PREGAME REPORT | FEBRUARY 11, 2013
Tipoff: 4:00 p.m. PST | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA | Game Notes »
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The Grammy’s are over and after two weeks, four losses, a number of injuries and the return of Chauncey Billups to the starting lineup, the Clippers (36-17) eight-game road trip finally comes to a close Monday night when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
The eight-game trip is the Clippers’ longest since the 2010-11 season when they went on a franchise-record 11-game odyssey that was split up by the All-Star break. A victory over the 76ers (22-27) on Monday night would secure a .500 record on the trip and make it the team’s third most successful “Grammy” trip since their first such trip in 2000.
LAST TIME OUT
Clippers 102, Knicks 88: The Clippers, and more importantly Paul, bounced back from a tough loss to the Miami Heat a couple of days prior. Paul erupted for 16 points and five assists in the first half and finished the game with 25 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals to lead the Clippers to victory despite Carmelo Anthony’s 42-point explosion.
Jamal Crawford added a team-high 27 points and Griffin notched his 21st double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
The Clippers held a 92-80 lead in the fourth quarter but the Knicks cut that in half with a 6-0 run capped off by a Raymond Felton layup in transition. But Paul would not allow a double-digit lead collapse under his watch as he penetrated from the right wing coming out of a timeout and hit a runner from the right elbow as he was fouled to put a halt to the Knicks surge. He converted the three-point play and the Clippers finished off the Knicks with a 10-2 run down the stretch.
76ers 87, Bobcats 76: The 76ers outscored the last-place Bobcats 49-39 in the second half to hand Charlotte their seventh consecutive loss. It was also Philadelphia’s fourth victory in their last five games. They are 5-2 on their current eight-game home stand that concludes Monday night against the Clippers.
Jrue Holiday continued his All-Star season with 20 points and seven assists in 39 minutes. Lavoy Allen added 14 points and a career-high 22 rebounds and Evan Turner chipped in with a double-double of his own, dropping in 16 points and 10 boards. As a team, the 76ers crushed the Bobcats on the glass, outrebounding them, 60-40.
Chris Paul vs. Jrue Holiday. This will be the first of two matchups between the point guards this week, who will likely draw an assignment on each other during Sunday’s All-Star Game in Houston.
Paul has gotten a view from the doghouse and the penthouse in his two games since returning from a bruised right kneecap. He erased an abysmal three-point performance in Miami with a game-changing outing against the Knicks on Sunday afternoon.
He played 19 minutes in Miami but increased his workload with 29 minutes against the Knicks. His amount of playing time will likely be a concern on the second game of a back-to-back.
Holiday received his first All-Star selection this year and it is no mystery as to why. He is second in the Eastern Conference in assists, averaging 8.8 dimes per game. Along with being the team’s main distributor, Holiday also leads the 76ers in scoring at 19.3 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points in three of his last five games and 19 times overall, leading to an 11-8 record for the team in those games.
TWO THINGS TO WATCH
It’s The Law: “Lawler’s Law” has been very good to the Clippers this season. After beating the Knicks, they are 22-1 this season when reaching the century mark before their opponents.
But the 76ers defense has been stingy in the last two weeks. They have not allowed an opponent to score 100 points or more since Jan. 28, a 103-100 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies which was also their first defeat during their current home stand. They are holding the opposition to 81.7 points per game in the past seven outings and have held opponents to 80 points or fewer in four of those games.
Overall, the 76ers are 4-14 when an opponent scores 100 or more.
Locking It Down Defensively: The 76ers don’t boast one of the most electric offenses in the league but they make up for it with their effort on the other end of the floor.
They are top-5 in the Eastern Conference, allowing opponents to score 95.2 points a game. The Clippers are no slouches themselves, ranking second in the Western Conference allowing 93.6 points per game, behind only the Memphis Grizzlies who are statistically the best defensive team in the NBA.
An area that could swing the outcome of the game will be second-chance points. The Clippers are ranked in the top-10 in the NBA in capitalizing on second opportunities but the 76ers do an excellent job at restricting those chances, allowing opponents 12.3 second chance points a game, good for third-best in the NBA.
Thaddeus Young (left hamstring strain), Andrew Bynum (bilateral knee bone bruises) and Jason Richardson (left knee synovitis, out for the season) will not play for the 76ers… Following Monday night’s game, the Clippers will have travelled approximately 7,586 miles during their road trip… The Clippers have beaten the 76ers in three of their last five meetings after losing four straight.
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