The Los Angeles Clippers were well known as being named “Lob City” when they had former stars like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
This year, they have taking a liking to a new name they’ve quickly earned in the 2018 season which is “Clamp City”, as their stifling defense was surely on display once again Sunday night when Los Angeles (4-2) routed the Washington Wizards (1-5) 136-104 at Staples Center.
“As a team, we want to not only be known as an offensive team in the West, but a defensive team as well,” said Clippers Avery Bradley who finished with 15 points on 50 percent shooting. “We know defense wins’ games, and that’s our mentality going into games.”
Tobias Harris scored 22 points to lead nine players in double-figures for the Clippers, only two days after Los Angeles bench set a franchise record with 85 points against the Houston Rockets.
“It was because of our defense,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said on holding the Wizards to a season-low in points. “Everybody’s excited about the offense, but it’s the defense that does the dirty work and allows everybody to score.”
Washington hung around early on in the game, as their deficit was only eight points after the first quarter, (20-28).
However, in the second period, the Wizards were outscored 41-34, as Los Angeles made 5-of-6 three-point baskets compared to Washington shooting 33.3 percent behind the arc on 1-of-3 attempts.
In comparison, the Wizards missed 22 of their 27 attempts from the three-point line and shot 39.2 percent from the field, while Los Angeles tallied 35 assists and shot 55.2 percent from three (16-for-29).
Los Angeles bench was phenomenal once again, as they threatened to break their previous record Friday, but nonetheless, still managed to boast 73 points on the night.
Lou Williams led the second unit 17 points, while Boban Marjanovic and Montrezl Harrell both chipped in with 13 points each, respectively.
Clippers rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander boasted an impressive stat line of 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 28 minutes of play off the bench.
“I feel like I’m getting more comfortable each and every game,” said Gilgeous-Alexander.
“That’s gonna happen as the season goes on and as the chemistry gets better with the guys out there.”
Former Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers made his first return to Staples Center since the June trade that sent Marcin Gortat to the Clippers in exchange for Rivers.
However, with the result of the score, Rivers return wasn’t pleasant to say the least, due to his team’s defensive efforts against Los Angeles.
“Our defense was horrendous. I don’t know how we expect to win,” added Rivers who scored nine points 3-of-6 shooting.
“Teams are just walking into the paint, making layups, getting open threes. It just comes from effort and talking. You’ve just got to have personal pride. You’ve got to get mad when somebody scores on you. They’re not the Golden State [Warriors].”
John Wall finished with 18 points on 8-for-20 shooting, while Bradley Beal scored 20 points on 8-for-16 shots.
Both players remained on the bench for the final 12 minutes of play; due to the score being 97-77 in favor of Los Angeles through three quarters.
“It’s just heart and pride,” said Wall.
“Guarding your man one on one is really the main key. We gotta do a better job of switching.”