Red-hot Clippers in striking distance of record first half

Los Angeles Clippers v Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Clippers v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

After defeating the Detroit Pistons on Friday night at Little Caesars Arena, the LA Clippers are an outstanding 24-6 over their last 30 games. Aided by the All-Star efforts of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers stand just three wins shy of history.

In the 54-year history of the franchise, the Clippers' best record after 50 games in a single season is 35-15, a mark the 2023-24 crew sits just three games away from reaching. At 32-15, the Clippers will be tasked with the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, and New Orleans Pelicans over the next four days with a chance at tying the franchise record.

The 2019-20 Clippers own the current franchise record for the best 50-game start to a season, a start that resulted in the franchise's first time finishing a season as high as second in the Western Conference standings. By year's end, the Clippers were 49-23, ultimately having their season derailed in the NBA Bubble by the Denver Nuggets.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George headlined the 2019-20 team, much like this season, except without the playmaking of James Harden and Russell Westbrook to support the flow of the Clippers offense. The improvement is evident, according to Forbes' Shane Young, as the 2023-24 Clippers boast the highest offensive rating in the NBA.

The LA Clippers are on a historic pace, threatening franchise records

After starting the season with a 3-7 record, the Clippers have gone on to win 29 of their last 37 games, a torrent pace matched only by the 2012-13 "Lob City" Clippers in franchise history. Considering the growing pains the team experienced at the beginning of the 2023-24 season, the rise to sitting just one game back of the number one seed in the Western Conference before the All-Star break is very impressive.

The 2012-13 squad owns the franchise record for best win percentage prior to the All-Star Game, a .696 rate of victory over 56 contests. As things stand, the 2023-24 Clippers hold a .681 win percentage with six games left before the break. A record of 5-1 in the remaining six games would give L.A. a .698 win rate, leaving room for error in pursuit of this milestone.

As the Clippers' title odds continue to shorten, it is worth noting that just four teams have managed to win an NBA title after suffering a six-game losing streak during the regular season: the 1950-51 Rochester Royals, 1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics, 2003-04 Detroit Pistons, and 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks. No NBA champion in history has gone more than six games without a win during their title run.

Despite the early-season adversity, the Clippers have made a major turnaround. Should the team continue to torch their opponents the way they have over the past two months of play, the single-season franchise record of 57 wins could be in danger of some serious shattering.

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