CLIPPERS 93 KNICKS 80 | STAPLES CENTER
How it happened:
Despite the Knicks best efforts, their simple lack of firepower is hindering their ability to beat top level competition on the road. A similar story unfolded on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles as the Clippers blasted past New York 93-80.
Without Carmelo Anthony (knee) and Tyson Chandler (sore neck) out for the second consecutive game, New York struggled to find offense and efficient shooting from the perimeter. The Knicks only hit 35.8 percent and they were outrebounded 51-39, clear indications the team struggles when its top three players are sidelined.
The Knicks jumped out to a 15-12 lead midway through the first quarter when they hit three of four long bombs to start the game.
Los Angeles put together a 6-2 run, recaptured the lead, and never looked back in the contest. Both teams played competitive basketball in the first half and the Knicks only trailed by seven points at the break.
To start the third period, the Clippers focused on increasing the tempo of the game with head coach Vinny Del Negro imploring his team to generate easy opportunities in the open floor. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and the home team responded by stretching the lead to 19 points near the conclusion of third frame.
Part of the big quarter for the Clippers was a Paul to Griffin alley-oop that ignited the crowd and completely shifted momentum to Los Angeles. Paul finished with 20 points and eight assists and his running mate Griffin added 12 boards.
On the opposite side, J.R. Smith registered 17 points, Raymond Felton posted 16, and Chris Copeland tallied 13 in the defeat.
The Knicks dropped to 38-26 on the season but they are only a game behind the Pacers for the second spot in the latest Eastern Conference standings.
Knick of the Night:
Felton scored 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor and he dished out nine assists in a productive outing for the point guard.
New York was effective from the arc by hitting 12-of-26 shots in the game.
The final road game is in sight for the Knicks with a contest in Utah tomorrow night to conclude the 5-game trip away from MSG.