Clippers rout Magic amid pending roster moves, 118-98

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Clippers continued to make headlines with their most recent triumph over Orlando.

LOS ANGELES — Less than 24 hours ago the Clippers sent shock waves around the league by unofficially landing James Harden in a blockbuster trade.  

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on the anticipated trade late Monday night, thus sending NBA fans into a frenzy across social media.

Just a few hours after the announcement the Clippers faced the Orlando Magic, where they captured a 118-98 win.

Tuesday’s victory did not come easy, however, as a seemingly sluggish and fatigued Clippers offense struggled to stack points early on. 

Turning point: The fast-paced offense we’ve been seeing from the squad so far took a minute to warm its engine Wednesday. As a team, the Clippers jumped out in the first quarter going 0-11 from the field. 

Orlando kept control of the first half, leading 50-47 at halftime. Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined for 30 points in the third quarter to claim an established lead. The Clippers reached a 20-point lead in the fourth before fighting their way to the 118-98 win.

What it means: The Clippers advance to 3-1 and initiate their first win streak of the year. Their lone loss to the Utah Jazz came on the road, while the team remains undefeated at Arena this regular season (3-0).

Hits: George was the difference-maker for his LA squad against Orlando. He scored back-to-back three-pointers that capped off a 10-0 Clippers run in the third, and took his team from a 1-point advantage to a 10-point one. 

George finished the game at 8-17 from the field and 6-9 from deep to lead the team with 27 points. Fourteen of those points came in the third quarter alone.

Misses: Wednesday’s game misses took quite a literal meaning early in the game. For a Clippers team that has so far shown a quick tempo on offense, their otherwise slow start showed through. 

None of the stars (Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George) scored in the first quarter, combining for 0-11. As a team in the first quarter, the Clippers went 4-for-22 from the field and paired it with 6 turnovers. Not the ideal start for any team.
Up next: It’s back to business tomorrow for the squad as they visit the Lakers for their first back-to-back of the season on Wednesday. The matchup kicks off a four-game road tour with stops in New York City, Brooklyn and Dallas. Wednesday’s tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.