J.J. Redick Lifts Los Angeles Clippers Past Portland
It was a game of ups-and-downs for both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers, who had their Thursday night game decided in the final seconds. In the end, the Clippers rose victorious with a 21-foot jumper by J.J. Redick, which put his team up 96-94 with one second remaining in the fourth quarter.
A match-up between two playoff contenders is bound to be exciting. With their first three meetings this season being decided by 10 points or more, neither team was ready to give this one up. Their first meeting was a 11-point victory for the Trail Blazers, who beat LA 102-91 behind Damian Lillard’s 27 points. However, the next two meetings were given to the Los Angeles Clippers, winning 102-87 on November 30th and 109-98 on January 6th.
In their final meeting, the Portland Trail Blazers got off to an early lead. The first quarter ended with a 3-point lead in Portland’s favor. However, the second quarter was owned by the Clippers, as they outscored Portland 28-18 to take a 46-39 lead at the half.
Knowing they needed to step their game up, Portland responded well in the third quarter. Outscoring the Clippers 26-19, behind a stingy offense, the Trail Blazers managed to tie the game up heading into the fourth quarter.
Crazy Fourth Quarter
After going back-and-forth the entire fourth quarter, the two teams were tied with 42 seconds left in the game, following two made free-throws by Chris Paul. That prompted a sense of urgency from Damian Lillard, who drilled a 25-foot three pointer 19-seconds later. With the shot clock off, the Los Angeles Clippers gave the ball to Jamal Crawford, who nailed a 29-foot three pointer. The game was tied at 94 with 11 seconds remaining.
After a 20-second timeout, Portland was ready for one more shot at the win. Given a layup, Maurice Harkless failed to convert, leading to a defensive rebound by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute with one second left in the game. With a shot of desperation, J.J. Redick, who had just entered the game, put up a 21-foot jumper that found the bottom of the net.
In a game that had fans, from both sides, on the edge of their seat the entire game, the Los Angeles Clippers found a way to rise atop. Chris Paul led the way with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and one steal. DeAndre Jordan chipped in with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 3 steals.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum had impressive games for the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard posted 18 points, 3 rebounds and 8 assists, while McCollum chipped in with 17 points, 6 assists and 3 steals.
The Blazers will look to bounce back in their next matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, while the Los Angeles Clippers will look to keep the momentum strong against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.