The Los Angeles Clippers were trailing the Indiana Pacers by a score of 51-41 with 3.6 seconds left in the half, when Blake Griffin was forced to shoot a tough jumper from the wing in order to beat the buzzer. Blake’s contested shot came up just short, but Clippers’ swingman, Caron Butler, was there to give the ball a little help.
Not a bad display of concentration, positioning, and athleticism for the 33-year old Butler. Not many players show enough poise to get into position and tip-in a missed shot while their back is facing the basket and precious time is ticking away. Caron really shows off some savvy veteran play, and a bit of acrobatics on this crafty finish.
The tip-in pulled the Clippers within eight points (51-43) on their own home floor on Monday night. Butler finished with 10 points, but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Pacers held on to take the 109-106 win on the road. This was a game where the Clippers needed to take care of business at home. They now sit in 4th place in the western conference, behind the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Denver Nuggets. LAC has lost 3 in a row, and have dropped to the 5th best record out west.
On the flip side of the coin, Indiana has won 5 games in a row (8-2 over their last 10 games) and hold a half game lead over the New York Knickerbockers in the eastern conference standings. Roy Hibbert had 26 points and 10 rebounds, while All-Star, Paul George, chipped in with 23 points, 10 assists and 6 boards. The Pacers are surging, folks, and remain to be a focused club heading into the post-season.
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