Playing without point guard Chris Paul the Los Angeles Clippers
demonstrated depth and resiliency in going 3-0 on the week, all at STAPLES Center
. The three game winning streak kept the Clippers a game up on the red hot Golden State Warriors for fourth place in the tough Western Conference. Los Angeles is four games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the top mark, and three games behind Portland and Oklahoma City who are in a tie for second place. The Clippers are in the midst of four days off before they host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. Following the Mavericks game the Clippers head off on the road.
Week Recap: The Clippers kicked off the week with a twenty point victory over the Orlando Magic behind a huge performance from DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers center had a massive stat line consisting of 14 points, 17 rebounds and 8 blocked shots. The big story, behind Jordan, was the performance of Darren Collison, filling in for Chris Paul. Collison scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half to put the game away. Wednesday night the Clippers welcomed in the gritty Boston Celtics, the first time Doc Rivers faced his former team in Los Angeles. Blake Griffin scored 29 and Jamal Crawford chipped in 26 to help the Clippers run their home record to 16-3 on the season and notch another victory without Chris Paul. Darren Collison was steady at the point again with 15 points and 6 assists in the win. The Clippers strong play continued Friday night in their 123-87 destruction of the struggling Lakers. The Clippers outscored the Lakers by 18 in the first quarter and then outscored the Lakers by 24 in the third quarter to win the game going away. JJ Redick returned, scoring 19 points, part of a huge performance from the Clippers starting unit. Blake Griffin had 33 points and 12 boards while Darren Collison scored 20 in the blowout victory. The Clippers held the Lakers to just 34 percent shooting and 21 turnovers in the impressive victory.
The Week Ahead: The Clippers host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night before heading off on what may be a season-defining seven game road trip. After hosting Dallas the Clippers round out the week with visits to the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers. New York has struggled most of the season but is coming off an impressive win over the Miami Heat. Indiana currently has the top record in basketball and play in one of the toughest home environments in the NBA. Indiana will be a major test for the Clippers and should serve as a solid litmus test for how good the Clippers are without Chris Paul. By:Chris Michaels
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