With the 2015-16 season in the books for the Los Angeles Clippers, we’re counting down forward Paul Pierce’s five best games of the season. This week, we’ll look at the No. 4 pick, a game in which Paul led the Clips past an old rival in the New York Knicks, 116-88, on Jan. 22, 2016. ICYMI: Last week’s pick at No. 5.
No. 4: The Truth Trumps Knicks
Paul Pierce played just one game against t he New York Knicks in his first season with the Los Angeles Clippers. But that was enough to prove that not much has changed since his days with the Boston Celtics.
The 18-year veteran spent the first 15 years of his career with the C’s. During that time, Paul was a constant thorn in the Knicks’ side.
The Truth routinely rolled over Boston’s regional rival, averaging more points, rebounds and assists against the Eastern Conference rival, according to USA Today Sports.
Paul has played in Brooklyn, Washington D.C. and now L.A. since his time in Boston, but on January 22, he owned Madison Square Garden once again.
Paul scored all eight of his first-period points within the first five minutes, as the Clips cruised to a 116-88 victory over the Knicks.
No. 34 finished with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting with three triples and four rebounds, as three L.A. starters scored in double digits.
The Knicks never led, as The Truth buried a trey to open the game and hit a second a minute later. No. 34 dropped in a layup a couple minutes later and later extended the Clips’ lead to nine, 14-5. New York got within two possessions once, but L.A. ended the quarter with a 31-24 advantage.
The Knicks improved their shooting in the second stanza (53 percent on 9-of-17 shooting), but the Clippers edged them from deep, 12 points to zero. One of those game-changing triples was drained by No. 34, who gave the Clippers their largest lead of the half, 55-41, with less than a minute to play.
The Clippers carried a 55-45 edge into the locker room and continued their hot scoring, as tempers boiled over in the third quarter.
The second-half scuffle between point guard Chris Paul and center Robin Lopez led to a meltdown for the Knicks, who were outscored 31-19 in the third quarter. Once the fiasco finished, Paul’s step-back jumper sparked a 24-12 surge to end the period.
All L.A. starters sat the entirety of the fourth quarter, as the bench took care of business and outscored New York, 30-24.
Although Paul wasn’t donning his leprechaun green gear, the victory tasted as sweet as a box of Lucky Charms.
The win marked the first of three on a five-game road trip, as the Clips went 11-3 for the entire month. Paul registered four double-digit games in January, all of which resulted in wins.