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Clippers 128, Knicks 105: ‘West Coast L’

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L is for Loss.

NBA: New York Knicks at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry for the super-late posting, folks. I had some errands to run Saturday morning, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than a few minutes following the Knicks’ 128-105 loss to the Clippers. It was the kind of game that inspires droopy eyelids, even if it hadn’t started at 10:30 EST.

How did the Knicks hold a three-point lead at the half? They didn’t play that well. Their advantage mostly came from the three-point line, where they shot a robust 7-14 in the first two quarters. That kind of shooting wouldn’t last, and it wouldn’t have mattered even if it had...for the Clippers were on the verge of an offensive explosion. L.A. scored 35 points in the third quarter and 34 in the fourth. Austin Rivers scored 14 points in the third and stunted at the Knicks’ bench at one point after hitting a three. Shouldn’t getting so thoroughly owned by Daddy’s Little Monster be worth more than one loss? I think so.

Notes:

Enes Kanter had a very typical game—one in which you could simply check his 18 points and 14 rebounds in the box score and delude yourself into thinking he had a good game. He didn’t. DeAndre Jordan (19 points, 20 rebounds), owned him harder than just about any center has owned Kanter this season. Alley-oops rained down on Kanter’s dome like a Nor’easter. I guess you could say the uber-athletic Jordan is a bad matchup for Kanter, which is true. But this sort of thing happens far too often, despite Kanter’s good surface numbers.

— Emmanuel Mudiay’s shot is really bad, as is his defense. But I thought he distributed the ball well during his second-quarter shift. So that’s something!

Jeff Hornacek was MAD after the game, y’all. Per Al Iannazzone:

“It was terrible. It was a terrible defensive effort. You hope it’s not a case where we’re not making our shots so we’re dropping our heads and don’t play defense. The mentality you have to have is when you’re not making your shots or not scoring, then get a stop. That’s just being tough, that’s kind of having a feel for the game.”

Of course, he tends to play the worst defenders all at the same time to start the game, and the third quarter, so that probably doesn’t help. He could always try less-bad defenders, like Damyean Dotson, but mehhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

— Speaking of Dame, he scored 7 points in under 7 minutes, so that was cool. All in garbage time, of course.

Troy Williams hadn’t hit a three-pointer all season (0-10) prior to Friday night. So of course he hit three of them. He also added a typically thunderous dunk to bring his total on the evening to 11 points in 17 minutes. Troy probably needs that three-point shot to cement his status as an NBA player, so keep up the good work.

Frank Ntilikina took some oddly-timed jumpers. His rhythm on his jumpers just isn’t quite right. But the kid is all 7-foot arms and legs, so I trust he’ll get it together one of these days.

As P&T’er arckillious noted IN THE FIRST COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD, it was a nice, tidy West Coast L. Knicks play again Sunday.