Lue cheers Clippers comeback in Minnesota
The Los Angeles Clippers trailed the Minnesota Timberwolves by 20 but still managed to win by 20 Friday, much to the relief of coach Tyronn Lue.
The Los Angeles Clippers found themselves trailing by 20 points at one point during Friday's game at the Minnesota Timberwolves and with their star player missing 80% of his shots, yet they still managed to run away with their third straight victory.
Clippers bounce back
Confidence is growing for a team that started the season in a 1-4 slump, and Friday's stunning 104-84 defeat of the Timberwolves was the latest building block. The Clippers outscored Minnesota 57-27 after half-time, the fewest points by any team in a half so far this season, as they became the fourth team in the last 25 years to trail by 20 before winning by 20.
"To be down 20 on the road and come back and win by 20, just shows a lot about our team – about our character, our resilience, not giving up," Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. "We could’ve easily gave in by winning Wednesday’s game and kind of giving into this game, but our guys kept fighting and kept competing, and that’s what you love to see."
On the heels of a 126-115 win in Minnesota on Wednesday, the Clippers got by on a poor shooting night by making sure the Timberwolves shot even worse. Los Angeles limited the home team to 34.8% shooting from the field, including a stunning 17 of 52 (32.7 per cent) showing from three-point range, while out-rebounding Minnesota 62-42 and forcing 21 turnovers. In a normal game, stats like that would have produced a far more lopsided win, but the Clippers needed every bit of that defending Friday.
Paul George made just four of 20 from the field and the Clippers knocked down only six of 28 shots from three-point range (21.4 per cent). George and his team-mates ended up doing most of their damage from the free-throw line, where they had 32 attempts to Minnesota's seven. George made 13 of 14 from the line to account for the bulk of his 21 points. "My guys, they get all the credit tonight," George said. "They kept us alive, they kept me going, it was a group effort."
Reggie Jackson added 20 points and Ivica Zubac contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles. "I thought Big Zu was a force down low in the paint tonight," Lue said. "I thought Zu was phenomenal."
The Clippers (4-4) return home to face the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.