LOS ANGELES-Nothing comes easy these days for the Los Angeles Clippers. Not even beating the Charlotte Hornets on a Tuesday night at Staples Center. Holding on to a large double-digit lead against a team with 37 losses for the season seems to be too much of a task to ask for. But this is still the NBA and the Hornets played the Clippers the way an NBA club would play another team: like professionals. At one point in the game, the Clippers held a 22-point advantage, looking to put this game to bed early. The Hornets had second thoughts about that.
With the Clippers going into “let’s get this game over with” mode, the Hornets fought back into the game by the end of third quarter, cutting into the huge deficit to come within three points (77-74). For whatever reason, the Clippers’ defense went into quick hibernation and allowed the Hornets to believe they could squeeze out what could have been a big road win. Luckily, Doc Rivers’ team decided to get right before dropping a second straight home game. In other words, the Clippers found a way to come away with a tight 99-92 win.
The bright spot for the Clippers was seeing forward Blake Griffin rounding himself back into shape after his long hiatus. In his second game back, Griffin scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Clippers. Two of those 19 points came on a powerful flush in the third quarter that had Staples Center rocking in pitch fevor. Welcome back, Blake.