Clippers are disappointing against Denver and then look good beating Sacramento
November 30, 2023
The Clippers came up short against the depleted Denver Nuggets losing, 113-104, in front a stunned Crypto.com Arena crowd last Monday then on Wednesday they beat Kings on the road 131-117. Against the Sacramento Kings all five starters scored in double figures. It was a great bounce back game after losing to Denver at home.
Against the Kings the Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard's 34 points and nine rebounds and James Harden's 26 points and six assists. The Clippers also got help from Paul George with 19 points and seven assists, Terance Mann had 18 points, Ivica Zubac had 14 points and eight rebounds and Russell Westbrook had nine points, eight assists and five rebounds coming off the bench. The win moved the Clippers to a record of 8-9 in the very competitive Western Conference.
On Monday the Clippers faced a Denver team with no Nikola Jokic, no Aaron Gordon and no Jamaal Murray but it was two former Clipper players that helped beat their former team. The Clippers Big 4 was outplayed by former Clipper guard Reggie Jackson and center DeAndre Jordan. Jackson finished the game with 35 points and 12 assists. Nearly outscoring the combined efforts of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George & James Harden, who combined to score 48 points total. Jordan had the best game that we've seen since possibly his Clipper days by adding 21 points, five assists and 13 rebounds.
"Reggie just did a great job putting pressure on in the pick-and-roll, and DeAndre is one of the best still at getting out slipping and playing above the rim. They just had it working tonight," said George.
The defense was a major issue for Los Angeles all night, but the offense has it's struggles as well. Leonard led the Clippers with 31 points and Zubac had 23 points and 14 rebounds. George who battled foul trouble throughout scored a disappointing six points on 2 for 13 shooting.
Westbrook put together a second straight solid performance off the bench scoring 14 points and added 11 rebounds. Westbrook did miss two clutch free throws late while the Clippers trailed 102-98 late in the fourth.
Clipper Coach Tyronn Lue was disappointed by the offensive performance his team put together in their matchup with the short-handed defending champions. "I said (before the game), they were going to come in and play hard and compete. I just thought we were nasty offensively. Too slow. Too methodical and only taking 20 threes, not really getting to what we wanted to get
The Clippers look like a team that needs time to figure out their true identity after the trade that brought Harden to Los Angeles. Once they figure things out, they should be a team that will be hard to beat. Their next home game will be Wednesday, December 6, at 7 p.m. against Denver.