It started for the Clippers with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordanimposing their will on the game.
It carried over to Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson, Cole Aldrich and the rest of the reserves.
The combination of all that kinetic energy was what enabled the Clippers to overwhelm the Washington Wizards, 108-91, Monday night at the Verizon Center.
Paul’s determined play in his showdown against Wizards point guard John Wall pushed the Clippers from the start. Paul was on the attack, scoring 10 of his 23 points in the first quarter. He finished the game with seven assists and five rebounds, and also had his first dunks of the season.
Jordan dominated in the middle, the 6-foot-11 center producing a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He made all six of his field-goal attempts.
“It’s a spirit,” Paul said. “Guys are just playing hard. We’re playing together.
“Our bench was amazing tonight. When we were up 13, they stretched it out. Not having to go back in in the fourth quarter was huge. . . . To be [able] to sit out and watch them develop some of that chemistry was huge.”
The Clippers’ bench produced perhaps its best game all season.
Crawford had 21 points, missing only three of his 12 shots, making three of five three-point shots. In the middle of it all, Crawford passed James Worthy for 95th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 16,327 points.
Johnson scored 14 points and Aldrich had a season-high 13.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul dribbles past Wizards guard John Wall during the first half.(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) drives against Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. during the first half.(Jim Lo Scalzo / European Pressphoto Agency)
Wizards point guard John Wall dribbles past Clippers point guard Chris Paul during the second half.(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
Clippers forward Paul Pierce puts up a shot in front of Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. during the first half.(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
Wizards guard John Wall (2) and Clippers guard Chris Paul watch the ball go out of bounds during the second half.(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Wizards guard Jarell Eddie (8) drives to the basket between Clippers forwards Branden Dawson (22) and Wesley Johnson (33).(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford attempts a layup in front of Kelly Oubre Jr. and other Wizards defenders during the first half.(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers argues a call during the second half.(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) reacts to a call during the second half.(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan reacts to a call during the second half of a game against the Wizards.(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Clippers guard Chris Paul reacts after dunking the ball during the first half of a game against the Wizards.(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
It didn’t even matter that Paul Pierce started in place of Josh Smith, who had started in Griffin’s absence at Utah on Saturday night.
Pierce had nine points in his first game against the Wizards since he played for them last season.
“We played with great spirit tonight. I just think we’re fighting,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “We know we’re a big man short and so everyone knows that they have to be involved in the game.
“It’s really nice when you get the starters starting out the game the way they started out. The bench came in and extended it. In the second half, the starters kind of kept it even and then the bench came in and blew the game out. That doesn’t happen a lot with us and that was good to see.”
The Wizards also were short-handed, playing without starting guard Bradley Beal and reserves Alan Anderson, Drew Gooden, Gary Neal and Nene because of injuries.
In the end, however, Paul stole the show with his two dunks that helped the Clippers win their third consecutive game.
“The person that I’m going to let be the judge on the dunks is little Chris,” Paul said about his son. “I’m going to call him as soon as I get out of here to make sure he saw them. But it surprised the life out me. You should have seen our bench.”