Lob City blows lead against league-worst Hornets
Lob City scored just 11 points in the fourth quarter, blowing a 13-point lead and losing to the New Orleans Hornets 97-90. The Clippers led most of the way, but eventually lost their lead early in the 4th quarter, during a stretch with starting point guard Chris Paul sitting on the bench. Paul had 16 points and 9 assists, but struggled from the floor (5-14 FGs, 1-5 3-PTs) and got in foul trouble late in the game. Playing only in spurts in the 4th, he had trouble hitting his shot and wasn’t the catalyst he has been late in the game this season.
Instead it was Hornets point guard Jarrett Jack who controlled the pace and helped his team passed Lob City. Jack, coming off a triple-double yesterday in Golden State, had 17 points in this one, to go along with 9 assists and 4 rebounds. Hornets center Chris Kaman proved why he is considered to be among the league’s toughest big men. He battled with Blake Griffin (21 points, 11 rebounds) and DeAndre Jordan (14 points, 9 rebounds) all night, finishing the game with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Scary play for Lob City star Blake Griffin
Lob City fans held their collective breath in the fourth quarter when Hornets big man Jason Smith crashed hard into Blake Griffin going to the basket:
Griffin was shaken up and took a few minutes to regain his composure as the officials checked the replay, but he was OK. Smith, who had been dominating Lob City at the time (17 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks), was correctly given a flagrant-2 and ejected.. Four Lob City Clippers led by Chris Paul followed Smith into the crowd after the play, but were group was broken up by officials and security before anything more serious could happen.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith is suspended, especially in light of what is going on right in town with the New Orleans Saints. It was a dangerous play, and Smith even delightfully rallied the Hornets crowd after his ejection. There’s no place in the NBA for players like this.
Coach Del Negro not helping his case in Lob City
The last 12 minutes were tough to watch tonight. Even Vinny Del Negro was caught looking bewildered as his team squandered the lead. They didn’t seem to have any cohesion for the entirety of the quarter, and given the intensity of the flagrant foul on Blake Griffin late in the fourth, you’d think they would fire back with some momentum and seize the chance to pull off a victory. Yet they remained flat and yet again lost a close one down the stretch. It’s their first three-game losing streak this season.
The worst sight tonight, though we are by now getting used to it, was Chris Paul sitting on the bench to open the 4th quarter. Sure, he had four fouls, but it was only a three-point game heading into the quarter. Now was the time to get your act together and take over the game. But with Paul on the bench, it was the Hornets starting line-up that was energized. They seized the lead early on in the quarter and never looked back.
Bad way to close out a three-game road trip.
Mo Williams injures toe
Mo Williams hurt his left toe in the fourth quarter and was carried off the floor by two teammates. Williams was moving without the ball on offense and came up limping. After committing a foul to stop the clock, he was helped off the floor and then into the locker room. The tests came back negative on a broken toe, but we are still waiting to hear the prognosis.