Clippers’ road woes continue in 105-91 loss to Philadelphia
Legs get weary. Lungs burn a little bit more.
Such is life in the NBA on the second night of a back-to-back situation.
So you could understand when the wheels started to spin in the second half and fell off, resulting in only 35 points in the final 24 minutes.
Only it happened to the team that didn’t play Tuesday night. The rested Clippers put up little resistance against Philadelphia in the second half, losing, 105-91, Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
This was despite a 13th straight double-double from Blake Griffin, who had 20 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds. Former UCLA star Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 24 points and Philadelphia committed a mere five turnovers.
So would this be rock bottom for the Clippers?
The low point was supposed to have been last month at Indiana when Griffin and Eric Gordon said things had to change. And that’s the danger of using the words rock bottom with the Clippers (5-21) because another crisis, an even lower point could be just around the corner.
Or over the next cliff.
Not only have the Clippers lost their last four games, they are 0-11 on the road. In fact, they are 0-15 away from home if you include the final four road losses last season. Their last road victory was March 25 at Houston
This season, Washington remains the only other winless team on the road in the NBA. Great comfort, that.
“I didn’t like our effort at all,” Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “I didn’t think we played particularly well in the first half. We made some shots. We controlled our turnovers a little bit. … I thought we should have had a bigger lead.”
The Clippers made only six of 19 shots in the third quarter. Baron Davis, who had an active and aggressive 16-point first half, scored only two points in the second half. DeAndre Jordan, who had 15 points, had only four in the second half.
It was the first game for Davis after reports surfaced that team owner Donald Sterling has been heckling Davis from his courtside seat. Chris Kaman confirmed those accounts in an interview this week with The Times.
Davis was seven for 14, made two three-point baskets and had five assists.
Said Del Negro: “We weren’t very good execution-wise defensively. Offensively, we weren’t smooth with the basketball. We got selfish in the second half and turned it over way too much and just were not crisp at all, which is disappointing.”
On top of that, the Clippers endured a scary-looking moment when Griffin went down hard on his back and right elbow, courtesy of former Clippers forward Elton Brand.
Brand was assessed a flagrant foul 1.
Griffin said his elbow has bothered him, on and off. And Gordon, who made one three-point basket and had 16 points, has been dealing with a sore wrist.
There are the physical issues. But noteworthy mental lapses continue for the Clippers.
A prime example was rookie point guard Eric Bledsoe fouling Lou Williams with 0.1 left in the first half, falling for Williams’ pump fake well away from the basket. How far away? Delaware would be a good start.
It may not be the defining moment. But it certainly symbolized the Clippers’ woeful season.