Clippers make progress with defense

When the Clippers held Houston to only 39 points in the second half of their 107-94 victory on Saturday, it represented the exact kind of defense Coach Doc Rivers is seeking for his club.
He also warned against getting too accustomed to it. Rivers knows that defensive work just doesn’t click at one moment and it’s there for good.
“There’s no turning points,” Rivers said before Monday’s game against Minnesota at Staples Center. “Listen, if we play like that every night defensively, we may not lose again. We played a great offensive team, that’s what Houston is, and our defense kind of woke up for a second. It would be great if that’s the start of it. Now, I just think it takes time. But it was great.”
The Clippers showed the communication Rivers has been waiting for as they clawed back from a 13-point deficit.
“Our weak side defense in the Houston game for the first time this year I thought was spectacular. On film, it looked better,” Rivers said. “Everybody was down in their stance . . . guys were pointing early to the plays before they were happening. That takes a great amount of intensity and a great amount of focus and we had it. I’m hoping it builds, but I don’t think it’s ‘Now we have it.’ ”
Rivers also is trying to get accustomed to ignoring the score of the game while tracking the Clippers’ defensive work.
“I have to get comfortable with the fact we’re scoring a lot of points and scoring quickly, so that means the other team will have far more opportunities to score,” he said. “That may means they may score more points, but the percentage is what I’m happy with.”

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