It's probably not surprising that the Clippers ran out of steam early on in their game against the Bucks. L.A. was coming off a grueling double overtime win the night before in Indiana, one where all five of their starters played between 48 and 50 minutes each. Milwaukee took advantage of the Clippers' tired legs, and ran them off the floor from the get go on their way to a 119-85 victory.
This game got real ugly real fast for the Clippers. L.A. trailed by 22 after the first quarter, found themselves down by 30 at halftime, and saw the lead balloon to an embarrassing 44 points late in the fourth before the game came to its merciful conclusion.
"Everybody is tired," Thornton said. "Everybody in the league has back-to-back games. We need to find it deep down and be able to compete better than that."
Agreed. Zach Randolph mentioned the fact that the Clippers' starting five are being asked to do more than any of the league's other starting units.
"It definitely took a toll on us," Randolph said. "We have the most minutes in the league as starters so it has been tough."
Games like these are, to a certain extent, unavoidable. Because while the Clippers have a very solid starting unit, they have virtually no bench to speak of. When Chris Kaman returns from injury -- likely sometime early in 2009 -- that will help a little. But Baron Davis has no viable backup, and rookie Mike Taylor is expected to miss six weeks after fracturing his thumb in Friday's win over Indiana.
Clipper fans should enjoy the wins when they come. But at the same time, they need to brace themselves for the inevitable losses that are going to result from playing the starters 40-plus minutes a night to get the team those victories.