The Los Angeles Clippers entered the famous Madison Square Garden on Sunday for their seventh game of an eight game long “Grammy” road trip.
The Clippers were 2-4 on the trip headed into this nationally televised game against the New York Knicks, after losing 111-89 just a few days earlier to the Miami Heat. The expectations were much higher before the trip began for Los Angeles, but finishing at 4-4 was now their goal.
Chris Paul finished this game with 25 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Jamal Crawford finished with 27 points off of the bench. However, those weren’t the biggest stories of the game. The Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony was scoring at ease for the most of the game, finishing with 42 points on 14-26 shooting from the field.
The Clippers started off with Matt Barnes guarding Anthony and that didn’t last long. Every Clippers player was assigned to guard Anthony at one point or another during this game. Eventually, after Anthony dropped 18 points in the third quarter, the Clippers finally found the right matchup.
Grant Hill, 40-years-old, 17 NBA seasons, was the surprising answer to stopping Anthony from stealing another game away from the Clippers. He sat on the bench for most of the game before getting the assignment to stop Anthony in the fourth quarter.
Anthony, 28-years-old, nine NBA seasons, entered the fourth quarter with 38 points, but was basically nonexistent for the rest of the game. The Clippers decision to put Hill on Anthony worked, as he was held to just two shots in the quarter and four points. The 12-year difference in age just didn’t matter because Hill proved that he can still defend one of the best.
The Clippers bench is constantly battling each other for minutes and Hill just earned himself a handful of them. He hasn’t been the scorer that he once was for some time, but if he can defend one of the best pure scorers that the game has to offer then he definitely has some value to this team.
It’s hard to imagine the Clippers winning this game without the defensive performance from Hill in the second half. The Clippers went on to out-score the Knicks 31-18 in the final quarter and won the game 102-88.
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