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Clippers sweep the month of December, beat Jazz for 17th straight win

Dec 31, 2012, 1:59 AM EDT

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

They say you make your own luck, but in the month of December, the Clippers have had little need to manufacture much of it. They’ve blown out most of their opponents, coasting to victory easily and often sitting their starters the entire fourth quarter. For a franchise that many thought was legitimately cursed once upon a time, it’s been interesting to see the Clippers control their own fate without interruptions from the basketball gods.

And although they haven’t been dependent on luck, the Clippers knew what to do once a bit of it came their way on Sunday night against the Utah Jazz.

Clippers starting small forward Caron Butler averages just 9.5 points a game, but the Clippers didn’t so much as blink when Butler’s shots kept going in. Chris Paul (9 assists) fed Butler again and again, and Butler’s jumpers kept tickling the twine.

Butler is just about the only player who could score 29 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting from behind the arc…and then not play a single minute in the fourth quarter. That’s the luxury of depth — the Clippers can ride the hot hand, and then go away from it and still not starve for points. On the Clippers roster, there seems to be a player for every situation, and for every need.

When the need was to finally put an end to Al Jefferson‘s (30 points) dominance on the left block, DeAndre Jordan got the call late. Jordan’s free throw percentage of 40 percent is virtually a “foul me” sign slapped on his back late in games. But with Jefferson overpowering every other option the Clippers threw at him, yet again, it was Jordan tasked with stopping him.

When Jazz head coach Ty Corbin eventually countered with the Hack-A-Shaq technique on Jordan, the Clippers lead began to feel a little bit more vulnerable. When the ball is in the hands of Paul, all is safe. But when the ball is in the hands of a 40 percent free throw shooter? It’s skill against luck. One you put your faith in, the other you hope for.

But with Jordan at the line, something funny happened. Again. For the fourth time in two games.

Instead of clank, DeAndre Jordan went bank.

Jordan’s bank shot free throw was one of five makes in a row that propelled the Clippers to a 107-96 win, just when the winning streak was beginning to look like it was ready to end for the second time in two games.

Instead, the Clippers will take their 17-game winning streak into the new year. And although that streak will be subject to a possible bad break or an unlucky bounce, the Clippers perfect month of December, one of only three in NBA history, will go into the record books where lady luck can no longer reach it.

  1. musician0785 - Dec 31, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    cue the clipper fans somehow making this about the lakers…..

    • ron05342 - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:14 AM

      Clippers have the best record in the NBA, which includes the Lakers.

      Now, did that satisfy your idiotic “cue” comment?

      • badintent - Dec 31, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        Well said, Knick Nation looks forward to playing the Clippers in the Finals. Have a great year being the best team in California for a very long time with your team’s great bench.

    • charlescub80 - Dec 31, 2012 at 4:31 AM

      Do you mean clipper fans want to stay as far away from the Lakers? Not sure why the Clippers sweeping a month has anything to do with the Lakers.

    • dannymac17 - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Make it about the Lakers, why? Did they win 17 in a row this season as well? What about last season? Hmm, maybe the season before?

  2. JP Mc Loughlin - Dec 31, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    Reblogged this on sportoftheworld and commented:
    The Clippers have had a fantastic December and are now the top team in Los Angeles, can they be the top team in the West and the league? Even if the do not win the conference or league it is hard to argue the fact that they are the most exciting team in the league. Their match up with OKC on January 22 is one to look forward to, a taster for the Conference final???

  3. JP Mc Loughlin - Dec 31, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    Reblogged this on sportoftheworld and commented:
    The Clippers have had a fantastic December and are now the top team in Los Angeles, can they be the top team in the West and the league? Even if the do not win the conference or league it is hard to argue the fact that they are the most exciting team in the league. Their match up with OKC on January 22 is one to look forward to, a taster for the Conference final???

  4. dysraw1 - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    its a shame that there aren’t more players who can turn your entire franchise around like cp3

  5. mat9844 - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Gotta love those guys – they never give up. You never know which team member will step up to the challenge and make a win possible. Great hustle and teamwork.

  6. jhuck92 - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    No doubt, CP3 turned this team around. But I think the reason why they have the best record is simple: a very deep bench. The last two seasons, the Bulls have had the best regular season record in the NBA. Why? Derrick Rose, sure, but bench production was incredible. With the available talent, players on the Clippers bench could very well start on other teams. The chemistry just flows. And when you have win streaks like this, you’re going to look back at the rest of the league.

  7. musician0785 - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    lmao ITS DECEMBER i never knew clipper fan would look at the lakers and say “gee i would hate 2 b THAT franchise” how stupid do u sound……i never knee 17 in a row in December meant championship…..lmaooo and the lakers DID win 17 in a row 2 years ago…..im gonna need u to get those facts 2gether…..bottom.line is they won 17 in a row staying relatively healthy (unlike the lakers) and beating bums….suns 2x kings 2x, raptors etc……last team.with a 15+ game winning streak….but clipper fan has nvr seen anything like this b4 in the history of clipperdom….so i guess i can understand his/her overexcitement

    • musician0785 - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      last 3 teams.with a 15+ game winning streak didnt win jack….lakers….spurs….rockets…….*

      • dannymac17 - Dec 31, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        You type like you never graduated from high school.

  8. BigBeachBall - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Im done slamming the clippers… They picked up cp3 and gave him the company checkbook… Who saw that coming? Donald sterling did something right for once in his pathetic tenure.

  9. musician0785 - Dec 31, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    ^^ good one….

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