On Friday night the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the Toronto Raptors in their second meeting this season. In their first meeting, young star Terrence Ross scored 51 points, matching the franchise record, but the Raptors still fell short. The Raptors were coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Sacramento Kings 2 days ago. The Clippers were coming off a devastating loss to the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Clippers franchise player Blake Griffin scored his season high 43 points while being guarded by LeBron James. Friday’s game featured 2 all-stars, Blake Griffin and DeMar DeRozan, but the key matchup was Terence Ross vs. Matt Barnes. According to stats, when Terence Ross scores in double digits, the team is more likely to win.
Coach Dwane Casey told reporters the keys to victory are rebounding and limiting turnovers. As the game started the Clippers repeatedly went down low to Griffin in the post where he did some serious damage to the Raptors. Toronto responded by missing all four 3-pointers they took during the quarter. DeRozan ended Q1 with 10 points and Griffin had 19. In Q2, Ross exploded off the baseline with a thunderous dunk over Reggie Bullock. The play seemed to get the Raptors more into the game, but not for long, because Griffin would kill their buzz. Many parts of this game you would see Griffin guarding DeRozan and in his previous game he was guarding LeBron James.
To start the second half, the Clippers came out more energized. The home team was making 3-pointers and they were tossing alley-oops. On the other hand the Raptors seem to come out flat. Passes weren’t crisp, shots weren’t falling, and defense seemed lazy. Later on in the 3rd quarter the Raptors were able to pick it back up to outscore the Clippers 32-25. In the 4th, balanced team scoring was able to propel the Clippers over the Raptors for their 6th win in 10 games. The Clippers had 6 different players to score in double digits led by Blake Griffin’s 36 (13-18 from the field) point performance. DeRozan also had 36 points to go along with 8 assists and 17 made free throws. The key matchup was won by Los Angeles Clippers’ Matt Barnes for contributing 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Next game is on February 10, when the Raptors welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the Air Canada Centre.
PK Boateng is an enthusiastic participant in the “Success Beyond Limits” after-school education program at Westview Centennial Secondary School.