En masse, the Clippers were simply awful Sunday night. En masse, the Clippers were uninspired to play basketball. En masse, the Clippers didn’t play with the “spirit” they always talk about.
So the onus for the Clippers’ 91-70 inexplicable defeat to an Indiana Pacers team dealing with injuries has to be owned by the entire LA group.
That’s two consecutive losses for the Clippers on this six-game trip that still has three games left. Two straight losses that were blowouts. Two losses in a row during which they never looked energized to play.
They scored a season-low in points at Bakers Life Fieldhouse. They had never scored fewer than 80 points since Doc Rivers took over as coach four years ago.
They shot a season-low 31.4% from the field, and that included making a season-low four three-pointers out of 24 attempts. They had a season-high 20 turnovers, four by Chris Paul and three by Blake Griffin, both of whom were removed from the game with four minutes, five seconds left and the Clippers down by 19 points.
“This was just all bad,” said Paul, who had 13 points on three-for-11 shooting. “We shot it bad. Our defense was bad. I think I had four turnovers in the first quarter. …So this was just a bad game for us. But don’t take anything away from Indiana. They beat us.”
Indeed, the Pacers did their part to make sure it was a miserable night for the Clippers.
Six Pacers scored in double figures, led by 17 points each from Glenn Robinson III and Myles Turner.
The Clippers had called a timeout with three minutes left in the second quarter after Thaddeus Young scored over Paul down low. When Paul got to the Clippers’ bench, he pounded the pad with his right hand, obviously upset with his play.
“When you’re shooting the way that we were, you got to find a way on the defensive end,” Paul said. “And that play right there was like the cumulation of the game. We just didn’t get anything to work.”
In reality, all of the Clippers should have felt the same way.
They easily played their worst half of basketball of the season, turning over the ball 14 times, 11 in the first quarter.
They got down by 10 at the half, going through the motions for the most part in the first 24 minutes, showing little emotion.
And this was against an injury-ravaged Pacers team playing without All-Star forward Paul George (sore left ankle), C.J. Miles (sore left knee) and Kevin Seraphin (sore left knee).
“It was an entire group tonight, and that’s something that hasn’t happened,” Rivers said. “But it did tonight.”
The Clippers got up 22 fewer shots than the Pacers. The Clippers got outrebounded by 12, giving up 13 on the offensive end.
Considering all of their misfortunes, DeAndre Jordan was asked if he saw any positives from the loss.
“None at all,” Jordan said. “Absolutely none.”