A clipper in the 1800's was a sleek and fast, efficient sailing ship. The Clippers tonight were slow, inefficient, and drowned 119-85 to the Bucks at the Bradley Center. As such, the Los Angeles Clippers fit its namesake about as well as the Los Angeles Lakers do: Not bloody well.
In a truly terrific trampling, the Bucks
alliterated obliterated the Clippers thanks to a balanced team effort which saw eight players score in double figures and only one score more than 18. Richard Jefferson led the way with 22/9/5 and not one turnover. Zach Randolph and Baron Davis were muted with just 14 combined points on 4-20 from the field.
Luke Ridnour. Rather than match one of the world's preeminent players at his position, Ridnour easily outplayed a visibly and audibly frustrated Baron Davis. Milwaukee's starting point guard brilliantly directed a potent offense and had wonderful chemistry with everyone, particularly Andrew Bogut, whom he tossed a couple alley-oops to in the first half. Ridnour usually found the right person in the right place, and did so early in the shot clock. Plus, he was selective and efficient shooting (5-7 from the field and 7-7 from the line) the rock.
Richard Jefferson. RJ dazzled in Milwaukee's exceedingly quick start, shooting, slicing, and dunking his way to 4-4 from the field with four boards in the game's first six minutes, when the Bucks took control of the game for good. He finished with a pretty-looking and well-deserved 22/9/5 in a mere 21 minutes. Off-the-charts per-minute production, I say.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. The pregame notes pointed out that while the Bucks have had good luck against opposing team's stars of late, Zach Randolph came into the BC with a streak of 11 games with at least 21 points. Tonight? He got to four -- and that was that. The Prince helped shut down one of the hottest players in the league, and he popped in 18 points, 9 rebounds, and a couple blocks.
- 32. The Bucks displayed a magical passing touch tonight, piling up 32 assists and just 10 turnovers. Jefferson led all scorers and was involved a bit of everything, adding five dimes without a turnover. Ridnour dished out seven assists but each one seemed better than the one before. Charlie Bell didn't score a single point but added six assists.
- 44. The game probably wasn't even as close as the final score suggests -- and the final score suggests the game was a straight-up blowout. The game was absolutely settled with less than five minutes gone in the second quarter and Milwaukee up 43-19. And the Bucks boasted a 44-point advantage when they went up 108-64.
- 8.3 % L.A.'s two leading scorers, Zach Randolph and Baron Davis, combined to shoot 1-12 (.083) from the field in the first half. The Clippers hit 10-37 (.270) in the first. Meanwhile, Jefferson and Michael Redd dropped an 8-15 (.533) effort from the field and the home team made a silly 25-43 (.581). Teammates followed the lead of its two big scorers on each team early. That was as good for the Bucks as it was bad for the Clippers. Halftime score: 62-32.
Three or four more Bucks. Some nights it's tough to pick three Bucks worthy of singling out for good performances. Tonight was not one of those nights. Andrew Bogut, Charlie Villanueva, Dan Gadzuric, Mchael Redd, Joe Alexander, Ramon Sessions, etcetera, etcetera added to the Bucks' onslaught. Bogut totaled 12/8. CV hit a buzzer-beating three to give Milwaukee a 37-15 lead after one, threw down a nice slam, and even dropped a touch pass back to Dan Gadzuric, who was in the mood to run the fast break tonight. Not run on the fastbreak, like run the fastbreak. And rightfully so, as Gadz gathered three steals and almost a few more. Redd (a ridiculous +38 differential) continued his deferring ways with four assists and scored often early. Alexander was great with a couple of bigtime blocks late.
- Cream City. Milwaukee came off a big, 24-point win in which they outscored the Knicks in each quarter and followed that up with a bigger, 34-point win against the Clippers. These blowouts are foreign but fun territory for the Bucks. A team known for being on the wrong side of lopsided games last season, the Bucks are now getting some big wins after keeping losses close throughout the first couple months. All of a sudden creaming teams, the Bucks now have four 15+ point wins in a week.
Bradley Center bullies. The Bucks made it four-for-four at home in December, and for good measure, at halftime, the BC crowd apparently set a Guinness world record for highest number of decibels. The Bucks are home not only for the holidays, but for 30 more games this year, making three games below .500 not seem like such a deep hole, even in an improved Eastern Conference.
- Clippers have the basketball blues. This is good for the Bucks, but bad for basketball. Adorned in sharp, blue road jerseys, the Clippers couldn't shoot (28-81 field goals), pass (18 assists, 16 turnovers), or defend (119 points allowed, two blocks).
Threes mean no four. Thanks largely to Steve Novak's three triples in the last 3:39 of the game, the Clippers outscored the Bucks 27-26, preventing the Bucks from putscoring its opponent in all four quarter for two straight games. Mardy Collins made a three with 16 seconds left to really mess up the eight great quarters.
A real thorn. Al Thornton swooped under the hoop for an authoritative and-one dunk and stuffed RJ on a dunk attempt in the third quarter. Thornton scored 20 points for the Clips and more importantly was uniquely alive.