Clippers edge past Trail Blazers, 136-125

The Clippers completed a regular season sweep against the Portland Trail Blazers.

LOS ANGELES – After trailing in the first half, the Clippers went on to add 45 points in the third quarter and defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 136-125.

So what was said at halftime to force such a dire push in the second half? 

“A lot of cussing,” said Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue, who knows his team cannot afford a spot in the play-in tournament. 

Lue went on to add that no players will sit out tomorrow in the team’s final game against the Phoenix Suns.

If the Clippers win against the Suns on Sunday, they will claim the fifth seed in the Western Conference. If they lose and the Pelicans beat the Timberwolves, who play at the same time, then the Clippers will drop to the seventh seed.

“We have to win a game. That’s the focus,” stated Kawhi Leonard.

His teammate Norman Powell pushed that importance even further adding, “This is a time where nothing else matters, and everyone understands that.”

Turning point: The Clippers gave a lot of leeway to Portland with their lackadaisical defense in the first half. The Trail Blazers scored 70 points on 58% shooting and led by six at the half.

The Clippers managed to turn a six-point deficit into a 13-point lead after adding 45 points in the third, a season-high quarter for the team. With help from the third string, the Clippers held onto the lead and closed out the game, 136-125. 

What it means: The Clippers (43-38) initiated their final streak of the season with Saturday’s win and are now tied with the Golden State Warriors (43-38) for the fifth seed. The Clippers ended their season’s home schedule 23-18.

Hits: Leonard led the charge against the Blazers with 27 points, 13 of those coming in the third quarter. Ivica Zubac reached 400 career blocks while posting 14 points and 10 rebounds for his 27th double-double.

Misses: Paul George and Marcus Morris Sr. were out on Saturday. George has been exercising and was upgraded to improved, but still lacks a timetable on his return.

Stat of the game: Nicolas Batum grabbed his 5,000th rebound to become just one of 11 active NBA players with 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, and 3,000 assists.

Up next: The Clippers have a quick turnaround with the chance to end their season on a high note in Phoenix against the Suns on Sunday. The last bout between the two teams in February saw the Clippers capture a 116-107 win. George and Terance Mann led in scoring against the Suns with 26 points each, but now George won’t be seeing any playing time in his team’s last regular season matchup. The Suns lead in the series with the Clippers 2-1.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x