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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Arguably one of the greatest NBA game of all time occurred during the 1976 showdown in the final match of the NBA championship between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns. The first overtime ended with Paul Silas (Celtics) attempting to signal an unauthorized timeout subsequently ignored by referee Richie Powers ending the period tied. At the end of the second overtime, the Suns scored to take a one-point lead with only four seconds to the buzzer. John Havlicek sprinted down the floor and sunk a fifteen-foot jumper to put the Celtics up by one, bringing hundreds of fans to the floor in celebration; the game, however, was not yet over. With one second restored to the clock, Paul Westphal (Phoenix) requested an ineligible timeout resulting in a technical foul. The Celtics scored, moving to a two-point lead, but the Suns with ball at half-court scored on a Gar Heard jumper to tie. The stunned Garden crowd went silent. Glenn McDonald, Celtic reserve, scored six points in the final period to bring home a 128-126 win for Boston.
One game previous to this Celtic win was a dynasty defeat in 1958 NBA championship final competition which ended a decade long run by the infamous Boston club. The St. Louis Hawks, whose 6’9” power forward Bob Petit, scored 50 points, 19 of which were in the final team 21 as they steam-rolled over Boston with a last minute tip-in leaving fifteen seconds on the clock in a 110-109 Cinderella win.
A game just four years later marked the astonishing feat by Bill Russell in the final contest of the 1962 NBA championship season whose 30 points and 40 rebounds led the Boston Celtics to a 110-107 defeat over the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.
The 1980 6th game of the NBA finals comes on the heels of this competition with rookie Magic Johnson suiting for injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At halftime, the Lakers and the 76ers were tied at 60-60. The Lakers came out explosive in the third quarter firing fourteen unanswered points and stunning the Spectrum crowd as Johnson commanded the boards with 42 points. He was, however, overshadowed by Jamaal Wilkes who scored 25 of his 37 in the second half.
An awesome spectacle by Michael Jordan occurred in the 1986 NBA first round playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics in which the Bulls fell to the Celtics 135-131. Jordan, in a his one-man show at Boston Gardens, made it into the annals of NBA history with an awesome display which included fade-away jumpers and signature flying dunks to drop 63 points for the Bulls effort that included 19 of 21 free throws and 22 of 41 field shots.