The Los Angeles Clippers (31-16) came away with a hard fought win against their former head coach Doc Rivers‘ new team the Philadelphia 76’s (32-14) 122-112 last night at Staples Center. The 76’s have been without their best player in Joel Embiid lately, but have been doing well anyway. They were on a win streak of their own until it was broken last night. The Clippers started the game slow. They had energy, they just could not seem to make any of their shots. . As such Philly was able to to build a 10 point lead. As the game wore on, LAC was able to gain some traction, as they cut into the lead and eventually took one of their own. Once they gained momentum, the took full control as they built as much a 19 point advantage.
The third quarter came to a grinding halt, as things got a bit chippy. The refs tried to reign in the increased physicality as they began to blow the whistle on just about everything. The third alone seemed to take as long as the entire first half. The Clippers were able to maintain their lead despite this. That seemed to frustrate the 76’s as their star point guard Ben Simmons fouled out, and their enforcer back-up center Dwight Howard was ejected in the 4th. The Clippers emerged victorious against the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference for their 5th W in a row.
STAR OF THE GAME
I know I should probably give the nod to Kawhi Leonard once again with his 28, 4, 4, and 3 game on 53% shooting or Paul George with his game of 24, 9,9, 3, and 1 ; but they get the award a lot and will again. So I am going to give it to Terance Mann and his season high 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist game off the bench. Mann had his previous season high in points on Monday. He surpassed that last night in perhaps his best game as a Clipper. Mann seemed to take it upon himself to make up for the absence of the newly departed Lou Williams. He took on the scoring load for the reserve unit.
Mann seemed to not be able to miss, as he did not miss a shot until the 4th quarter. He ended the game going 10 for 12 from the field. Of his two misses, the first was promptly cleaned up by Big Zu, and the other wanted to go down but just rimmed out. I had been dying to give Mann the game ball a lot of late, and this was the perfect time to do so. At the rate of his ascension, this won’t be the last time.
The only thing still lingering in my mind is how the team is going to integrate the newly acquired Rajon Rondo into the lineup. I do not think it should pose too much of a problem, as Ty Lue has seemed to already have figured out to make up for the loss of Lou Williams. Rondo is too good of a player to not to be able to figure out his place quickly and seamlessly. He was on the bench observing the team last night. He has as much of problem, if not more, than Patrick Beverley, so I hope that was not the case for his DNP.
Hopefully it was just to watch and take in the game, and learn the Clipper’s offensive scheme before he is thrown into the fire. The big question is whether or not he will start. I am anxious to see how it all plays out. I hope that he is in uniform come their next game tomorrow night against the Milwaukee Bucks. His integration has come at a bit of a good time, as the team has just started their longest home-stand in what seems like forever. That should help assist the adjustment.
All I am going to say regarding this is once again, MANN IS THE MAN.
Vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, March 31 at 7:00PM
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CLIPPERS 86 THE 76’S CLIPPERS 86 THE 76’S CLIPPERS 86 THE 76’S