Timberwolves no match for the Clippers

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On Friday, November 28, the Minnesota Timberwolves ventured into the Staples Center and beat the L.A. Lakers in a one-point thriller, 120-119. Three days later they were back at Staples to take on the L.A. Clippers, with a different result.

Blake Griffin passing the ball to Chris Paul.
Blake Griffin passing the ball to Chris Paul.

Minnesota has had a tough season so far, losing all but four of their games. Adding to Minnesota’s woes, they have been without their star point guard Ricky Rubio, who has been out with a badly sprained ankle for the past month. They really need him back on the court.

The Clippers have a good start to their season, winning 11 of their 16 games. Their starters are beginning to play well together and their bench is contributing quality minutes, so this was a mismatch from the start.

The Timberwolves started the game well, outscoring the Clippers 34-31. Andrew Wiggins scored eight and Corey Brewer scored seven for Minnesota. J.J. Redick got L.A. on the board with a three-pointer and that was the start of a big night for him.

Clippers forward Matt Barnes
Clippers forward Matt Barnes

The Timberwolves actually outscored the Clippers in the first and fourth quarters, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Clippers, who scored more than 30 points in the first three quarters and 26 points in the fourth. Minnesota scored just 16 in the second and 18 in the third.

The Wolves struggled on defense and it showed in the final score, 127-101.

Highlights for the Clippers: five of their players scored in double digits, four of them starters:Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick scored 23 points, Spencer Hawes had 14, Chris Paul scored 12 and DeAndre Jordan ended the night with 11.

After the game I asked Matt Barnes what was going on in their game that made it possible to have that many players score like that. “It starts with our defense. When we play good defense it allows everyone to touch the ball on the offensive end and allows us to get into transition and do what we do best.”

the silver lining for Minnesota: they were able to score more than 100 points. They played well in two quarters and when the Timberwolves can do that for a full 48 minutes they will start winning more games than they lose.

The final score: 127-101 for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Blake Griffin and Justin Bieber
Blake Griffin and Justin Bieber

One other highlight: Justin Bieber was at the game Monday Night and visited the team in the locker room, sitting down to talk with Blake Griffin.

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Tonight the Clippers will face the Orlando Magic in Staples Center. Two weeks ago the Clippers beat the magic in Orlando, 114-90. This looks like it should be another win for L.A., but Orlando could surprise everyone if the Clippers lose their focus and try to phone it in.

(All photos by Claudia Gestro)