Shame on everybody for thinking the Los Angeles Clippers were tanking the season away. On Monday night, the Clippers throttled the Boston Celtics, 140-115 for their fifth straight win. It was a historic night all the way around.
Super six-man Lou Williams poured in a game-high 34 points. He surpassed Dell Curry (11,147 points) on a smooth layup. Now, Williams is the all-time bench scorer in NBA history. However, he is just a starter playing the bench role. Williams is the No. 1 scoring option and he has continued to torch opponents this season.
Although Williams led the Clippers in scoring last night, he was hardly alone on this explosive night. Montrezl Harrell added 20 points off the bench. Meaning, the duo of Williams and Harrell combined to score 54 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists in 44 total minutes. Part of that was due to the blowout.
Moreover, the overshadowed starters all reached double figures in the win. Danilo Gallinari poured in 25 points to lead the starting unit. Ivan Zubac scored 14 points, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander chipped in with 12 points, Pat Beverley and Landry Shamet scored 11 points apiece. In all, the Clippers had seven players score in double figures.
Interestingly enough, not one player produced a double-double. Yet, the ended the game with 47 rebounds and 29 assists. It just shows that no single player is dominating the ball. As a result, everything is clicking for the team that we thought would be on the outside looking in.
Instead, the Clippers are (39-29) and holding onto the No. 6 seed right now. In fact, the Clippers are closer to chasing down the No. 3 seed by the end of the season than they are falling out of playoff contention. They are a dangerous team that has an opportunity to play for home court advantage in the final month of the season.
They have 16 games remaining. The No. 5 Portland Trailblazers (40-26) are two games up in the standings, while the No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder (41-26) are 2.5 games ahead of the Clippers. Don’t be surprised if you see more reshuffling of the standings in the next few weeks.
As long as Williams continues to score in bunches, the Clippers have a legitimate opportunity to make a mark in the postseason.