Blake Griffin did a nice job with Ryan Anderson on both ends. He was decisive off the pick-and-roll, attacking Anderson before Dwight Howard could challenge from the weak side. Anderson's range and quick release make him a unique defensive challenge, but Griffin hassled him into a subpar 3-of-10 shooting. Of note: A new rhythm dribble resulted in a rare almost-perfect night from the line.
Unlike, say, another Los Angeles guard one could name, Chris Paul continues to find open shooters no matter how much they struggle to convert. His faith was rewarded in the second half when Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams, and Caron Butler began to convert their myriad open looks. Once again, he was clutch when it counted most, scoring 15 of his team-high 29 points down the stretch.
It's not good when Reggie Evans is the most effective defensive option against Howard. DeAndre Jordan had a difficult night against the league's best big man. Too often, exuberant shot-block attempts left him badly out of position, leading to eight points in the paint, most of them easy. Kenyon Martin's hard-nosed, positional defense would have been a real boost tonight.
Who knew losing streaks were so motivating? According to Ralph Lawler, both Billups and Paul have asked the legendary play-by-play man to inform them when the Clips play a team they haven't beaten recently. The Clips have already broken streaks in Denver (nine losses) and Utah (16). Their nine-game losing streak against the Magic was the longest active streak.
The Magic have their issues. After a strong start despite the relentless coverage of Dwight Howard's Infinite Trade List, a string of listless performances has most dismissing them again. Still, as long as they still employ the league's most dominant center, the Magic can always count on a stifling defense and an endless supply of open 3-pointers. That makes them a tough out ... as long as the shots are falling.