It doesn't take much for Clippers to hammer the Knicks, 99-78

It doesn't take much for Clippers to hammer the Knicks, 99-78
Knicks guard J.R. Smith tries to drive between Clippers forward Spencer Hawes, left, and guard J.J. Redick. (Wally Skaij / Los Angeles Times)

If they kept up the pace and kept applying the pressure, the Clippers had to figure the dreadful New York Knicks at some point would succumb.

At the start of the third quarter Wednesday at Staples Center, the Clippers picked up their play, pulling away for a 99-78 victory that sent the Knicks to their ninth consecutive defeat.


J.J. Redick got the Clippers started, scoring 13 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter.

But when the Clippers put the Knicks away in the third, every starter contributed by either scoring or rebounding during a 13-0 run that saw New York (5-29) roll over.

"I thought we came out at halftime really trying to push the pace," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "We got a lot of easy, quick scores and that was important."

The Clippers (22-11) had a game in which Blake Griffin tied his career high in assists with 11, which he established last month at Atlanta. Griffin also had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Jamal Crawford, who had 13 points, passed Peja Stojakovic for ninth place on the NBA's all-time list of three-point baskets. Crawford has 1,762 three-pointers.

DeAndre Jordan had 14 points on six-for-six shooting, and 12 rebounds.

"You can't really overlook teams," Griffin said. "I don't care what you say about a record or who they have, whose not playing, whose hurt, or whatever it is. You can't overlook teams. It's a good chance to really work on your team, yourself, and really work out the kinks."

Redick did his part to get the Clippers off to a fast start, making five of seven shots, including three of four three-pointers, in the first quarter.

But the Clippers still couldn't put away the Knicks, who got 19 points from Carmelo Anthony.

"I'd love to have a game where we just put it on them and never look back," Griffin said. "But we'll take this win, absolutely, and I was happy with how a lot of guys played."

The Clippers stopped toying with the Knicks, opening the third quarter by turning a 10-point halftime lead into a 23-point lead.

With the Clippers ahead by 21 and 5:20 left, the team's entertainment crew decided to have a countdown to bring in the New Year with the crowd. It was about seven hours before midnight.

But the crowd didn't care, joining in the celebration, seemingly the only time they had something to be cheerful about during a mostly dull game.

"I think the positive thing was that we were able to keep our foot on the gas," said Clippers guard Chris Paul, who had just five points on two-for-11 shooting. "We got a chance to sit the fourth quarter. The bench was great and we just kept the intensity."