Before every game, whether they're at home or on the road, the
"PLAY HARD! PLAY SMART! PLAY TOGETHER! HAVE FUN!"
They went four for four Saturday night at the AT&T Center, fulfilling each of the commands to emerge with an inspired 105-85 victory over the defending
DeAndre Jordan played hard when he twice leaped to block shots by future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan.
J.J. Redick played smart when he swung a pass to Jordan underneath the basket for an open layup.
Matt Barnes played together when he gave up a shot on the perimeter to zip an alley-oop pass to Blake Griffin for a layup.
The entire bench had fun in the final seconds when Jordan draped his arms over several smiling teammates.
There was plenty to celebrate as the Clippers notched their first victory here since November 2012 and their most one-sided road triumph over the Spurs in franchise history.
Oddly, it came only one day after perhaps the Clippers' most dispiriting performance of the season, a loss to the
Then again, the day-after games have been productive for the Clippers all season. They are 9-3 in the second game of back-to-back situations, including 6-2 on the road.
"Is that the team that played last night?" Rivers said, repeating Woodson's words. "No, it wasn't. We had great focus, our pace was fantastic and I thought that was the key offensively and then everybody contributed. Our bench was phenomenal."
Griffin nudged the Clippers (33-15) to 2-1 on their eight-game
Jordan shrugged off foul trouble that sidelined him for most of the third quarter to finish with 19 rebounds, eight points and four blocks. Chris Paul was steady with 20 points and six assists.
The Clippers also received a rarity in multiple contributions off the bench, which nudged their team's lead into double digits in the second quarter.
"It was a butt-kicking," Spurs Coach
The Clippers' turnaround was sparked in part by a text sent out by Barnes.
"I texted everybody late [Friday] night that we let one get away last night and we need to come out here and the road to the conference championship goes through San Antonio," Barnes said. "We just really wanted to come out tonight and hit them first and I think we did a good job of that."
Griffin said playing so well against the Spurs actually made their effort against the Pelicans the previous night all the more frustrating.
"If we take care of business last night and we come play the way we did tonight," Griffin said, "we're sitting on the trip at 3-0 going into Brooklyn and that's the halfway point and we have a good chance to really set the pace for this trip, so it's frustrating.
"But at the same time, it's great that we came out and got this game."