Ersan
Ilyasova had 14. Centers John Henson and Miroslav Raduljica and
Butler each finished with 11.
"I think we responded well," Henson said. "It's just something that
happens. You can't overlook the fact that we were missing two key
players. That kind of hurt us a little bit, but that's not an
excuse. We've got to be better."
After trailing by as many as 33 on Saturday in a 25-point loss to
Atlanta, Drew called out his team's lack of effort in a 20-minute,
Milwaukee fell behind by as many as 39 on Monday, but Drew had no
issue with the Bucks' preparation.
"I thought we came out and we played with our energy," Drew said.
"It just seems like we go through a situation where we fall out of a
little steam and when you do that against a team like the Clippers,
they'll make you pay for it."
Milwaukee has lost three in a row and 15 of its last 17, dropping to
1-14 against Western Conference teams this season. The only win came
against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 31.
NOTES: Bucks Gs O.J. Mayo and Gary Neal and C Larry Sanders were all
out because of flu-like symptoms, and C Epke Udoh missed his second
straight game because of his left ankle. ... Los Angeles PG Chris
Paul (separated shoulder) was able to shoot during a pregame workout
but missed his 12th straight game. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said
there is no firm timetable on Paul's return. ... Bucks F Caron
Butler spent the previous two seasons with the Clippers, averaging
11.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 141 games. ... Through the first
seven games of Los Angeles' annual Grammy Awards road trip, F Jamal
Crawford is averaging 25.4 points per game. ... Three of the Bucks'
last five losses have been by at least 25 points and they've lost 20
times this season by 10 points or more.
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