Two games into the NBA restart of the 2019-2020 season and the Los Angeles Clippers are batting .500. After coming up short against the Los Angeles Lakers in their first real meaningful game since mid-March, the Clippers took out their frustration in Game 2 with a rout of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Clippers’ 126-103 win against the Pelicans captured quite a few great highlights for the team.
First, the victory gave Clippers coach Doc Rivers the 939th win of his career, moving him past former Boston Celtics legend Red Auerbach for 11th place on the all-time winningest coach list. For Rivers, this win was something special. Rivers coached the Celtics for nine seasons and led Boston to an NBA title in 2008.
“For me, I’ve been very fortunate,” Rivers said. “I’ve had unreal players and unreal coaches. I’ve had great staff and great ownership that have allowed me to coach this long. Under the circumstances, pretty cool. Any time your name is with Red, you feel very fortunate.”
Kawhi Leonard, who scored 24 points for the Clippers, was happy for his coach.
“It’s amazing,” Leonard said. “It’s only so many coaches that could get to that mark. I think that he’s top 15, top 11 now. I’m excited for him. But he’s a coach that’s not really worried about that stat. He’s trying to focus on the main goal, and that’s winning a championship. Yeah, he really never talks about himself. It’s a team thing. I respect him.”
The second positive mark for the evening was the extraordinary way the Clippers shot the basketball from behind the arc. Led by Paul George’s hot downtown shooting (8-of-11 shooting from 3-point range), the Clippers more than made up for that 103-101 loss to the Lakers, connecting on a franchise-record 25 made 3-point shots during a regular-season game.
The Clippers made 25 of 47 shots from behind the arc, something that’s never been done in the team’s history. As the Clippers built a 77-45 halftime lead, George had already made four 3-point shots. As a team, the Clippers converted 16 of 24 shots from behind the 3-point line during the first two quarters against New Orleans.
“It feels great,” George said. “At that point, it’s find the open man. The team gets going like that, you want to share the ball because you want everybody to be a part of that. I thought it was contagious tonight. One guy made a shot, next guy made a shot. The ball just started hopping around. We were finding the open man all night.”
Speaking of hot, George has been splendid with his 3-point shooting. So far, through the first two games, George has made 14 of 22 of his shots from 3-point range. His reaction? George feels that’s the only shot he can make right now.
“It’s weird because I can’t make nothing else,” George said. “The threes are the only thing that are dropping. In a way, I’m in a rhythm, but I’m not in a rhythm because I can’t find the ball in between the three-point line. It’s great that the long ball’s falling. I’m going to stick with it, continue to keep shooting them. Hopefully, I can find a rhythm throughout my whole game.”
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. A news and sports reporter, Dennis has written about social justice, civil rights, education, politics, and crime. He also covers the NFL, NBA, MLB as well as other sports. Based in Southern California, Dennis earned a journalism degree with a minor in criminal justice from Howard University. The real HU!!