Blake Griffin had 26 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. (Facebook/Los Angeles Clippers)
Chris Paul returned to the Clippers’ lineup against the Philadelphia 76ers after spending nearly six weeks on the injured list.
There was some uncertainty as to what effect Paul’s return would have on the Clippers’ chemistry.
But the Clippers jumped on the 76ers in the opening minutes and beat them 123-78.
1st Quarter: The Clippers got off to a thunderous start. Blake Griffin scored 5 quick points and the Clippers jumped to a 13-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.
Griffin had a scary moment near the end of the quarter, when he was hit on his left shin by a driving Tony Wroten.
Wroten was driving into the paint near the top of the key, lost his balance, and hit Griffin on the shin with his knee as he was falling.
Griffin left the game to be examined, but returned to the game in the second quarter.
The Clippers led 46-15 after the first.
2nd Quarter: The 76ers continued their dreadful shooting in the second quarter. They shot 15% from the field in the half, and made only 1-of-15 from long range.
The highlights of the night came via two Griffin windmill dunks that were seconds apart.
The first came on a Paul-led fast break, with no defenders on him, and Griffin trailing a few feet behind. Paul bounced the ball off the backboard, and Griffin caught the ball and slammed it in with a fierce windmill dunk.
The second came on a Griffin-led fast break, after Griffin gave Paul a behind-the-back pass and Paul gave Griffin an alley-oop that Griffin slammed in with another emphatic windmill dunk.
The Clippers led 69-30 at halftime.
3rd Quarter: The Clippers continued their torrid pace in the third, going on a 16-0 run midway through the quarter to increase their lead to 89-35.
Philadelphia finally responded with a 12-0 run against the Clippers’ second string.
4th Quarter: The game became a bit sloppy on both sides and the Sixers cut into the Clippers’ lead a little, but the game was well in hand by then.
Griffin, Paul, and DeAndre Jordan didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Paul had 7 points and 8 assists in 23 minutes, while Griffin once again led the Clippers with 26 points, along with 11 rebounds and 6 assists.
Wroten led Philadelphia with 21 points.
The Takeaway: The takeaway from this game is pretty obvious.
Although the Sixers’ inability to score tonight was a factor in the score, this game shows the possibilities for this Clippers team going forward.
What’s Next?: The Clippers will host the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in their final game before the All-Star break. The game will be televised on Prime Ticket and can be heard on the radio on KFWB 980 AM.