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Clippers are unable to match 76ers’ intensity in 112-98 loss

Both the Clippers and 76ers were playing back-to-back games, but L.A. unfortunately didn’t have the desired intensity to match what Philadelphia brought to the contest.

As a result, the Clippers were eventually overwhelmed during a 112-98 defeat to the 76ers on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center before 20,504 fans cheering on All-Star Joel Embiid scoring 29 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking three shots.

Two big examples of what the Clippers lacked were fast-break points and three-point defense.

The Clippers saw the 76ers run a track meet around them, letting Philadelphia go for 33 points on the break. The Clippers had just seven fast-break points.

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The Clippers never got a handle on the 76ers’ three-point shooting, allowing them to make 39.4%.

That was a big reason why the Clippers fell into a 16-point hole in the first half.

“Really, I thought they were fresher tonight and they played last night too. Obviously they didn’t have to travel,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, whose team won at Detroit on Friday night. “It just felt like every loose ball, 50-50 play, they got.”

To make matters worse, the Clippers jacked up three-pointers with regularity — and they missed with regularity.

They were just eight for 32 (25%) from three-point range.

Tobias Harris had 17 points, but he missed all five of his three-pointers as the Clippers lost for the first time since he, Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic arrived in a trade.

Austin Rivers made only one of eight three-pointers in finishing with 10 points. Danilo Gallinari had 22 points, but he was just three for nine from three-point range.

“We took a lot of threes,” Doc Rivers said. “Most nights I’m fine with that. I thought when you’re tired, at some point you should take the ball to the basket and make a play. I thought tonight we kind of settled.”

During a timeout with 6 minutes 44 seconds left and the Clippers down by five points, Rivers lit into his players while they sat on the bench.

“I just kept telling them, ‘Guys, we’re down five. We ain’t going to win unless you play hard.’ We missed a lot of wide-open shots.”

So the Clippers picked up their defense.

Harris blocked a shot by Ben Simmons (14 points, 10 assists), leading to DeAndre Jordan making one of two free throws.

Then Jordan blocked a shot by Simmons and tipped the ball back in to the Clippers.

That led to two free throws for Harris that cut the Clippers’ deficit to 95-93.

“He told us we were not bringing the intensity we usually bring,” Gallinari said about Rivers’ message to the team. “We needed to get into them, especially on the defensive end. We were not doing it. We did it for a little bit, but it wasn’t enough.”

The Clippers then went cold, their offense stalling at the wrong time.

After getting to within two points, the Clippers went 0 for 6 from the field and turned the ball over, falling into a 103-93 hole they never climbed out of.

“They had the spurt at the end,” Rivers said. “Give them credit. They played hard. They played in waves. They share the ball. They move the ball. And, they’re pretty good.”

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner


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