LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers played the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on Saturday but the game might as well have been played in Wisconsin as far as Doc Rivers was concerned.
When Rivers looked at this odd stretch of the season where the Clippers play four games in five days in four different time zones, he looked at Saturday’s home game sandwiched between the road games as just another road game.
“It’s a road game with familiar faces,” Rivers said. “I know I’ve never experienced anything this wild in my career as a player or coach, four time zones and four games in five days. It’s a doozy. You have to compete. You have to go get them. You have to go win them, not just play them.”
After losing the first game of the road trip, the Clippers were able to win their second “road” game 106-102 when Blake Griffin tipped in a Chris Paul missed jumper with five seconds left to put the game away. The Clippers will now head to San Antonio and Atlanta to finish the road trip and their reward when they return home is the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Night.
Problem of the night: It has become a common trend this season but the Clippers’ glaring hole at small forward is going to prevent them from getting as far as they want to go this season. On Saturday, Matt Barnes had 0 points on 0-for-3 shooting, all from behind the arc, and Hedo Turkoglu and Reggie Bullock weren’t much better off the bench, combining for just two points off the bench.
Surprise of the night: Sure, Rivers called Saturday’s game against the 14-14 Bucks in L.A. a “road game” but the Clippers didn’t have to feed in to that and play like they were in Milwaukee where the Clippers lost to the Bucks 111-106 earlier this season. The Clippers came out totally flat, fell behind by as many as nine points and trailed for much of the game before finally pulling the game out in the end.
Stat of the night: The Clippers allowed the Bucks to shoot 53.1 percent (43 of 81) from the field. If it wasn’t for the Bucks hitting just 8 of 24 from 3-point range and 8 of 15 from the charity stripe, the Clippers would have lost their second straight game.