The Clippers are off to a 4-0 start for the fourth time in franchise history as they beat the Phoenix Suns for the eighth straight time on Monday, November 2 at the Staples Center. “It’s good to start the season like this,” center DeAndre Jordan said. “Four – and- 0 is a pretty good start. But we’ve got to be able to keep it going and improve with every game, find out which rotations work the best and which units work the best.”
Forward Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Point Guard Chris Paul finished the night with 17 points and five assists. But it was a night when the reserves stepped up and provided the team with a much needed lift helping the Clippers to end the first half on a 24-5 run with 15 straight points while Griffin and Paul were on the bench. Wesley Johnson scored nine points with three rebounds; Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 11 points, with Austin Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Josh Smith adding seven points each. “I thought our bench won the game tonight and turned the game around with their energy,” coach Doc Rivers said. “They came in during the first half when we were struggling and came out with a seven-point lead. But I just want one game where both units play well at the same time.”
The Clippers made 20 of 23 free throws to the Suns’ 15 of 21 and outshot the Suns from the field, 45.1% to 36.7%. Both clubs failed to gain any traction in the three-point shooting, misfiring on 13 of 15 shots.
Forward Markieff Morris led the Suns (2-2) with 19 points and eight rebounds, while center Tyson Chandler followed with 14 points and 17 rebounds, a game high for Chandler. Former Clipper point guard Eric Bledsoe contributed 16 points and seven assists for the Suns while Brandon Knight added 12 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. “In the first half, we had open looks and just weren’t making any shots,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We came out in the second half and started making shots. We got back in the game, and it was a battle after that.”
The Clippers travel to Oakland on Wednesday, November 4 to face the Golden State Warriors.