Los Angeles–It was all smiles at the Staples Center Saturday afternoon as the Clippers took out their frustrations of a three-game road losing streak to rout the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-85, at Staples Center. The Clippers ended their three-game losing streak with a must-have victory over the Grizzlies.
After looking lackadaisical and drained in the last three games, the Clippers bounced back with some pep in their step against the Grizzlies. It’s always impressive to dominate in a win. This was a state of emergency game for the Clippers. They wanted this one badly and they won it easily. The Clips are now 16-8 at home.
“The Clippers needed a win just as bad as we did,” Grizzlies Point Guard Mike Conley said. “They played with a sense of urgency and they scrapped for everything. They wanted it more than we did and there”.
Blake Griffin scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the win for the Clippers. This time Chris Paul played the complementary role, adding 19 points and 13 assists for the team. Both players finished with double-doubles.
The one thing the Clippers need to do more is focus on defense. Against Memphis, the Clippers came out early with some in-your-face defensive intensity. It seemed to pay off. The Clippers held Memphis forward Zach Randolph to just 14 points and eight rebounds for the game. Consistency on defense will be the key for the remaining of the season. If they can play 48 minutes of defense, it will be difficult for their opponents to beat them.
After the negativity surrounding the Clippers during their 0-3 slump, they were able to silent the criticism Saturday. It’s been a rough time for the players and coaches. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is taking all the heat for the team’s offensive and defensive woes. There has been a whisper that his job is on the line. But he refused to entertain the rumors.
“All the speculation, all the sources, all that stuff, I don’t spend a lot of time on that. I don’t have time for that,” Del Negro said. “We need to play better. We lost some games we should have won, and maybe some games we shouldn’t have. Managing expectations is the hardest thing in the business.”
And just because you get certain players or you get off to a good start, it doesn’t work like that. You have to put in the time and you have to stay together as a team. If you get everybody moving in the right direction it gives you a chance.”
There were high hopes for the Clips at the start of the season, they got off to a great start (19-9) one of the best starts in franchise history. But things quickly started to unravel, sending their fans in a panic mode after going 7-12 in the 19 last games.
Despite the recent losses the Clippers are still in the hunt for the Pacific Division race. They’ve a lot of weapons that other teams don’t have in the West. Paul is one of the best point guards in the league, who has the potential to take his team to the Western Conference finals. They’ll be a dangerous contender if they make in the playoffs.