For much of the Los Angeles Clippers' Wednesday night matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, the old-guard mainstays that swept the upstart Clips out of the playoffs in the second round last year, L.A. center DeAndre Jordan was the one delivering explosive, highlight-reel plays — a first-quarter swat of Spurs point guard Tony Parker on the pick-and-roll, a third-quarter steal that led to a big alley-oop dunk on the break, a transition leak-out that led to a two-hand windmill jam from the dotted line. By comparison, it had been a quiet night for Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who'd entered Wednesday's game averaging a team-high 24 points per game, but had attempted only two field goals heading into the fourth quarter and didn't hit his first shot until the 7:33 mark of the final frame.
In the final minute, though, with the Clips up 20, the game well in hand and Jordan cooling his heels on the bench, it was Crawford's turn to dazzle ... and unfortunately for Spurs rookie guard Nando De Colo, his turn to get cooked:
In an early season chock full of "welcome to the league, rook" moments, we can now cross De Colo's name off the freshman hazing ledger; he joins a laundry list of dudes Crawford's shook over the years, including the likes of Deron Williams, Kirk Hinrich, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and, most recently, Grizzlies swingman Rudy Gay.
But De Colo does occupy a slightly different tier of dudes Crawford has "nutmegged," to borrow a soccer term — I know he did it to Klay Thompson in a Seattle-area charity game last summer, and there have probably been others escaping my mind at the moment. Regardless, it was an impressive move, one that drew oohs and aahs from the remaining attendees at the Staples Center and from the Clippers bench — most notably (and, um, vulgarly) Jordan, who was wowed in the moment:
DeAndre and the boys deserved to have some late-game fun after turning up the heat on both ends of the floor, scoring 23 points off 20 San Antonio turnovers, beating the Spurs down low to the tune of 54 points in the paint and holding the vaunted Spurs offense to just 41.1 percent shooting from the floor in a dominant 106-84 win. The loss is San Antonio's first of the season; that defeat, coupled with the Memphis Grizzlies' big road win over the Milwaukee Bucks, leaves the New York Knicks as the NBA's last unbeaten team. (Just as we all predicted at the start of the season.)
De Colo fouled Crawford after the play rather than let the former Sixth Man of the Year get a shot off, but ESPN color commentator and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy suggested the rookie "take a hard foul the next time," too, letting Crawford know that such punkings are unacceptable. No subsequent foul took place, but the two teams square off again in San Antonio on Nov. 19. Perhaps Crawford should hope De Colo didn't learn how to administer hard fouls this summer from French national teammate Nicolas Batum.
If the video above's not rocking for you, please feel free to check it out elsewhere, thanks to SI.com's Ben Golliver.