Hornets Upset By Clippers
The Clippers, still with the worst record in the league (2-13), shot 51% from the field to upset the Hornets. The Hornets, playing the second game of a road back to back, look tired and lethargic at times. New Orleans didn't play the team defense that had earned them the best record in the league. As a result, Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin took advantage.
Eric Gordon scored 27 points, including a pair of clinching free throws with 4.7 seconds left, and Blake Griffin added 24 points and 13 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the New Orleans Hornets 99-95 on Monday night.Griffin, who had a breakout game on Saturday night with 44 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in a 124-115 loss to the New York Knicks, recorded his eighth double-double.
The Clippers (2-13) ended a nine-game losing streak with their first victory in their last 15 meetings with New Orleans since Jan. 8, 2007 at Oklahoma City, where the Hornets relocated temporarily after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
David West had 30 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, but missed an out-of-control layup in the final seconds before the Hornets lost possession out of bounds. Gordon then made his critical free throws to seal it. Hornets point guard Chris Paul finished with 14 points and six assists.
For the first time this season, the Hornets trailed after three quarters— albeit only 77-73. The Clippers maintained the lead until West hit a fadeaway 18-footer to put New Orleans ahead 86-85 with 5:18 to play. Griffin sank two free throws and converted an offensive rebound into a layup while getting fouled, but missed the ensuing free throw to leave the score tied at 93.
The Clippers regained possession on a shot clock violation, and Ryan Gomes got an offensive rebound and putback after a missed layup by Gordon to give Los Angeles a 95-93 edge with 37.7 seconds to go.
Marco Belinelli(notes) missed a 3-point attempt at the other end with 28 seconds left, and teammate Trevor Ariza(notes) committed a foul away from the ball on an inbounds play before missing two free throws with 21.8 seconds remaining.
As one can see, it was a wild finish, and a game the lowly Clippers tried to give away more than once. The usual opportunistic Hornets couldn't take advantage. Jarrett Jack played his first game as a Hornet after being acquired in a trade over the weekend. He scored 12 points and had 4 assists in 16 minutes off the bench.