Jamal Crawford caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 25 points, propelling his Los Angeles Clippers to a 104-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night.
In what has quickly come to resemble a Groundhog Day scenario, the Detroit Pistons once again found themselves in excellent position to win a ballgame entering the fourth quarter, trailing by a single point, only to watch their hopes of victory wither away on the heels of a 32-point final frame for L.A. The Clippers shot 64.7% from the field in the fourth, including 5-7 from the arc.
D.J. Augustin made his second consecutive start for the Pistons, replacing the injured Brandon Jennings. Augustin responded by scoring a team-high 19 points (7-14) while also delivering 7 assists. In an usually quiet offensive night for Greg Monroe, a trio of Pistons starters picked up the slack with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond all scoring 17 a piece.
The Pistons held control for much of the first half, executing a flurry of open floor dunks, including back-to-back steals and breakaway flushes from Andre Drummond and Josh Smith.Detroit rode that momentum to a three point halftime lead.
Chris Paul took charge in the third for L.A., hitting all six of his shots and scoring 14 in the quarter as a whole, setting the stage for backcourt mate Crawford to take over in the fourth. Paul finished with 23.
Key Notes & Observations
- Rookie Spencer Dinwiddie turned in his finest NBA performance to date, scoring 10 points in 17 minutes, keying a second half run for the Pistons in the process.
- Greg Monroe scored a season-low 6 points on 1-6 shooting.
- Josh Smith Jump Shot Update: 2-6 on shots outside the paint (1/1 3pt.). Caveat: on numerous possessions, Smith received the ball with little time on the shot clock, more or less forcing his hand and resulting in a jumper attempt
- Clippers head coach Doc Rivers (and his mustache) got in on the action midway through the 2nd quarter Wednesday night. Spencer Dinwiddie attempted to save a ball from going out of bounds, only to have the rock deflect off Rivers. The Palace crowd was nonplussed as they felt Rivers had illegally interfered with the play. The Clippers retained possession.
Next Game: Friday, Nov. 28; Milwaukee Bucks @ Pistons, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit (Plus)