LOS ANGELES Stop us if youve heard this one before
Its a familiar story with a familiar finish, one in which the Clippers starters yield to their bench in a tight game and spend the fourth quarter acting as cheerleaders from their courtside seats.
In their first 20 games of the season, the Clippers have become used to this script. It has helped them to a 14-6 record and six consecutive victories after Sundays 102-83 win over the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. Get used to it.
Even with such NBA luminaries as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers dont lose much when they call on their reserves. In fact, when their starters have difficulty on defense or are unable to pull away in the second half, coach Vinny Del Negro has no trouble calling on his bench.
Had Matt Barnes not been ejected for a brief skirmish with Raptors guard John Lucas with 1 minute, 36 seconds left in the game, the Clippers would have enjoyed a stretch in which their starters did not play the fourth qu...