The Los Angeles Clippers were perfect in December.
The team finished a perfect 16-0 after a 107-96 victory on Sunday over the Utah Jazz. Now riding a 17-game winning streak and holding a league-best 25-6 mark, players are starting to reflect on their achievement. .
“We got something extremely magical going on,” said Caron Butler told ESPN Sunday night after the Clippers became the third team in NBA history to go perfect in a month.
The winning month isn’t that new to Clippers coach Vinnie Del Negro, who was part of the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs team to do the same.
“When we win we usually jump up and down once or twice,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “Tonight we let them jump and down three or four times, so everyone had their fill.”
Caron Butler led the Clippers in their game Sunday, scoring 29 points despite sitting for the fourth quarter. Reserve Jamal Crawford added 19 points — 11 in the fourth quarter — as Blake Griffin was on the bench with foul trouble.
“That shows our depth,” Paul said. “Our bench stepped up amazing. On any given night it can be another guy.”
Despite the winning streak and perfect December for the Clippers, some still see the team apart from NBA title contenders, NBA.com‘s Sekou Smith writes. Many see the team’s defense — or lack thereof — from keeping it from sitting with the Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs.
But with each win, that criticism is slipping away. The Clippers have beat a variety of teams, both the good and the bad, and have come up with the defense to do so when needed.