Pacers take down Clippers 111-102

LOS ANGELES-The Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Indiana Pacers for the second time in one week, falling 111-102 at Staples Center on Sunday night.

The Clippers were dominant to start, jumping out to a 21-8 lead in the first quarter behind a trio of J.J. Redick 3-pointers and seven unexpected points from Luc Mbah a Moute.

Los Angeles held Indiana to just 32 percent shooting in the first quarter and managed to keep all-star Paul George scoreless as he missed all three field goal attempts.
The Pacers trailed 28-17 to begin the second period but a 20-10 run cut the Clippers lead to just one point with 4:56 remaining in the first half.

Redick made a pair of 3-pointers to close out the quarter with the Clippers leading 52-48 at halftime.

The Clippers came out of the half complacent, missing open shots and giving up several sloppy turnovers, something the Clippers would partially attribute to fatigue after the game.

Chris Paul had 18 points and 11 assists in the Clippers' 111-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. File photo/News4usonline.com
Chris Paul had 18 points and 11 assists in the Clippers’ 111-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. File photo/News4usonline.com

Indiana’s defense smothered Los Angeles in the third quarter, holding the Clippers to a measly 26 percent shooting while draining 62 percent of their own attempts. The third would be the deciding quarter, as the Pacers outscored the Clippers 26-12 to start and ended the period with a 69-83 advantage.

Los Angeles wouldn’t give up without a fight, and Blake Griffin resuscitated both the crowd and his bench with an impressive and-one halfway through the quarter.

Griffin’s basket cut the Pacer’s lead to ten, and prompted a 10-2 Clippers run to make it 98-93 with 3:29 remaining in the game.

A Deandre Jordan dunk made it 100-104 with 1:26 remaining, but Paul George sealed the game with a dagger 3-pointer with a minute left.

The Clippers have slipped since bursting on to the scene with a franchise best start to the season. They lost three straight games during their recent road trip.

“I think our record could have been a lot better over this past stretch, which is the toughest part,” Chris Paul said after the game. “We knew we were going into a six-week stretch without having two days between games, but I’m glad that we got through it. I’m still a little disappointed because given the situation we still could have given ourselves more opportunities to win.”

Blake Griffin had 24 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. Chris Paul scored 18 points and added 11 assists while J.J. Redick contributed five 3-pointers.

Thaddeus Young led the Pacers with 17 points and seven rebounds; Paul George scored 16 points while grabbing seven rebounds and five assists.

The Clippers are now 16-6 overall, third place in the Western Conference. They will get a much needed two-day rest before facing the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, December 2.

Joey Thomas
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Joey Thomas is a Los Angeles native and an NBA junkie. Follow him on twitter and instagram @joeythomasss