The Clippers on Thursday rallied from an 11-point deficit to outscore the host Dallas Mavericks by 17 points down the stretch to come away with a 109-103 victory. It was a huge win for the Clippers for two reasons: they had just come off a rather stunning loss at New Orleans a night earlier, and Chris Paul scored 31 points after scoring just two at New Orleans and missing all 12 of his field goal attempts.
Paul made 9 of 18 from the field, 4 of 8 from 3-point range. The team made 11 of 26 3-point attempts for 42.3 percent.
Blake Griffin scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, DeAndre Jordan went for 16 points and 15 rebounds and Jamal Crawford had 14 points. Counting 12 points from Matt Barnes and 11 from Darren Collison, the Clippers had six players score in double figures.
Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points for Dallas (43-30), which is a half game behind Phoenix for the No. 8 playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Each time had three players get technical fouls.
The Clippers (51-22) are third in the Western Conference behind front-running San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
Next stop on the five-game road trip is Houston on Saturday.
Guard Jamal Crawford on Wednesday moved up the ladder on the all-time list for 3-pointers during the Clippers’ 98-96 loss at New Orleans. With his seven 3-pointers, he moved into 11th place with 1,687, surpassing Steve Nash of the Lakers, who has 1,684.
The all-time leader is Ray Allen with 2,957.
Crawford also now has 151 3-pointers this season, breaking his own club record set last season.
– For four consecutive games now the Clippers have not looked like a team that can compete for the Western Conference championship once the playoffs begin. It started with a loss at Denver, then continued with close wins over Detroit and league-worst Milwaukee and a loss at New Orleans. It’s doubtful any of those four teams will make the playoffs.
– Chris Paul was 0-for-12 from the field in the loss to New Orleans on Wednesday. That’s something that will likely never happen again in Paul’s career. However, even though he is the team’s point guard, he still needs to score for the Clippers to be at their best. He averages 18.5 points.
– The really good news is that Jamal Crawford appears all the way back from a strained left calf that had him recently missing eight of nine games. He led the Clippers with 31 points at New Orleans.
– Even though the Clippers have struggled over the past four games, perhaps it should have been expected. After all, they had won 11 consecutive games prior to the loss at Denver on March 17. So often when a team goes on a long winning streak, it immediately goes into a mild slump once it’s snapped.
– In case you haven’t noticed, center DeAndre Jordan is averaging a league-high 13.7 rebounds. His previous best was when he averaged 8.3 in the 2011-12 season. That’s 5.4 more rebounds per game. Not too shabby.
Clippers play Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Dallas on Prime Ticket.
Jamal Crawford’s long 3-point shot attempt as time was running out hit the front of the rim and fell off and the Clippers were defeated by the New Orleans Pelicans 98-96 at New Orleans on Wednesday.
It was a stunning loss for the Clippers (50-22) on the first leg of a five-game road trip because they had previously defeated the Pelicans (31-40) three times – twice by 13 points and once by 32.
Equally stunning was that point guard Chris Paul missed all 12 of his field goal attempts. He finished with two points and 12 assists.
Crawford led the Clippers with 31 points. Blake Griffin scored 21 points and Matt Barnes had 14. DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 16 rebounds.
Anthony Morrow scored 27 points for New Orleans.
Next stop for the Clippers is Thursday at Dallas.
The 50-21 Clippers trail the 30-40 New Orleans Pelicans 55-52 at halftime in New Orleans.
Jamal Crawford has 19 points and Matt Barnes has 11 Los Angeles. But Blake Griffin has scored only eight and Chris Paul is scoreless after missing all six of his shots; Paul does have seven assists.
The game is being televised on Prime Ticket
This is the first game of a five-game road trip.
The Clippers begin a five-game road trip Wednesday at New Orleans. By the time they get back to Los Angeles, they most likely will have clinched a playoff berth.
Any combination of four Clippers wins and Phoenix losses will do just that. The Clippers (50-21) begin the trip in third place in the Western Conference standings behind front-running San Antonio (54-16) and Oklahoma City (52-19).
Even though the Clippers have won five of their past six road games, they are just 19-16 away from Staples Center. To Blake Griffin, that makes this upcoming five-game trip that begins Wednesday in New Orleans a rather big deal.
“I think it’s important, obviously, you know, for the standings and all that,” said Griffin, whose team is in third place in the Western Conference behind San Antonio and Oklahoma City. “But it’s also important for our own mental state, you know, winning games on the road and things like that. We haven’t really accomplished what we wanted to on the road, so this would be a good opportunity for us to really play against quality teams; obviously, teams who are fighting for a playoff position and also fighting to get into the playoffs.”
After New Orleans, the Clippers will be at Dallas (Thursday), Houston (Saturday), Minnesota (Monday) and Phoenix (April 2). Of the five, only New Orleans and Minnesota don’t have a realistic shot of making the playoffs.
The Clippers (50-21) are 31-5 at home, the best home record in the Western Conference and second in the league to Indiana (32-4).
– The Clippers had 13 turnovers against the worst team in the league, leading to this reaction from coach Doc Rivers: “I wasn’t really happy with us offensively tonight. I didn’t think we moved the ball a lot. And then I thought we were careless with the ball at times as well. But you know, I’ll take the win.” To be fair, the Clippers average 13.9 turnovers per game, so they came in under that. But again, this was against a Bucks team that came in 44 games under .500 at 13-57.
– It was the second game in succession where the Clippers had trouble putting away a far inferior team. It was the same way Saturday when the Pistons hung around until they were defeated 112-103 after trailing by just a point at halftime. Perhaps this is not a good thing. Then again, Chris Paul realizes not every can be wonderful: “I mean, you always want to play well, but you want to win well. It’s not going to be pretty every night. Tonight it was, do whatever you have to do to win.”
– The victory was the Clippers’ 50th of the season. It’s the second consecutive year in which they have reached that plateau. But it won’t mean a thing if they don’t get a chance to play for that ring, said Matt Barnes: “It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t advance in the playoffs. This team has come a long way, but we’re not into moral victories, we’re not taking winning-streak victories, we want to advance and we know we have a good enough team to win a championship.”
– Darren Collison, in his second game back after missing back-to-back games with a stomach virus, had a terrific overall game. He scored 15 points, made 5 of 9 from the field, 3 of 4 from 3-point range. In addition, he had six assists and zero turnovers and even blocked a shot.
– As uncool as it might have been for the Clippers to have struggled so mightily to beat the lowly Bucks, it could have been much worse. Had they lost that game, and that was a real possibility as they led by just four points with 3:24 to play, that could have been disastrous heading out for a five-game road trip. The psyche is a delicate thing. At least they won.
Matt Barnes was all smiles Monday. Other than a “bad thumb,” he proclaimed himself otherwise very healthy. But it was more than that.
Barnes’ Alma mater, UCLA, has made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and on Thursday will play Florida, the No. 1 seed in the South Region.
“I’m excited for them,” Barnes said at the shoot-around ahead of a 7:30 p.m. start against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. “They’ve got a big-time offense. Defense is a little suspect.”
Barnes is aware that Florida is not only the top seed in the South, but the overall No. 1 seed.
“But the one thing about the tournament, you have to be hot at the right time,” he said.
DeAndre Jordan has 169 blocked shots this season. That’s 27 more than his previous best of 142 in the 2010-11 season, and there are still 12 games left in the regular season. His average of 2.4 is third best in the league.
Jordan is also averaging a league-high 13.7 rebounds. His previous best was 8.3 in 2011-12.
Teammate Jamal Crawford, for one, can’t say enough about the 6-foot-11 Jordan.
“He’s the defensive player of the year,” Crawford said at Monday’s shoot-around ahead of the Clippers’ game against the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center. “He’s unbelievable. I mean, sometimes we’ll get beat and we’ll look up in the air, and we know he’s there.
“I mean, it’s not a good thing to have, but I guess it is a good thing to have in that respect. I think his impact on defense has been as good or better than anyone else in the league.”