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LAst Night's Action: Clippers Sign of the Apocalypse

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LA Clippers defeat New Orleans Hornets 99-95. The team with the best record in the NBA versus the team with the worst record in the NBA. It’s all academic, right? And it certainly looked that way when the Clippers trailed the Hornets by 12 in the middle of the second quarter.

But there must have been some planetary shenanigans going on as the Clippers decided to actually show up in the third quarter holding the Hornets to only 16 points making their shots. And the Clippers held on to the lead in the fourth quarter until the Hornets went on a quick 5-0 run to take an 83-79 lead with 4:41 left in the game.

But the Clippers remarkably responded from the free throw line of all places. Making only 50% of their free throws, they started hitting their foul shots although they still were nowhere near perfect causing a lot of heart palpitations across the Southland. But the Hornets just shot themselves in the foot. A bad Chris Paul pass, their own free throw problems and their inability to grab a defensive rebound down the stretch essentially handed the game on a silver platter to the Clips.

Eric Gordon led the Clippers with 27 points while Blake Griffin had 24 points and 13 rebounds in helping the Clippers achieve something that even the revolutionary record-breaking Miami Heat couldn’t do. And so it has come to pass. The ground has not swallowed us whole. The poles have not inverted. We are still alive to have witness the Clippers win their second game of the season.

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Ottawa Senators defeat LA Kings 3-2. In the biggest screwjob Canada has seen since Montreal 1997, an apparent tying goal scored by Ryan Smyth with three seconds left in regulation was waved off due to a high stick and was upheld by replay.

The Kings outshot the Senators 30-19, however inopportune turnovers and faceoff losses in the Kings zone allowed the Senators to take advantage. Alex Koralev got the puck after the Senators won the faceoff on a power-play in the Kings zone. Koralev shot the puck from the right circle, broke his stick yet got the puck through goalie Jonathan Quick for his 1,000th point of his career midway in the first period.

The Kings took advantage of an Ottawa turnover when Anze Kopitar picked off Jason Spezza’s pass in the Ottawa zone and hit a wrist shot from the right circle to beat goalie Pascal Leclaire 16:17 in the first to tie the game.

Smyth added a power-play goal at 7:52 in the second period, and it looked like the Kings would roll on. But Daniel Alfredsson yoinked the puck away from Jack Johnson in the Kings zone, centered the shot to Milan Michalek who beat Quick with 56 seconds remaining in the period.

Spezza atoned for his earlier mistake scoring the game winner for Ottawa with 11:19. In the final minute of the game with Quick pulled for an extra attacker, Justin Williams from the left point shot the puck which Smyth deflected with his stick waist-high for what looked like the equalizer. However the referee waved the goal off and replay ensued from Toronto. While the angle of the replays were not good, it really did look like Smyth did not have his stick higher than the crossbar. Toronto disagreed and the goal remained disallowed breaking Ottawa’s three-game losing streak. Take a look at the five-minute mark in the video below.

The Kings have now lost four of their last five games and look to turn it around Wednesday in Montreal. Sacré bleu.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

Chicago Bulls (7-4) at LA Lakers (12-2). 7:30 p.m. FSWest, AM 710 KSPN.