There was some joy in the land of the Clippers on Wednesday night.
Even the news from Danilo Gallinari, in which the forward said he’ll be out six weeks because of a partially torn left glute, did not stop the Clippers from rejoicing.
They found their happiness in a 108-95 rout of the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center before 17,151 fans.
“If you’re winning, it always helps,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “The games are hard, like every game. Like I keep saying, winning a game is hard, no matter against who or when.”
The Clippers were able to find some jubilation by building a 25-point lead in the third quarter on their way stopping a three-game losing skid.
It’s been a season of sorrow because of so many injuries. But not on this night as six Clippers scored in double figures.
There was glee when rookie point guard Jawun Evans threw a pass off the backboard on a fastbreak, allowing the fast-charging DeAndre Jordan to grab it and score on a two-handed dunk to the delight of his teammates and the fans.
There was pleasure in seeing the wizardry of point guard Milos Teodosic throwing a length-of-the-court pass with 0.3 seconds left in the third to a streaking Lou Williams for a two- handed, rim-hanging dunk just before the quarter ended.
There was enjoyment in seeing backup center Willie Reed make a steal and then throw down a windmill dunk in the fourth quarter. The Suns called a timeout afterward, allowing the Clippers to run onto the court and high-five and chest-bump Reed.
There was Jordan doing his usual hard-hat work by collecting 20 rebounds. It was the third time in the last five games he has collected 20 rebounds in a game.
There was Teodosic handing out a career-high eight assists, his passes always seeming to be on point.
“I think everybody loves playing with Milos,” Jordan said.
“If they don’t, they’re crazy. I’m glad he’s healthy. I’m glad he’s here.”
And not to be forgotten amid all the highlights, the Clippers found strength in their defensive effort.
They held the Suns to 35 points in the first half, the Clippers’ best defensive first half of the season.
For the game, the Clippers limited the Suns to 36.1% shooting from the field (22.9% from three-point range).
“I thought defensively, it makes two or three games in a row we’ve been pretty solid,” Rivers said. “That allows us to win games.”
The Suns didn’t have their best player in guard Devin Booker (left abductor strain), but the Clippers have their own story to tell about injury woes.
They just got Williams (18 points) back after he missed Monday night’s game at San Antonio because of a sprained right foot.
“It’s to the point now, where if anybody is used to [injuries], it’s our team,” said Austin Rivers, who had 21 points and six assists.