Clippers vs. Suns 12-23-12 Official Game Thread

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jarca
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The Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers aren't satisfied with setting a franchise record for consecutive wins.

Perhaps a victory in Phoenix would bring some satisfaction.

Los Angeles goes for a 13th consecutive victory on Sunday night when the Suns try to win their 11th in a row with the Clippers in town.

Los Angeles (20-6) has gone undefeated since a season-worst four-game skid and has broken a 38-year-old club record for consecutive wins. The Clippers set that mark - and matched Oklahoma City for the longest winning streak of the season - with Friday's 97-85 victory over Sacramento.

"It's very exciting, 12 in a row," Jamal Crawford, the NBA leader with 16.1 points per game off the bench, told the Clippers' official website. "We just have to keep the streak going, but not get over excited about it."

The Clippers have to be pleased with their effort on the defensive end. Los Angeles, the league leader with 10.7 steals per game, is giving up 88.2 points per contest and holding teams to 41.5 percent shooting since its last loss.

Included in that stretch is a 117-99 victory over Phoenix (11-16) on Dec. 8 when the Clippers forced the Suns into a season-worst 20 turnovers.

Los Angeles arrives in the desert with a franchise-record five-game road winning streak, yet it hasn't won at Phoenix since April 17, 2007.

The Suns were hoping to return home on a five-game winning streak, but their best run of the season ended Saturday with a 96-93 loss to Portland.

Phoenix was outrebounded by 13 and shot 17 fewer free throws than the Blazers, but it still had a chance in the final seconds to tie as Goran Dragic missed a 3-pointer. Shannon Brown also missed a short jumper as the Suns dropped their sixth straight on the road.

"We had an opportunity to go down, and I thought we could get a quick two with a timeout left,'' said coach Alvin Gentry, a former Clippers head coach. "Then we peeled off and started looking for a three, and just never got the timeout called.''

The Suns, though, return home where they've won a season-best four straight by an average of 11.3 points.

Phoenix is holding opponents to 89.5 points per game during this stretch.

The Clippers haven't reached 98 points in their last three contests, but they're still scoring 103.0 per game during their winning streak.

Los Angeles' bench is averaging 44.8 points, 19.2 rebounds and 10.8 assists since the team's last defeat.

The Clippers' reserves had 56 points on Dec. 8 - their second-most of the season - with Crawford scoring 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, Matt Barnes finishing with 13 and Eric Bledsoe chipping in with 10.

As much as the Clippers rely on their deep bench, expectations remain the highest on Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Griffin is averaging team highs of 19.8 points and 8.6 rebounds during the streak, while Paul is scoring 16.0 points with 9.3 assists.

"That's what All-Stars do," coach Vinny Del Negro said.

Griffin scored a team-high 24 points and grabbed eight boards on Dec. 8 and Paul notched his fourth straight double-double against Phoenix with 16 points and 11 assists.

Dragic, the team leader with 14.8 points per game, had a season-low eight points in that defeat.

Despite shooting a combined 40.6 percent, Los Angeles lost by just three in each of its two visits to Phoenix in 2011-12.

jarca
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i didnt see a game thread this morning, but there's one already then the mod can delete this thread.

Anyway, GSW and Memphis lost last night!

clipper*joe
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Thanks jarca! I freaking completely forgot about it. I blame the Mayans for that. lol

Voyeur
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Yeah I had mixed feelings about that. Glad GSW lost, not happy LAL won...I just don't want the Lakers to get a big streak of their own going.

Anyway, we're obviously a better team than the Suns. Yet, we haven't won there in a long time. I'm a little concerned that after 12 wins in a row, we'll let our guard down a little and lose focus...especially considering we looked a little lazy late in that last game.

But I'm hopeful our defense is becoming second nature to our team, like it's locked in.

Got my fingers crossed we'll keep winning!

pageC4
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Great news. Memphis losing gives us a nice cushion in case we drop one. SanAntonio now has dropped quite a few, so we could drop two and still be at the same record. Also, I like that the Warriors lost and that the Lakers won. I'm actually going to commit blasphemy and say that I am rooting for the Lakers to improve and get the seventh seed so we can meet them in the first round of the playoffs and beat them.

pageC4
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Voyeur wrote:
jarca wrote:
i didnt see a game thread this morning, but there's one already then the mod can delete this thread.

Anyway, GSW and Memphis lost last night!

Yeah I had mixed feelings about that. Glad GSW lost, not happy LAL won...I just don't want the Lakers to get a big streak of their own going.

Anyway, we're obviously a better team than the Suns. Yet, we haven't won there in a long time. I'm a little concerned that after 12 wins in a row, we'll let our guard down a little and lose focus...especially considering we looked a little lazy late in that last game.

But I'm hopeful our defense is becoming second nature to our team, like it's locked in.

Got my fingers crossed we'll keep winning!

Phoenix can potentially be a trap game, as long as we get this win and the game on christmas we will be ok.

clipper*joe
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I had mixed feelings about that game too. I found myself going back and forth but in the end, I'm glad GS lost. Between those 2 teams, it's the Warriors I am most worried about. I find solace in knowing that the Knicks play the Lakers next. They have a LOT of GOOD teams coming up before they hit their long road trip.

I feel a lot better having some breathing room than the Lakers' having a little lucky winning streak.

BG_32
Clipper 6th Man
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Feel a lot better about this one now than I did last night. Probably because of the huge minutes Brown, Gortat, Dudley and Dragic played last night.

But we'll see.

LotsoHope
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This game worries me. Clips haven't been that sharp offensively lately. While our D has gotten us wins, on the road against a team that's won 4 out of its last 5, I'd rather have us shooting better. Catching them on the wrong end of a road-home back to back certainly should help.

realbull17
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Lets get the 13 in a row. Wink

jarca
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Phoenix always worry me especially in their home court

ohMEohMy!
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The suns being at Portland the night before should help us too.

-GeoffClankinsDaddy-
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when was the last time we won in PHX? I'm so worried about this game. This is where I have the streak ending. Unfortunately. But if we win, I have the streak going 18+

-GeoffClankinsDaddy-
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when the **** is billups and hill playing?!

Keatonsays
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no timetable for Billups, Hill is expected to be back mid January.

BG_32
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Last win in Phoenix was April of '07, someone tell CP.

gman
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BG_32 wrote:
-GeoffClankinsDaddy- wrote:
when was the last time we won in PHX? I'm so worried about this game. This is where I have the streak ending. Unfortunately. But if we win, I have the streak going 18+

Last win in Phoenix was April of '07, someone tell CP.

im sure ralph already memtioned it to him.

team will be fine as long as the defense is good. most of our off comes from our defense and i suspect that the losing streak in phoenix ends today!

CP3Heliflopter
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That was when Phoenix was a decent-elite team though. They have gotten a lot worse this season. They are a lottery team. I am not worried.

I don't see how you can be more worried about the Suns than the Jazz at home.

pageC4
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Technically, we shouldnt need Billups and Hill. This streak has largely been built with them not in the lineup. My guess is that they will come back if another bad losing streak happens.

Clippersfan86
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Hill still being out is a joke. Dude has been out what 3 months from this bone bruise? Sure we don't "need" him but it's important to integrate him and Billups now, well before the playoffs start.

JahvonTheClip
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Maybe they want to be extra cautious cause hes old

ClipsGForce
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Geez 86, another hostile post right there. Come on he's an old guy and we're fine without him. Don't need to rush him.

tense2
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We have 3+ months before the PO's start...clam down. roll

tense2
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Suns 0-5 in BB.

Clippersfan86
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10 bucks says Green gets our team into a hole early. Why not just start Barnes, Bledsoe or Crawford!?

Keatonsays
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^ watching Willie Green play makes my stomach hurt lol

clipper*joe
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MY god, DJ is playing horribly. He hasn't done one positive thing yet. Most of the points that the Suns have is a direct, or indirect result of DJ.

Clippersfan86
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Green is scrappy and tries hard but he reminds me of a SG Gomes. The heart and hustle are there as is the great locker room attitude but he just can't help himself but to F up like 20 times a game. Constantly getting burned on D, bricks badly needed 3's. I mean we have 3 players behind him that are significantly better in Barnes, Bledsoe and Crawford. Hell I'd even bench Butler for Barnes and start Bled at SG. Once Billups and Hill are back they can go to bench and Hill+Billups should start.

Clippersfan86
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Yea DJ is close to deserving a benching too.

Keatonsays
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WHY IS BLAKE HESITATING AGAIN ????

Clippersfan86
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So Butler stays in with 2 fouls??

renshaibob
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Exactly!!!! Shoot the damn ball when your open.

Clippersfan86
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WTF DJ!!! Do you study game film? Yes let's leave Scola open for wide open 18 footers. Great idea! Bench this guy.

clipper*joe
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Jeezus christ! BG tells DJ to guard scola and in less than 2 seconds, DJ gives him a easy look!

CP3Best
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Look at the PoS that Butler is, 2 fouls 2 mins, and can't grab a ball that is coming at him.

Clippersfan86
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Wow DJ again ball watching. How about fu**ing playing defense?

renshaibob
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DJ needs to just stay with his jump hook and forget all that other stuff he trying to do

Keatonsays
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Dj is looking really bad tonight. He's been reverting back to old tendencies in these last 2 games.

renshaibob
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DJ needs to get pulled

clipper*joe
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Stupid! Get DJ out of there!

Clippersfan86
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Wow. DJ and Butler singlehandedly responsible for this. Even Green is off the hook right now.

clipper*joe
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DJ looking for the cheap block and lets Gortat have an easy shot on this BUM!

Clippersfan86
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I don't understand. You work on a jump hook only to forget how to play D? Dude has gotten schooled 4 times now purely by playing lazy ass defense. Love to see Odom send DJ and Caron's sorry asses to the bench. Vinny gets props for identifying the weak links and benching them.

Keatonsays
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Man Chris Paul is playing like how I use him on 2k. Absolutely beautiful basketball from him right now. Blake needs to stop hesitating with his jump shot. He's letting CP3, Clipper Nation and Barack Obama down with all this hesitation!

JahvonTheClip
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Man chris paul is such an offensive weapon it looks like he can score whenever he wants

tense2
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Chris shooting the 3 well the last 2 games.

Clippersfan86
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I say Odom+Barnes start in place of Butler and DJ for a few games and see if there is a big difference.

tense2
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No, it's been find so far this season.

renshaibob
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Damn, BG got to shoot

Battlegun
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Good to see Chris being aggressive to score. We are much more dangerous team.

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