Lou Williams pours in 31 as Los Angeles Clippers dump Orlando Magic

By Tim Povtak, The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 13, 2017 at 11:35 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Los Angeles Clippers have started winning the old fashioned way.

Reserve guard Lou Williams scored a game-high 31 points, leading a patchwork lineup that was filled with heart and hustle, sparking the Clippers to a 106-95 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

The Clippers (11-15), who lost starting guard Austin Rivers to a concussion in the first half, won their third consecutive game, despite playing without four of their top five leading scorers.

"We're just playing hard," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "We don't have the luxury of talent, where we can where we can out-talent the other teams. We're just going to go out and play harder than the other team."

Center DeAndre Jordan, who has stepped into a leadership role, dominated around the basket with 16 points, 20 rebounds and two blocked shots in 36 minutes.

Reserve Sam Dekker was the only other Clippers' player to reach double figures. He had 12 points and hit two of his four 3-point attempts. Five other Clippers scored between six and nine points.

"When you are loaded with talent, you can just rely on that talent to win, but we don't have that anymore," Williams said. "When you're talent goes down, everyone else has to step it up and win that way. That's what we're doing now. You outhustle your opponent."

Williams, who scored 35 points Saturday against the Wizards, made 11 of 22 shots Wednesday and added eight assists.

Jonathon Simmons led the Magic (11-18) with 20 points and eight assists. Center Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Elfrid Payton scored 13 points. Mario Hezonja, in his second start of the season, managed 17 points and nine rebounds.

"We struggled," Magic coach Frank Vogel said. "We have enough to score, but we need everyone to play at their best. Some guys had good nights, but some guys struggled. You can't do that and expect to get a W."

Rivers was especially pleased with Jordan, who managed at least 17 rebounds in five of his last six games.

"We need him to be great right now, and that's what he's been," Rivers said. "Not just with his defense but with everything. He is doing the things to help you win games."

The Clippers, already playing without Blake Griffin, Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari, lost Rivers just before halftime. Rivers, who scored nine points, left and never returned after being hit in the face with an elbow from Simmons.

Rivers, who was trying to stop Simmons from finishing a layup, was called for a foul. He stayed on the ground for two minutes after the play while teammates gathered around. He was helped to the locker room, where doctors determined his concussion symptoms. He will miss at least one or two games under the NBA's concussion protocol.

The Clippers reserves outscored their Magic counterparts, 62-25. The Clippers outrebounded the Magic 51-45.

After a poor first quarter, the Clippers went on a 14-0 run in the second and never relinquished the lead. The Magic never seriously challenged in the second half.

The Clippers led 74-68 going into the fourth period. They led by as many as 11 points in the third after a 3-pointer by C.J. Williams.

Los Angeles was ahead 45-40 at intermission, riding a 24-7 run that closed the second period. They scored 14 consecutive points during that surge.

On a mission.

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Williams had 14 points in the first half, but made only 4 of 10 shots. Hezonja led the Magic with 12 first-half points. Orlando led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but struggled through the second, third and fourth periods.

NOTES: The Magic activated four players Wednesday from their G League team, a reflection of their injury woes. Leading scorer F Aaron Gordon remained in the NBA's concussion protocol. Orlando also was without its second leading scorer G/F Evan Fournier (sprained right ankle). ... The Clippers beat the Magic for the eighth consecutive time. ... Los Angeles G Lou Williams is averaging 18.6 points as a reserve this season, tops in the NBA. ... After the game, the Clippers left for Washington, where they play the second contest of a four-game road trip Friday night. The Magic, who lost for the 14th time in the past 16 games, are home Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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