Coach Doc Rivers stoked about recent play of Clippers bench

Los Angeles head coach Doc Rivers makes a point to his son, Austin Rivers (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.

Austin Rivers, who chats here with father/coach Doc Rivers, led the bench with 22 points in Wednesday’s 122-117 victory at Charlotte/AP photo by Bob Leverone


Josh Smith has not played the past two games, and has not played in four of the past five. Lance Stephenson has played a total of only 15 minutes the past three games. Yet, the bench is playing well in the absence of the team’s leading scorer – Blake Griffin (partially torn quad tendon). Griffin has missed the past three games, all of which the Clippers (20-13) have won; they have won four in a row, overall.

Reserves scored 44 of the team’s 109 points in a 109-104 victory at Utah this past Saturday, 54 of the team’s points in a 108-91 victory Monday at Washington and 47 of the team’s points in a 122-117 victory Wednesday at Charlotte.

In that win at Charlotte, Austin Rivers led the reserves with 22 points. Jamal Crawford scored 11. Cole Aldrich, who has been playing very well since he started getting minutes six games ago, had seven points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks; and Pablo Prigioni had five points and four assists.

Coach Doc Rivers was stoked about the bench play post-game at Charlotte. He noted how the reserves stayed in a little longer in the fourth quarter.

“I left them in until five minutes (left in the game), which I don’t do a lot,” he said. “They are just playing with the right spirit. You can just see it. You can just see the ball moving. They are so active defensively.”

This is becoming an upbeat unit, Doc Rivers said.

“I think when your team is confident and your group is confident, everybody becomes confident,” he said. “You can see that in that group.”