Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors, improving their current winning streak to six games. They won both games pretty handily with some major help from their bench in the fourth quarter. Those late game surges from the second unit actually gave the Clippers starters more rest than expected, which is now becoming the biggest asset from the reserves.
On Saturday afternoon, Phoenix kept the game close throughout the first three-quarters against the Clippers. The fourth quarter eventually came around and the Clippers held just a two point lead over the Suns. That’s when the second unit took over for Los Angeles, led by Jamal Crawford.
He scored 13 of his 21 points in the last 12 minutes of the game. Lamar Odom also got himself involved in this one, finishing with eight points, eight rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes. The Clippers outscored the Suns 32-16 in the fourth quarter, while Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and the starters rested from the bench. This game ended up being a blowout win for the Clippers, with a final score of 117-99.
The next day against the Raptors was almost the same scenario from the night before. Toronto trailed by just four points at the start of the fourth quarter in this one. The Clippers once again sent out their reserves at the start of the fourth quarter to slam the door on another opponent. This time they outscored the Raptors 25-10 in the fourth quarter and held them for over six minutes without scoring a point. Eric Bledsoe led the way for the second unit in this one, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. This was all happening again with the starters resting on the bench. This ended up as another blowout win for the Clippers, 102-83 was the final score.
That extra rest given to the starters over the weekend is only going to help them in the long run, especially in a four game road trip that starts tonight against the Chicago Bulls.
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