LOS ANGELES — Former LA Clippers guard J.J. Redick returned to Staples Center since leaving in free agency. Despite going 1-of-7 from the three point line, his one made basket helped the Philadelphia 76ers rally late in the fourth quarter and hand the Clippers their sixth straight loss on Monday, 109-105.
Before the game, head coach Doc Rivers reflected the three-year run he he had with Redick.
“JJ was the first guy that I went after (as a general manager) and I thought what we saw in him, he ended up doing,” Rivers said. “His career took off here and we put him in great positions and he took advantage of it. He was terrific. I thought he was far more than just a shooter. People gave him credit for making shots.”
Redick finished the game with 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting and three free throws. His one three-pointer came with 2:11 left in the game to help chip away at the Clippers’ small lead.
A rebound followed by a cutting layup by Joel Embid tied the game with 1:40 remaining and a three point basket by Robert Covington kept Philadelphia on top for the remainder of the game.
Embid and Covington each finished the game with over 30 points. Embid led the Sixers with a game high 16 rebounds for the double-double. The two bigs got started early with a combined 21 points in the first quarter to give the Sixers a 36-28 first quarter lead.
Back-to-back dunks by Ben Simmons capped off an 11-0 run for Philadelphia early in the game. Simmons finished the game with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Rivers said it’s hard to guard a point guard of Simmons’ size and knows, “it’s gonna get worse.”
Rivers said Simmons reminds him of Rajon Rondo in the pick-and-rolls.
Blake Griffin scored 16 of the Clippers’ 25 points in the second quarter to cut the first half deficit to make it a 55-53 game at halftime. Griffin kept his hot streak going with eight points in the third quarter to give the Clippers a 79-77 lead.
The Clippers were down as many as nine points in the middle of the period. A 14-2 run gave the Clippers their first lead of the game. Williams took over for the Clippers in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 of his team high 31 points.
The Clippers have been dealing with injuries for most of the young season. Despite the long slump, Rivers said there is no stress with the team right now and his best player knows it can turn quickly once they’re at full strength.
“You just have to understand it’s a long season,” Griffin said. “We’re banged up right now. Couple of wins will turn that around. I’ve been in this long enough to know that.”
However, when asked at one point does a streak of this magnitude becomes concerning to Blake Griffin, he answered, “The first game.”
This article was written by Tony Capobianco.
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