The day after they were defeated by the greatest shooter in NBA history, the Clippers’ attempts to return to service were derailed on Monday by an even more dangerous offensive weapon.
The New Orleans center made one three in his first five seasons before turning into a capable, if not rewarding, strong player in the second half of his career, but against the Clippers this season, and in particular on Monday, he finished second to Stephen Curry. – Half a day ago at the Staples Center look clearly ineffective.
Less than two weeks after scoring five three-pointers over the Clippers, Valanciunas hit his first seven three-pointers on Monday to envision a secondary league defense on his way to 39 points, 15 rebounds and a shot. 123-104 Pelicans win.
He is the only player in NBA history to complete a game with at least seven three-pointers and seven offensive rebounds in a single game. In the 66-second section of the first half, Valanciunas made three three-pointers, causing groans in the arena, and increased the Pelicans’ lead to 21.
It was a sharp first-half finale that started off so promising for the Clippers – just as the team started November with seven straight wins and ended with six losses in their last nine games.
In those challenging two weeks, the Clippers (11-10) averaged 18 points less per game than during their streak, while scoring eight percentage points worse.
Clippers star Paul George, with 27 points, described team exhaustion and lack of training time as his recent lack of brilliance. The Clippers played without Nicholas Batum, who missed his fifth game on the NBA’s coronavirus-related health and safety protocols, and Marcus Morris Sr., who was resting back-to-back on his second night in what coach Tyrone Lou called. a precaution against playing too many minutes too early after he came back from a stubborn knee.
But some of what George called them “kryptonite” continues to happen, even though there were a lot of veteran players returning from the veteran squad last season. They were punished with protective glass and their own losses.
“This is not the time to panic,” said George. “We know that we are not playing very well, but all this is due to our losses, starting with me. We take it away, we give ourselves a chance. “
The Clippers scored in their first five possessions, and the most promising development of the evening was top-scoring center Serge Ibaka since returning from the G League last week when he made three of his first four three-pointers with 13 points. The Clippers overall shot 51%, their best scoring night since November 13, and 38% from three-point arc, but there were ominous signs as New Orleans (6-17) matched them shot by shot with seven of their shots. … the first eight hits from the field, and did not slow down after the attack of Valanciunas.
“We were going to have a bad game on the defensive,” Liu said.
The Clippers have lost 14 points on second chances, 16 points in transition and 34 points in paint with 15 turns of the ball.
Since Monday, the team has completed 20 or more assists 43 times in a single game this season. The Clippers owned four of these performances; only Minnesota had more. Only the seriously recovered Houston Rockets have brought the ball into play more consistently than the Clippers in November.
“Offensively, they had the right intention to move the basketball and play in the right way,” Liu said. “We just couldn’t stop them.”
Reggie Jackson scored 19 points after Sunday’s scoreless. The Clippers cut their deficit to nine at the end of the third quarter, the first time they were single digits since four minutes were left in the first quarter, only to see the pelicans, reserve Garrett Temple, sink a three-pointer. in the third quarter buzzer. … Clippers Wing Terence Mann returned to his bunch, clutching his head and shouting curses.
After the free throw, jumper and three-pointer George, the Clippers were three times late for the eight, but the rally was never continued. The game almost ended with four minutes before the most suitable game when Eric Bledsoe casually threw an erroneous pass into his backcourt. The turnover was picked up by Valanciunas, who rushed forward with a crash for the dunk.