Clippers prepare for Pacers

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There isn’t much to say about the Clippers game Monday night at Staples Center. As expected, they defeated the Detroit Pistons in a game that was never really in question. The Pistons were able to outscore the Clippers in the final quarter, by one point, but it was too little, too late.

Jodie Meeks of the Detroit Pistons
Jodie Meeks of the Detroit Pistons

After losing to the Bucks two nights earlier in Milwaukee, a game they could have won and probably should have won, the Clippers were back home and regrouped, ready for the Pistons, who had a lackluster performance at best. Only one of their starters finished with a double-digit point total, center Andre Drummond who had 18 points. It was their bench that added most of their points, 51, keeping the Pistons from becoming completely smothered by the Clippers. Power forward Greg Monroe had 15 points and shooting guard Jodie Meeks finished with 20.

All five of L.A.’s starters finished with double digit scoring. Power forward Blake Griffin hd 18 points, DeAndre Jordan had 16 and J.J. Redick had 14. Jordan Farmar had a big night as well, scoring 15 points off the bench.

Despite starting the game a little flat, by the time the first half was over the Clippers were ahead by 15 points and when the fourth quarter came the Clippers starters took to the bench and let the second team finish the night.

For Detroit, it was a big disappointment after winning two in a row against the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. For the Clippers it was a relief and a good way to start their two-game home stand.

Tonight the Indiana Pacers come into Staples to face the Clippers and if they play as their record suggests, this should be another win for the Clippers. But the problem with playing a team like the Pacers is that a team like the Clippers can lose their intensity and not play to their full potential. They can forget that on any given night any team can win in the NBA, as the Pacers proved two nights ago when they beat the L.A. Lakers. They’ve also beat the Chicago Bulls and the Dallas Mavericks, two teams with much better records.

Jamal Crawford shooting one of his five free throws.
Jamal Crawford shooting one of his five free throws.

So they key for the Clippers tonight is to forget Indiana’s record and stay focused on making every play count. If the Clippers do that then they should win this game.

They are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference. There are still four months left in the season, but head coach Doc Rivers doesn’t want his team to suddenly be playing catch up in March. They are only four games behind the conference-leading Golden State Warriors, which isn’t a big hill to climb, especially with so much of the season yet to be played, but they do not want to fall behind any more and the best place to be during the season is at the top.

Game time tonight is 7:30 p.m. local time.

(All photos by Claudia Gestro)