The Los Angeles Clippers (39-18) pulled off a stunning comeback victory against the Detroit Pistons (16-39) last night 100-98 at Little Caesar’s Arena. The Clippers were out their entire starting unit last night. They had to have their reserves step up big if they were going to be able to pull off a win. Fans upon hearing this could’ve very easily tuned out and just chalked this one up as a loss. The Pistons very nearly beat LAC a few games ago in LA. So how could the Clips ever hope to win this one without most of their best players? Those fans ( who are not TRUE fans) would’ve robbed themselves of a thrilling game. The Clippers never hanged their heads, despite being woefully shorthanded, and played their guts out the entire game.
As a team they had a terrible shooting night as they only shot barely 40% from the field for the game. Still, they actually found themselves in the lead going into the half. However, Detroit had a much better third quarter, and the Clips found themselves down going into the fourth. This is where the excitement happened. The Clippers were down double digits with less than 4 minutes in the game, but did not give up. They buckled down and played some gritty defense. They were able to force some turnovers in the final minutes. With 20 seconds left to go in the game, they found themselves down just 3. Nicolas Batum came away with a clutch steal, which led to an even more clutch game tying corner 3 pointer from Reggie Jackson.
With the game tied, the Pistons had a chance to let time go off the clock and try and win the game at the buzzer. But unfortunately for them Amir Coffey came up with another steal. The Clippers called timeout, and coming out of the huddle Reggie Jackson scored another clutch jumper from the free-throw line to put the Clips up 2 with just 2 seconds to go in the game. The Pistons were out of timeouts at that point, so all they could do was try and heave a long shot for an attempted miracle game-winning 3. The longshot did not go in. The Clippers escaped with an unlikely road win for their 7th in a row.
STAR OF THE GAME
Reggie Jackson and his 29 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist. He was one of the few Clippers who had a good shooting night as he went 3 of 6 from 3 and 12 of 24 overall. The reason he is the star of the game was not because he was the game’s leading scorer, but because he scored the final 5 points of the game. Those final 5 points were absolutely BIG time as they were the game-tying and game-winning points. Going into this game, on paper, the Clippers were not supposed to win this game. They very nearly didn’t if it were not for Reggie.
I could go on once again about health, but I am not going to. I am too elated to complain about that again for the umpteenth time. Even with all of their starters out the Clippers banded together and pulled off this upset. Health is still paramount, but the Clippers proved that even being undermanned they still have enough talent on the roster to pull off wins. This should boost their resolve going into the playoffs. In that if they ever find themselves down they can remember this win.
Amir Coffey and his 6 points, 7 rebounds, an assist and 2 steals. Coffey did not have a game that really stood out statistically, but his presence was absolutely necessary for the win. With all the injuries up and down the lineup he got to play 27 minutes, and he played his heart out for all of them. He came up with a big time steal at the end of the game that led to the go-ahead basket by Reggie. His heart and hustle were a huge reason why Detroit got their hearts broken last night.
Vs. Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, April 16th at 4:00PM Pacific
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