Los Angeles, CA —The Los Angeles Clippers (13-6) went up to Portland on Sunday night and walked away with a 104-100 win and now sit alone tops in the Western Conference. The Blazers who already beaten the Clippers earlier in the season (116-105) up in Portland were coming off a two game losing streak, looking to get back in the winning category. They failed at the hands of this tough Clippers team.
Photo By: Bruce Ely / Associated Press
The gritty and tough Los Angeles Clippers found a way to erase a 15-pt deficient in the third quarter outscoring the Blazers 38-16 taking it to a team that was 7-2 on its home floor.
They began the second half on a 20-4 run and Tobias Harris who led all scorers with 34 points also snatched down 11 rebounds (team-high) said about the teams turnaround at the half "We just kept fighting, we have a group of guys who want to win, who want to prove ourselves that we can close out games and win."
Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points (5-10 fg) and had 8 rebounds. Montrezl Harrell had another double-double off the bench for the Clippers scoring 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
The Clippers found a way to get it done despite only making 20% from three (5-25) but did a great job defending the three. They only allowed the Blazers to shoot 8-38 from three (21.1%).
Head coach Doc Rivers said after the game "Gritty win, this to me may be our best. We didn't have anything in the first half and we didn't make any adjustments other than we've got to play harder, we've got to play more physical. That's how we have got to play."
This teams resiliency shows the amount of trust they have in one another every night regardless if they may be the void of a superstar. 19 games in and this team sits alone a top the Western Conference standings.
Photo By: NBA.com
The Portland Trailblazers (12-8) losers of now three straight find themselves currently sixth in the Western Conference.
Damian Lillard had a team-high 30 points but the Clipper defenders made him work for his. He scored seven straight points for the Blazers in the fourth to tie the game at 100, but the Blazers never scored again. They made it tough for him as his took a game-high 27 shots.
"Lillard got those two at the end that I thought I was gonna die over," Rivers said. "We were trying to trap and we slipped and messed up twice and he makes two. That's just how good he is."
CJ McCollum scored 18 points on 8-21 from the field. Reserve Evan Turner chipped in with 17 points.
The Blazers will look to get back on track against the Orlando Magic Wednesday 11/28.
The Clippers will see first overall pick in this past draft DeAndre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns for the first time, when they welcome the Suns to Staples Center Wednesday 11/28 @ 7:30 PT.