Clippers have great bounce back game, beat Spurs 123-83

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Physicality, efficiency, and disruption lead to a Clipper blowout of Spurs in Wembanyama's Los Angeles debut.

LOS ANGELES — The Clippers mantra this season has been “Give No Quarter” and Sunday night they achieved a full game of that. From start to finish, it was pure domination of the Spurs on the side of the Clippers, with a 40 point blowout that rested the starters for the entirety of the 4th quarter. 

From the opening tip it seemed this team had an edge to them after a disappointing loss in Utah a few nights before. While many on the team took it personally and seemed unusually disappointed so early in the season, they came out with a different type of energy back home. 

Paul George has had it cooking as of late, not just on offense, but defense as well, tallying five steals in the first quarter alone, the most he has had in a quarter ever.

That set the tone for the night, as the Clippers defense was swarming San Antonio and making life for Victor Wembanyama very difficult. Wembanyama finished with only 11 points in total due to a rotation of Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac, Kawhi Leonard and Robert Covington. That group of four was very physical with Wembanyama and seemed to cause a lot of frustration and ball movement from a young Spurs team. 

Every Clipper starter finished with a positive +/- on the stat sheet and even though the point totals weren’t even in the mid to high 20’s, there was a pure balanced effort on the offensive end to sustain an efficient lead and eventually close out the game after going up by as much as 30 in the third quarter.

Here are my three takeaways:

Physicality Was the Focal Point 

Like I mentioned previously, it seemed as if the gist of the game plan was to be physical with Victor Wembanyama, destroy the Spurs on the boards, and not let them get into their actions smoothly. 

All three points were hit in my opinion, as the Clippers forced 15 turnovers, allowed only one offensive rebound, and let the Spurs create only 18 points in the paint for a 38.5% field goal percentage. This is exactly the type of defense this team is capable of, and although a lackluster showing in Utah was disappointing, their two games at home have been sensational on that end. 

Paul George Looks Fantastic   

He said he would be on his “bully sh–” this year in the off-season and boy does it look like he is living up to that phrase. George is averaging 27.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, shooting 54.9% FG and 39.1% 3FG. The most impressive thing about this crazy statline is the +/-, which is at +50 for the season amongst his teammates for the best in the NBA. George was a main reason why the Clippers were in the game in Utah and in both home games, he has looked cool, calm, and collected with a mentality that I haven’t seen from him since the 2021 playoffs. 

As we all know, in the 2021 playoffs, George led the Clippers to a Western Conference Finals berth after Kawhi Leonard tore his ACL. If we are getting a version that is better than that 2021 Paul George, then health is the only thing that can stand in the way of him getting another All-Star nod this year. 

Terance Mann On the Mend

Mann was named the fifth starter before the season began and unfortunately suffered a sprained ankle at practice shortly before the first game. That then caused the Clippers to reshuffle the starting five and insert Robert Covington, who has been fantastic in that spot. 

But Terance Mann is still an essential part of this team and a connector that every title contending team needs. While he was in a walking boot for around a week, he is now out of said boot and feeling better and better, according to reports. While his status for this upcoming week, which includes a back-to-back, is up in the air, there are signs that point to him making his season debut soon. 

Mann is going to help in a variety of ways, but having an extra slasher, rebounder, and mid-range player is going to be a big add for a Clipper team that needs all the reinforcements it can get in this loaded NBA…

The Clippers stay home as they take on the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM PST on Halloween Night.