The Clippers have won nine games in a row, but they still have some holes in their play.
They blew a 15-point first quarter lead, then a 17-point fourth quarter lead on Wednesday, allowing the Indiana Pacers to cut their deficit to two points with two minutes remaining. The Clippers held on for the win, 103-96, but Clippers Coach Doc Rivers was far from pleased by the fact that his reserves let the Pacers creep back into the game multiple times.
"They need to defend," Rivers said. "That's how we fix it. It's not that hard and they can do it and they've done it. They've shown they can do it and they will do it."
In the plus/minus category, all of the reserves finished with minuses Wednesday, including Jamal Crawford, who came off the bench to lead the team with 18 points on seven for 12 shooting. Crawford had a -20 rating. Spencer Hawes had a -16 rating. Jordan Farmar had a -13 rating. Hedo Turkoglu had a -3 rating. And Glen Davis had a -11 rating.
Scoring is not the problem for this team. Entering Wednesday's game, the Clippers were leading the league in field goal percentage (averaging 48.4% a game) and three-point percentage (38.5%), and they ranked third in points per game (107.1).
The Clippers can get the big leads, and they've shown that they can keep them. Before Wednesday's win over Indiana and Monday's win over Phoenix (121-120), the Clippers had won five straight games by at least 16 points.
"The important thing is that we kept fighting even though we let those leads slip up," Crawford said. "I'd rather learn our lesson in a win. I'd much rather have it that way."