The Los Angeles Clippers are currently the NBA’s best team; or so their record would suggest.
Following a statement win over the Spurs in San Antonio, the Clippers routed the Portland Trailblazers in epic fashion, winning 111-80 in a Wednesday-night massacre. The win moved them to the top of the NBA with a league best 7-1 record.
The game was never close, with Los Angeles quickly jumping out to a 25-10 lead early before pushing it to a 20-point deficit by the end of the first quarter.
Blake Griffin was simply too much for Portland, using his elite combination of speed and strength to bully the Trail Blazers for 14 points and 7 rebounds in the opening period. Griffin would finish with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists in just 26 minutes of play. The Oklahoma standout made an efficient 7 of 14 field goals in the win.
Head coach Doc Rivers opted to play his favorite bench unit in the second quarter, sending Austin Rivers, Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson and Marreese Speights to the floor. It should be noted that Rivers has increased the workload of this particular group since experimenting with the small-ball lineup in the preseason.
Doc’s creativity has paid off thus far, and the bench unit picked up right where the starters left off with a 14-2 run to begin the second quarter, making it 50-18.
By halftime the Clippers led 61-32 and the Trail Blazers needed a miracle they wouldn’t receive. Los Angeles came out of the break intent on battering the team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs, going on a 17-3 run to begin the third quarter.
Portland was a shell of the team that many expect to make a run in the playoffs, with none of its starters scoring in double digits. The league’s second-highest scorer in Damian Lillard only managed to score 8 points while going 1-10 from the field and missing all four of his 3-point attempts.
The Trail Blazers offense was anemic throughout, coughing up 14 turnovers and at one point allowing the Clippers to more than double their score with an 87-43 lead.
Chris Paul scored 19 points and added 4 rebounds and 7 assists for Los Angeles. Deandre Jordan finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Marreese Speights chipped in 12 points and 8 boards off of the bench.
The Clippers will prepare for their next matchup on November 11, when they will try to avenge their lone loss against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.