LOS ANGELES — The LA Clippers almost blew a 16-point lead, but managed to hold on for a 105-98 win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night. Tobias Harris led the way with 19 points, and DeAndre Jordan finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
“We lost our rhythm. I thought we lost it with five minutes left in the second[quarter], we got out to such a great start moving the ball, attacking, and then we just got stagnant,” head coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “I thought we were holding the ball, we stopped going downhill, we stopped driving the ball, and we lost our rhythm offensively and that’s okay and that’s what I told our team, but you can’t lose your effort defensively. That doesn’t happen to us often, but I thought our offense dictated how we played defense tonight for most of the game, and when that happens, you’re playing with fire.”
Heading into Wednesday’s slate of games, the Clippers were one game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 8 spot in the western conference. Eight games remain in the regular season.
The Clippers are 10-1 in their last 11 games against Eastern Conference teams, and have won 14 of the last 17 against the East.
“We’re focused right now as much as I’ve ever seen,” said Austin Rivers. “We look at each game like it’s the last game. We don’t have too much room for error.”
“There were too many turnovers,” guard Eric Bledsoe said after the game, when asked about the fourth quarter. “It was my fault, I have to take care of the ball, even though they [Clippers] were going on their run, we have to get good quality shots.”
The Clippers have a back-to-back on Wednesday on the road against the Phoenix Suns.