MILWAUKEE — Sure, the Clippers were playing the NBA's worst team.
But this wasn't about the hapless Milwaukee Bucks. This was about the Clippers, about finishing off a seven-game, 11-day trip the right way, about not giving in to the mental and physical fatigue that can result from being on the road for so long.
So instead of looking ahead to catching that flight back to Los Angeles, the Clippers stayed sharp and beat up on the Bucks, 114-86, Monday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Clippers won the their third straight game to finish 5-2 on their annual Grammy trip, losing only to the Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Bobcats.
"We were flying here [Sunday] and I remember guys saying, 'Can't wait to get home,'" said Blake Griffin, who had 20 points on eight-for-13 shooting. "We knew we still had a game to play, some business to take care of. We wanted to treat it as a business opportunity and a chance for us to get better as a team and come into an environment [and] kind of have to give ourselves the energy."
It wasn't until the second quarter that the Clippers looked fully energized. They outscored the Bucks, 32-16, in the period to build a 64-41 halftime lead.
The lead would get as large as 39 points as the Clippers dropped the Bucks to 8-36, the worst record in the league.
The Clippers shot 54.4% from the field, 50% (14 for 28) from three-point range.
"Got to be really proud of our guys because I thought they had really good focus," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought the defense is what won the game. We scored a lot of points, but we got stops. That was just great."
Jamal Crawford was the catalyst in making sure the Clippers didn't slip up against the Bucks. He had a game-high 25 points on nine-for-16 shooting, making five of nine from three-point range.
His three-point accuracy moved Crawford up in the NBA record book. He passed Kobe Bryant for 12th on the all-time list in three-pointers made with 1,645.
Darren Collison, again playing despite a sprained left big toe, had 15 points on five-for-six shooting (two for three from three-point range), plus seven assists.
The Bucks, whose average of 91.3 points per game before Monday was last in the league, lived up (or down) to their dreadful scoring standards.
Milwaukee also was last in the league in field-goal percentage, at 42.2%, and 26th in three-point shooting, at 34.3%. The Bucks were true to form there, too, making just 38.2% from the field and 18.2% (four of 22) from three-point range.
"To go 5-2 after being 2-2 on this trip, it turned into a good trip," Rivers said. "We talked about it after that loss in Charlotte. I said, 'Guys, this is a 2-2 trip, but we have a chance to turn this into a great trip.' And we did that, which is nice."
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