The Los Angeles Clippers (32-16) got their 6th win in a row last night against one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks (29-17) 129-105 at Staples Center. The Clippers were not good defensively in the first, allowing the Bucks to score 38 points in the quarter. This allowed the Bucks to build as much as a 12 point lead. The second quarter rolled around, and the Clippers were able to turn things around on defense. They held Milwaukee to just 17 points. They were then able to take a 2 point lead into halftime. During the second half the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo tried to lead his team to make a run. But, they were completely stymied by Reggie Jackson going off in the 3rd for 15 points.
The basketball gods seemed to bring things into balance, because for all the chip shots that the Clips missed when the two teams met in Milwaukee, the Bucks seemed to miss just as many from close range last night. The Clippers were able to pull away in the 4th on the strength of Luke Kennard– who got the start in place of the injured Paul George– making 4 3 pointers in a row late. This allowed them to gain a 24 point lead and win going away. They were able to get their sweet revenge for the L they took against them in Milwaukee.
STAR OF THE GAME
Reggie Jackson and his 20 points 3 rebounds and 2 assists. On a night where the team was missing PG13, and Kawhi did not make a single 3 pointer, Reggie Jackson led the way for the Clips going 4 for 6 from deep. Reggie caught fire in the 3rd, and it was his heat that enabled the Clips to take a stranglehold of the game. It’s hard to imagine that earlier in the season coach Ty Lue had a talk with him, telling him that he was going to be removed from the rotation. There is absolutely no way that will happen again this year. Reggie has played too well in the absence of the perpetually injured Patrick Beverley.
He probably will go back to the bench upon Pat Bev’s return, but he should still receive significant minutes on the floor. With the departure of Lou Williams, the team is going to need a reserve unit scorer. Reggie should be that guy, as we all have seen what he is capable of once he is given the green light.
Once again Paul George sat out with foot soreness. He must have stubbed his toe and gotten a boo-boo again. I am just sick to death of the team not being at full strength. Every time they get there, someone immediately gets hurt. They have been without several starters for the past several weeks, and have played well despite that, but that does not mean it is any less irritating. The lengthy injury list that never goes blank gives the perception to the rest of the league that the team is soft.
I do not want any of the players to aggravate or exacerbate any injuries that could see them miss even more time, but at the same time I would like to see more toughness out of the team. The late Kobe Bryant-God rest his soul- never seemed to miss a game, and would play no matter what. Even despite any nicks and bruises that he may have had. Kobe is PG’s idol, so you would think he would try and emulate him a little more.
Luke Kennard and his 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. He got the starting nod in place of Paul George and was having an ok game until the 4th quarter. It was then that he went off for 4 3 pointers in a row, sealing the W for the Clippers in the process. Making that many in a row completely deflated the Bucks, and took away all hope for them. The game was pretty much over after Reggie’s outstanding 3rd, but it was Luke who shut the door. Luke was not seeing minutes recently, until he had a breakout game against the Hawks a week ago.
Since then he has seemed to have found his groove, as he is been more consistently playing much better. He has been rewarded with more floor time because of this. I think things have finally clicked for him on his new team, and he is living up to the hefty extension he was given. I think it is safe to say we should see this version Luke just about every night going forward. Hopefully the light stays on.
Vs. Orlando Magic, Tuesday, March 30th at 7:00PM
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