LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Clippers love seeing the Timberwolves. Blake Griffin scored 26 points and Lob City defeated Minnesota 107-99 on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center for their 13th consecutive victory against the team from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Griffin and Chris Paul led the team to the finish line as they continually made big play after big play despite the tenacious young T-Wolves giving Lob City everything they had.
The Clippers shot well, over 52 percent for the game from the field and never trailed after ending the first quarter up 23-19.
Los Angeles stretched their lead to 11 points at the half and were able to hold off the Wolves down the stretch despite Minnesota getting within five points with just over four minutes remaining in the game.
Led by Griffin and Paul, the team down the stretch with assists and points, scoring the final six of the game to give the Clippers their second consecutive victory for the first time since they started the season 4-0.
"I don't like to know that two games is a win streak," said Doc Rivers. "That's a sad statement to be honest, let's keep this streak going."
Kevin Garnett went to the Minnesota bench with 5:37 left in the first quarter. It was early, but at the time, the Wolves were up 15-9 and seemed to have stifled the Clippers. By the time Garnett returned to the court, Los Angeles had taken a 36-30 lead and never looked back.
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MVP OF THE GAME
Luc Mbah a Moute. The former Minnesota small forward started for the first time this season. He only scored seven points, but his defense was stellar on sophomore Andrew Wiggins and he played crucial minutes down the stretch locking down the 2014-2015 NBA Rookie of the Year.
"Whatever's asked of me – whether I come in for 5 minutes or start, I try and defend the other team's best offensive player," a Moute said after the game. "Andrew's a really good player, I just tried to make it tough on him."
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Thanks to Friday's victory over the New Orleans Pelicans and tonight's over the Timberwolves, the Clippers have won consecutive games for the first time since they started the season on a four-game winning streak.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Minnesota Timberwolves Twitter account is one of the best in the NBA.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Later that night, Big Chris and Lil' Chris took in the Michigan State game at the Honda Center.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"Lance is as good as there is pushing the ball coast-to-coast. When he comes down and make's decisions like a 'Magic,' then he's really good. By the way, I said 'like a Magic' just to be clear… I probably shouldn't have said that." – LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers when he realized he compared Lance Stephenson to Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
The last time the Timberwolves beat the Clippers was on March 5, 2012 in Minnesota. Kevin Love led the Wolves with 39 points and 17 rebounds in a close 95-94 victory at Target Center.
Ricky Rubio missed the game for Minnesota. The Timberwolves are 7-4 this season when Rubio is on the floor.
Minnesota Timberwolves (8-9, 6-3 on the road) 3rd in Northwest Division
Los Angeles Clippers (9-8, 7-4 at home) 2nd in the Pacific Division
The Timberwolves return home after a quick two-game California road trip where they will host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday at Target Center in Minnesota.
The Clippers will have no time to rest or reflect as they host the Portland Trailblazers on Monday night at Staples Center.