The LA Clippers looked like themselves again in the win versus Cleveland yesterday. Kawhi Leonard, Ivica Zubac, and Patrick Beverley all played amazing.
FINALLY. The LA Clippers put together a complete game last night, trouncing the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-103. The Clippers came out of the gate firing early and this one never felt in question.
Kawhi Leonard was a flamethrower, coming just two points shy of tying his career-high. His 43 points were extremely efficient. He was 14 of 22 from the field (64%) and went 6 of 10 from deep. He also knocked down 9 of his 10 attempts from the charity stripe. 26 of his 43 came in the first half but there were no signs of him slowing down in the second. Had there been a need for him to play fourth-quarter minutes, Kawhi could have easily gone for 60 points.
Equally impressive was Ivica Zubac who managed to play almost 25 minutes, well above his season average. An increase in Zu’s minutes is something all of Clipper Nation has been asking for, so to see him do well in an expanded role was great justification. He finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, but it was his rim protection that was most impressive, swatting four shots.
In certain matchups, Zubac is the better choice over Montrezl Harrell. Yes, Trezz is a better offensive threat but on certain nights he just can’t handle the size that opponents throw at him. It’s an odd dynamic but surely Doc will find the right balance at some point.
The other standout was Patrick Beverley. He came out fully energized with six points, four rebounds and four assists in the first quarter alone. He finished the game three rebounds and one assist shy of his first career triple-double.
While those three were the main highlights, it was a full team effort. Six players scored double figures including Lou Williams who scored 24 points off the bench and Landry Shamet who started to find his shot. He finished just 4 of 11 from deep but it was very apparent from the tip that Doc Rivers was running sets just to get him going.
Landry should be able to shoot himself out of his recent slump and when he does, teams are going to be petrified to see him coming off screens while Paul George or Kawhi Leonard has the ball.
The Clippers face Orlando on Thursday to take on the Magic before beginning a six-game road trip with the sixth being “at” the Lakers.