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Despite leading by 10 points entering the fourth quarterback, the Clippers blew their double-digit lead to the Pelicans.
The NBA is a game of runs, and the Pels were lucky that their surge was best saved for last.
Despite holding a 15-point lead of their own in the second quarter, the Pelicans answer with a 34-6 run, and ended the third quarter with a double-digit advantage. But New Orleans stormed back in the fourth, behind some incredible coaching motivation from Willie Green and timely buckets by Jonas Valanciunas, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum.
The Clippers, shorthanded in their own right without Paul George due to COVID-19 (and without Kawhi Leonard all season) ran out of gas.
In a coaching adjustment clinic put on by both Green and Clippers coach Ty Lue, the Pelicans got the last laugh.
“He was making adjustments,” Green said. “He took his bigs out. We were trying to adjust to them. It didn’t work for us. We put our bigs back in. That didn’t work for us either…So we were throwing darts at the dartboard.”
Eventually, Green hit his target.
Pelicans defeat Clippers: Best memes and tweets
It’s tough to be too upset with the Clippers on the floor, as without the likes of George and Leonard, the spare parts shouldn’t be expected to contend for a playoff spot. Professional basketball is an individualized sport, and George and Kawhi are two of the best 20 players in basketball, arguably.
But that doesn’t mean fans can’t troll, at least a little bit.
Lakers fans had a lot of fun at the Clippers’ expense.
There were many more where that came from.
It wouldn’t be the NBA Playoffs without a Clippers meltdown, that’s for sure.