Here are five takeaways from the Clippers’ 103-91 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
1. The Clippers are down two starters
J.J. Redick sustained a sprained right ankle in the first minute of Wednesday’s game and didn’t return. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said that the sprain wasn’t “awful,” citing the fact that Redick tried to test it by shooting around at halftime. The Clippers entered Wednesday’s game already down one starter in Chris Paul, who has inflamed rib cartilage. Rivers said that Paul will likely miss the next “couple” of games because of the injury.
2. Lance Stephenson, hello
Stephenson, who entered Wednesday’s game averaging 4.9 points, had a season-high 19 points on eight-for-11 shooting against his former team -- he played for the Pacers from 2010-14. Stephenson claimed that his strong performance had nothing to do with wanting to impress his former colleagues.
“I just came into it like a regular game,” Stephenson said, adding, “I really wasn’t that amped for this game.”
3. Blake Griffin had an uncharacteristic performance
Griffin had 19 points, but it took him 18 shots to get them, and he made only seven of his 14 free throws. It was an off night for the the power forward, who entered Wednesday’s game averaging 25 points on 54.1% shooting from the field, and 75.4% from behind the free-throw line.
Said Clippers Coach Doc Rivers: “I swear you’re human, and you have games like that.”
Clippers forward Blake Griffin is fouled while making a move to the basket against the Pacers in the second half.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Lance Stephenson is encouraged by teammates Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford after a productive first half against the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on Dec. 2.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Blake Griffin loses the ball out of bounds as he is fouled on an attempt to drive to the basket.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers injured guard Chris Paul watches from the bench in street clothes during a game against the Pacers.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Pacers center Ian Mahinmi, left, reaches in on Clippers center DeAndre Jordan during the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Clippers forward Josh Smith, left, ties up Pacers forward C.J. Miles (0) during the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni (9) puts up a shot as Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey (2) tries to block it from behind during the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
4. Fourth quarter collapse
The Pacers opened the fourth quarter with a 14-1 run to turn a three-point lead into a 16-point advantage in less than three minutes. The Clippers chipped away at the hole, cutting it to five points, 91-86, with just under three minutes left after Blake Griffin made a layup. But their fourth quarter start proved too much to overcome.
Said Rivers: “We clearly didn’t have any offensive rhythm tonight.”
5. One more at home
The loss snapped the Clippers’ three-game win streak amid their six-game homestand. They have one home game remaining -- against the Orlando Magic on Saturday -- before leaving for a five-game trip.