The LA Clippers were unable to follow up their big win in Philadelphia with a win in New York. The Knicks came out red hot from deep, and the Clippers were never able to grab a lead. While the Knicks did cool off a bit from three, the Clippers did as well, getting uncharacteristic poor shooting nights from Marcus Morris and Nicolas Batum.
In his return to Madison Square Garden, Marcus Morris went 0/9 from the field and 0/4 from deep. His poor shooting performance was coupled with one from Nicolas Batum, who was just 2/7 from the field. As depleted as the Clippers are, they cannot afford shooting performances like that from two players they rely heavily on.
Despite the loss, there were some positive takeaways for the Clippers in this game. Reggie Jackson continued his solid play, pouring in 26 points and 5 assists on 56% from the field. Over his last four games, Jackson is averaging 24.8 PPG and 7.3 APG. It is by far his best stretch of the season, and it is encouraging to see him reach this level of play again, after being dominant in last year's playoffs.
Ivica Zubac was another bright spot for the Clippers in this game, logging his third-straight double-double for the first time in his career. Zubac put up 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks, continuing his solid play over the last few games. After the game, head coach Ty Lue said the team needs to do a better job of helping Zubac on the glass, because opposing centers are getting free for offensive rebounds when Zubac contests shots at the rim. This has been an issue for the Clippers all season, and was again evident in this loss.
Luke Kennard and Brandon Boston Jr. were the only other Clippers in double figures in this game, with Boston Jr. becoming just the 18th rookie this season with at least 10 games of double-digit scoring. Considering 50 players were drafted ahead of him, that is certainly not a statistic that should be taken lightly.
For the Knicks, as previously mentioned, they shot the lights out. Shooting 44% from deep for the game, this was the 5th-best shooting performance the Knicks have put up as a team this season. With the Clippers shooting just 34% from deep, that was certainly one of the game's biggest discrepancies. New York was led by RJ Barrett, who finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists. Ty Lue said after the game that the Clippers let Barrett go left too often, and made his life easier than it needed to be.
The Clippers will now travel to Washington to take on the Wizards at 4:00 PST on Tuesday.