There wasn’t as much drama to this Clippers win over the Jazz, but even more significance came with it. L.A., you see, hasn’t lost in a pure month after beating Utah, 107-96. In their 17-game win streak, 16 of them came in December. It’s only the third 16-0 month in NBA history, after the ’72 Lakers and ’96 Spurs, though the ’96 Bulls went 14-0 in January during their 72-10 season. Unlike Friday’s dramatic win in SLC, the Clippers didn’t have to rally from 19 points down. It was just a steady diet of Caron Butler (29 points and a perfect 6-6 from three), Jamal Crawford’s big buckets off the bench (especially to start the fourth quarter) with a layup and a triple in a row, and at least one show-stopper play: Chris Paul‘s rainbow fast-break assist in the first quarter, underhanded with just his right paw to DeAndre Jordan . Even though Jordan hasn’t broken out of his one-trick dunk pony (he’s getting 9.1 points and seven rebounds per game in just 24 minutes over the last 17 games) reputation much during this streak, his oops have been filthy. CP3 had 19 points, nine dimes and five steals. No team can keep this up for a season, so the questions now become, when the Clips lose this momentum (and they will), how long will it take to reclaim and can they time it to arrive in the playoffs? … The Celtics know that even though DeMarcus Cousins and his coach, Keith Smart, are clashing regularly, the offense still flows through the Kings’ young center. Also understanding he’s one of the few players who can get his shot on that roster, they doubled him — which turned out to really show how talented Cousins can be. His first triple-double came on 12 points, 10 boards and 10 dimes, though a good number of those assists came when he’d get the ball at the elbow and charge to the rim before getting kick-out assists in the 118-96 win. Taken from a Celtics perspective, this is a bad loss. Sacramento didn’t even have Tyreke or Aaron Brooks, and Marcus Thornton, practically the rudder on this team lately, didn’t return after hurting his ankle in the first half. (Isaiah Thomas took advantage for 27 points) It’s the third straight loss for the C’s. Rajon Rondo had 10 assists but just two points. He barely even shot, going 1-for-6 from the field, and got to the free-throw line a whopping zero times. Boston’s starting five: six FTA. Sacramento’s starting five: 20 FTA. … Troubling news for the career of Royce White. The Rockets’ rookie refused his assignment to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, still adamant only he should choose his attending doctor. He called out the Rockets’ front office in a 500-word statement where he called their decisionmaking “unsafe.” Yikes. … … Hit the jump to read about the all kinds of trouble Dallas is in. …
Smack / Dec 31, 2012 / 3:00 am
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