Clippers Role Players Starting to Step-Up?
(Blake) Griffin and (Chris) Paul’s totals were the fifth-lowest the two have posted in a game this season and the lowest of any game all season where they both reached their season average for minutes. The other four games where Paul and Griffin scored 20, 23, 23 and 25 were all double-digit margin contests.
So how did the Clippers beat the Kings in a close game without their stars? Simple: Randy Foye, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe.
The perimeter trio combined to score 47 points on 50 percent shooting, tiding the Clippers over while Paul struggled through an awful shooting night and Griffin struggled with DeMarcus Cousins’ physicality. It’s not the most high-profile tandem, but all three have been effective at times this season. When they’re effective together — with Nick Young a possibility, too — the Clippers can afford less-than-stellar performances from their stars.
Of course, Thursday’s game was against Sacramento, one of the five or six worst teams in the NBA. But the Kings aren’t terrible at home — entering the game, they were above .500 at Power Balance Pavilion, with home wins against three probable playoff teams last month, and a home win over Oklahoma City the month before that.