The Clippers beat the Utah Jazz on Monday, 101-97. Here are five takeaways from that win.
1. Blake Griffin played the entire fourth quarter. The Clippers haven’t had what they consider a real practice since Dec. 5. They’ve played every other day, and sometimes two days in a row since that date. And on Monday, Griffin didn’t exactly get to catch his breath. He played a game-high 41 minutes and 14 seconds, leading his team with 24 points, seven assists, six rebounds, two steals and three blocked shots.
2. Clippers have the same record this season as they had at this point last season. The Clippers are 21-11. That’s the same record they had last year 32 games into the season. The Clippers made it to the second round of the playoffs last season before being eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
3. Clippers post a season-high in blocked shots. The Clippers had 12 blocked shots on Monday. Griffin had four, DeAndre Jordan and Matt Barnes each had three, and Spencer Hawes added two.
4. Spencer Hawes returns to the lineup. The Clippers’ backup center, who missed nine games because of a bone bruise in his left knee, returned to the court Monday. He played nearly 13 minutes, finishing with two points on one-for-four shooting, three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
5. Chris Paul rebounds from subpar performance. After matching a season-low 10 points in scoring on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors, Paul was much more aggressive offensively against the Jazz. He had 20 points on seven-for-14 shooting, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.