The Clippers steamrolled the Suns in a 120-99 rout improving their overall record to 21-8, with a nearly perfect home record of 14-1.
Both two-way forwards acquired in the offseason led the way for the Clippers in the contest against Phoenix. Paul George finished with 24 points and Kawhi Leonard tallied 20 points as the two led the way in scoring.
Locked in defensively all game the Clippers held the Suns to 40% shooting and 28% shooting from three-point land. The offseason talk centered around the defensive prowess the Clippers possess. Approaching 30 games, along with the team becoming healthy, the offseason talk is coming into fruition.
“It is just coming on, we played a lot of zone in the second half. They played last night, they didn’t have [Devin] Booker, he is their best scorer, so it was pretty tough on them tonight. We knew that and took advantage of it,” said Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers about the defensive intensity in the second half.
“I think we have shown on occasion that we are a unit that is locked in defensively. We have shown that we have had flashes. It is all about consistency and finding that and continuing it out. Again, we are not where we want to be, but we show flashes and if we see where we can be and the potential, we will get there,” said Paul George.
Less than a minute into the game Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr set the tone early for his team. Oubre caught the ball on the block, spun off of Patrick Beverley, and flushed the hammer dunk home on Paul George, briefly staring down George before trotting back on the defensive end.
Patience paid off for Paul George with his revenge coming in the second quarter with 2:55 left to play in the half, stealing the pass attempt from Oubre Jr at mid-court and throwing down the hard transition dunk on Oubre Jr, with of course George giving a stare down of his own following the play.
The Clippers entered halftime leading 54-44. Coming out of the break Lou Williams offense had awoken drilling 17 of 20 points in the second half nailing four three-pointers.
Lou Williams, sixth man of the year candidate, is cool, calm, and collected on the court. He has been a consistent solid scoring presence along with Montrezl Harrell off the bench for LA and even chipped in on the playmaking end with eight assists.
“I blank out. Literally, if the crowd is chanting or saying anything I try to hear none of it. When that is happening my thing is just to keep putting numbers on the board, make a shot, just keep going and keep going so that is probably why my face is always blank and not emotional because I am blanking everything,” said Lou Williams.
Following the game, when asked which Clipper shined and played the best answer was easy for Phoenix Suns Head Coach Monty Williams.
“Lou Williams. He’s just a stud. He and [Montrezl] Harrell. Having those two guys come off the bench, not many teams have that kind of weaponry coming off the bench that can just make shots on anybody and anywhere. His ability to make threes and and-ones. Getting to the free throw line is just uncanny.”
The Clippers will host the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on Thursday, December 19th for a national televised showdown featuring two star studded teams in the West.