Clippers

Clippers clamp down on defense, take down Raptors 96-91

Photo courtesy of @ChristianDudleyTwitter feed

LOS ANGELES — The Toronto Raptors led by seven points early in the fourth quarter, but the Los Angeles Clippers rallied late to snap Toronto’s six-game winning streak and take the win, 96-91. 

“Yeah, we talked about it at halftime, [playing hard] has got to be one of our talents right now,” Doc Rivers said after the game. “Teams have so much talent, but even with all the guys out, you can’t account for a team that’s going to play hard, and I thought that’s what we did all game. I thought we scrapped, we played hard, we got the loose balls, we got the 50/50 game, we took charges, we created turnovers, got baskets, and that’s who we have to be right now, and our guys have bought into it.”

For the Clippers it was Montrezl Harrell who ended up as the x-factor. His 17 points in 16 minutes off the bench were crucial, especially given the lack of options when it comes to offensive production. 

“He came out with so much energy, was super aggressive and just came with the right mindset on both ends of the floor,” DeAndre Jordan said of Harrell’s play. “He got our motor going so he was definitely the MVP of the game tonight, and I think he won the game for us tonight.”

The Raptors, one of the league’s most potent offenses, put up 30 points in the opening quarter before the Clippers decided to get serious on that side of the ball. By the end of the game, Toronto shot just 40 percent from the field, just 24.1 percent from beyond the arc, and scored just 61 points in the final three quarters of the game. 

“I think it was a team effort to make it tough for Kyle [Lowry], DeMar [DeRozan] and those guys to get it going,” said Jordan. “Serge[Ibaka]is also one of their X-factors, so we tried to do a really good job on everybody, and we knew we wouldn’t be able to take everything away, but we took away a lot of things when we figured we had the chance. Our second unit really won us the game tonight.”

The Clippers hit the road for a matchup with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

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Rohit Ghosh

LA Clippers beat writer
Rohit is an L.A.-based sports journalist who contributes to SB Nation's Silver Screen and Roll, AccuScore, and the Taxi Squad Show based out of Utah. He also runs his own sports blog, Metta Chronicles. Follow him on Twitter @RohitGhosh where he discusses AccuScore projection data, a variety of sports-related topics, and even some Jazz music.
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