Tyronn Lue: Clippers' Fatigue 'No Excuse' for 2nd Half Collapse, Loss vs. Magic

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2021

Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue motions during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said fatigue was likely a factor in Tuesday's 103-96 loss to the Orlando Magic but added that's "no excuse" for blowing a 14-point halftime lead. 

Lue explained the team's shortened rotation because of injuries combined with playing for the second straight night created difficult circumstances:

FOX Sports West @FoxSportsWest

Ty Lue was frustrated with the @LAClippers result against the #Magic tonight. #ClipperNation https://t.co/bZY895zxaw

L.A. was without Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris Sr. and Rajon Rondo against the Magic, and Lue mentioned they didn't want to push Kawhi Leonard too hard in a back-to-back situation after he played 36 minutes in Monday's win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Leonard put together another strong performance with 28 points to lead all scorers along with five rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes. Ivica Zubac also continued to make a case for a larger role when the team is back to full strength with 14 points and 13 boards.

The rest of the Clippers combined to shoot just 33.9 percent from the field (20-of-59), and the team also finished with more fouls (21-13) and turnovers (14-8) than the Magic.

"I felt like we got some good shots, got some good looks in that second half that just didn't fall," Leonard told reporters. "But obviously, just being more aggressive, attacking us when we're missing shots, getting out in transition. They kept fighting. They didn't quit."

Tuesday's loss snapped Los Angeles' six-game winning streak and dropped its record to 32-17, which ranks third in the Western Conference.

The Clippers are back in action Thursday night when they host the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center. They then have two days off before facing the rival Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. They don't have another two-day break in the schedule until April 24-25, so rest won't be easy to come by.

Orlando (16-31) continues its five-game road trip Thursday against the New Orleans Pelicans.