Clippers struggle late against 76ers in a 121-107 loss

Henry Tran - The Sporting Tribune
James Harden didn't get his revenge against the Sixers in Sunday's matinee game.

LOS ANGLES — James Harden faced his former club for the first time as a Clipper Sunday afternoon. While most probably thought the game would go his way with an absent and injured Joel Embiid, it was the Sixers that came out on top.

Now the Clippers find themselves 8-9  since the All Star game with New Orleans nipping at their heels for the fourth-seed spot in the Western Conference.

Harden scored 12 points and collected 14 assists Sunday afternoon in his newfound home arena. On the season, he’s averaged 17 points and 8 assists.

Turning point: Philadelphia jumped out the gates on an early lead behind 19 points from Tobias Harris. The 76ers had the 17-point advantage in the second half and despite LA gaining some momentum, Philadelphia led 63-56 at halftime.

The Sixers kept their lead into the fourth quarter with five points up on LA.

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue called a timeout with 9 minutes and 25 seconds remaining with his team down 96-85. Even then, the Clippers had no solutions and lost the game 121-107. Several turnovers and fouls prevented any chance of a Clippers comeback in the final period, and Philadelphia walked out of with the win.

What it means: With Sunday’s afternoon loss, the Clippers snapped their two-game win streak. LA also fell to 22-12 on the season at Arena. According to Law Murray of the Athletic, matinee action doesn’t help that record. Murray reported that the  Clippers are currently 4-7 on Sundays this season, the most losses than any other day of the week for the team.

The team has just three weeks left in the regular season to create some distance between themselves and the Pelicans in the standings.

Misses: Outside of a close to fully healthy roster, LA’s biggest miss came early on in the game. Despite having Saturday night off and the home-court advantage, the Clippers allowed 20-28 made shots from Philadelphia in the first half. That created a 17-point rut for LA.

Stat of the game: Despite struggling to lead for much of the game, Paul George helped lead LA to the near point of a comeback. He sank all of his 3-point tries thus far in the third quarter to keep LA in the game. 

George also passed Jamal Crawford for eleventh in the league’s all-time three-pointers made list in that period. He now has 2,222 career three-pointers.

Up next: The Clippers return to Arena as early as tomorrow night for a bout against the Indiana Pacers. Then, the LA team will head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers for an early rematch. That game will take place Wednesday, March 27.