Clippers’ Glen Davis to play in Game 7 vs. Spurs

San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan (21) and Los Angeles Clippers' Glen Davis (0) scramble for a rebound during the first half of Game 6 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Antonio. Los Angeles Clippers' Austin Rivers is at left. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (21) and Los Angeles Clippers’ Glen Davis (0) scramble for a rebound during the first half of Game 6 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in San Antonio. Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers is at left. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

The Clippers consider forward Glen Davis available to play in Game 7 of their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday at Staples Center, two days after nursing a sprained left ankle that kept him out for most of the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ Game 6 win over the Spurs.

“Baby’s fine,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “If you play in the game, you’re healthy. That’s the way the other team views it. That’s the way I always view it. If you’re on the floor, I expect you to be 100 percent.”

Davis walked around gingerly in the locker room before indicating that he feels fine and would not sit out a game that will decide the first-round series.

The Clippers have featured an eight-man rotation through six playoff games, a trend that speaks both to the Spur’s depth superiority and the Clippers’ talented starters that include Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Though Rivers has downplayed the trend, the Spurs’ reserves have outscored the Clippers’ bench, 217-134.

Yet, Davis has helped the Clippers despite averaging only 3.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game. He has provided energy. Davis also has given the Clippers a dependable option in place DeAndre Jordan whenever the Spurs intentionally send him to the foul line. But Rivers said he may play Spencer Hawes or Hedo Turkoglu should Davis experience any limitations.

“We pay them all. They all have to be ready,” Rivers said. “That doesn’t mean we’ll plya them all. But if somebody is not performing well, or goes out with injury when it’s your role players, you expect someone else to come in and do the job.”

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Clippers’ Blake Griffin admitted fatigue factored into his late Game 5 struggles

Clippers#32 Blake Griffin comforts Clippers#6 DeAndre Jordan after he was called for offensive goal tending in the final seconds of the game. The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 111-107 in game 5 of the first round of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. Los Angeles, CA 4/28/2015 (Photo by John McCoy Daily News)

Clippers#32 Blake Griffin comforts Clippers#6 DeAndre Jordan after he was called for offensive goal tending in the final seconds of the game. The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 111-107 in game 5 of the first round of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. Los Angeles, CA 4/28/2015 (Photo by John McCoy Daily News)

He stormed onto the court, Blake Griffin putting his fingerprints all over a game with timely stops, accurate jumpers and athletic dunks.

Once it ended, the Clippers forward walked off nursing a soaked jersey, a sore body and gasping for breath.

The deflating feeling surrounding the Clippers’ 111-107 Game 5 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday at Staples Center goes beyond trailing 3-2 in first-round series and facing a potential elimination in Game 6 in San Antonio on Thursday. Griffin’s towering presence also shrank as every exhausting minute passed.

Though he posted a team-high 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes, Griffin labored through the fourth quarter as he went 1-of-9 from the field and committed three turnovers. All of which Griffin conceded partly stemmed from his series-high 41.2 minutes finally catching up.

“Down the stretch, everybody is tired,” Griffin said. “It’s a factor. But it’s a factor for everybody, so it’s not really an advantage or disadvantage for anybody.”
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Clippers’ Doc Rivers laments the ‘brutal calls” in 111-107 Game 5 loss to Spurs

Clippers coach Doc Rivers, left, greets Blake Griffin as he walks to the bench during Tuesday night’s game against San Antonio. Griffin entered the game leading L.A. in rebounds and assists through the first four games of the series. JOHN MCCOY — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Clippers coach Doc Rivers, left, greets Blake Griffin as he walks to the bench during Tuesday night’s game against San Antonio. Griffin entered the game leading L.A. in rebounds and assists through the first four games of the series. JOHN MCCOY — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Over and over again, Clippers coach Doc Rivers tells his players that playoff games come down to single possessions.

When it came down to analyzing the Clippers’ 111-107 Game 5 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday at Staples Center, those single possessions made a mounting difference. Among one of many factors: Rivers lamented about what he called the “brutal calls” the team received.

“I don’t complain much. I thought we got some really tough calls,” Rivers said. “It’s not why we lost. But those were big plays for us.”
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Clippers see Blake Griffin emerging as a leader

Blake Griffin skies for a dunk over San Antonio’s Tim Duncan in the first half of the Clippers’ Game 1 victory Sunday night at Staples Center. (David Crane/Staff Photographer)

Blake Griffin skies for a dunk over San Antonio’s Tim Duncan in the first half of the Clippers’ Game 1 victory Sunday night at Staples Center. (David Crane/Staff Photographer)

The man has defied gravity with his earth-shattering dunks. He has proven more to be a one-trick pony with an increasingly dependable mid-range jumper.

But Blake Griffin added another line to his resume through the Clippers’ 114-105 Game 4 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday at AT&T Center. As the Clippers enter Game 5 on Tuesday at Staples Center with the series tied at 2-2, Griffin has become one of the team’s leaders.

Chris Paul briefly sat out of the game because of foul trouble. DeAndre Jordan also left to escape the Spurs from intentionally sending him to the free throw line. But even without the Clippers’ leading passer and rebounder, Griffin filled in both areas well. Griffin offered a near triple double, his 20 points, career-high 19 rebounds and seven assists continuing a series-long trend in which he has dominated nearly every category.

“Blake has taken the lead on both ends of the floor now,” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said. “He really has a complete game in offense, whether it’s picking and popping, attacking the basket, making shots or making plays for others.”

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Clippers believe urgency will determine outcome in Game 5 vs. Spurs

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul (3) celebrates after scoring against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Game 4 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, April 26, 2015, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul (3) celebrates after scoring against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Game 4 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, April 26, 2015, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

When the Clippers account for Doc River’s honest film sessions, Chris Paul’s demanding leadership and Blake Griffin’s expanded game, an underlying theme emerges.

The difference between a Clippers debilitating loss or an inspiring win in their 2-2 first-round series to San Antonio traces to one thing. With Rivers calling the Clippers and Spurs “evenly matched” and describing his opponent as “really fundamentally sound,” he and his players echoed after Monday’s practice that urgency will play the main factor in determining the outcome of Game 5 on Tuesday at Staples Center.

“You have to be ready to play and ready to sustain play in this series,” Rivers said at the Clippers’ practice facility in Playa Vista. “Even in the middle of a game, you can’t take a break. When you take a break, they make a run. When they take a break, we make a run.”

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Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes downplay shoulder injuries

Clippers forwards Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes downplayed recent shoulder injuries, and believe they will play Game 5 of their first-round series against San Antonio on Tuesday at Staples Center. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)

Clippers forwards Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes downplayed recent shoulder injuries, and believe they will play Game 5 of their first-round series against San Antonio on Tuesday at Staples Center. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)

The ice pack stayed strapped around his right shoulder, causing Clippers forward Matt Barnes to acknowledge following Monday’s practice that he still feels pain. Clippers forward Blake Griffin showed less obvious signs of discomfort surrounding a stinger he has nursed in his right shoulder.

Yet, both vowed they will suit up when the Clippers host the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of their first-round series on Tuesday at Staples Center. The series is tied 2-2.

“I’m feeling fine minutes wise,” said Griffin, who has averaged 22.3 points on 46.8 percent shooting and 13.3 rebounds through 41.3 minutes in four playoff games against the Spurs. “As for other nicks and bruises here or there, I’m fine. It’s just part of the playoffs.”

Griffin appeared in pain and struggled using his right arm to inbound the ball on the final possession of the Clippers’ 114-105 Game 4 win over San Antonio on Sunday at AT&T Center. Meanwhile, Barnes reported his injury stemmed from an unnamed opponent set a screen on him and he arm flailed out as he moved. There was a foul call, right?

“I don’t get foul calls,” Barnes joked, mindful of his reputation as an enforcer. “I only get fouls called on me for breathing on people.”

Nonetheless, Barnes maintains his shoulder will feel “okay,” once Game 5 approaches.

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Game 4 victory a step in the right direction for Clippers and Lob City

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NBA calls Donald Sterling’s lawsuit “entirely baseless”

The NBA scoffed at Clippers embattled owner Donald Sterling planning to sue them for $1 billion in damages.

“Mr. Sterling’s lawsuit is predictable, but entirely baseless,” NBA Executive Vice President and General Counsel Rick Buchanan said in a statement to this newspaper. “Among other infirmities, there was no “forced sale” of his team by the NBA – which means his antitrust and conversion claims are completely invalid. Since it was his wife Shelly Sterling, and not the NBA, that has entered into an agreement to sell the Clippers, Mr. Sterling is complaining about a set of facts that doesn’t even exist.”
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NBA’s hearing on June 3 on Donald Sterling remains intact

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. The sale may have brought some relative clarity as the Clippers went through uncertainty in the past month amid embattled owner Donald Sterling making racially insensitive comments on an audio tape that earned him a life-time ban and a $2.5 million fine. Ballmer’s record-setting purchase may have skyrocketed the value of NBA franchises elsewhere.

But much work still needs to be done. The first step: the NBA revealed in a statement that it still must approve the sale. The league will also still have a meeting on June 3 in New York in which the Board of Governor’s will have to have a 3/4 vote to strip Sterling of his ownership.”

“Commissioner Silver has consistently said the preferred outcome to the Clippers proceeding would be a voluntary sale of the team,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. “Shelly Sterling advised the NBA last night that an agreement had been reached with Steve Ballmer, and the NBA Advisory/Finance Committee met via conference call this morning to discuss these developments. We await the submission of necessary documentation from Mrs. Sterling. In the meantime, the June 3 special meeting of the NBA Board of Governors remains as scheduled.”

The league vetted Ballmer last year during his unsuccessful attempt to buy the Sacramento Kings. But NBA officials have not returned repeated phone calls and e-mails for comment, including how much of a process this will take place.

Still, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said prior to the draft lottery last week that he would welcome Sterling selling the team before such a hearing in hopes that it would avoid both a lengthy and costly litigation case. Still, numerous league sources have said that process could happen only certain circumstances.

One, the Sterlings would have to sell entire team and have no interest stakes whatsoever. While Shelly Sterling has voiced approval about the NBA forcing a sale, she has maintained she is still entitled to her 50 percent ownership stake. The NBA will not approve such a scenario.

Two, the Sterlings would have to mutually agree on the sale. Though numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, have indicated the agreement was co-signed both by Ballmer and Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling’s lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, had indicated he will fight the sale. What complicates this issue is that Donald Sterling originally provided written consent on transferring ownership to Shelly with intentions to sell the team. ESPN has also reported experts have declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly Sterling as the sole trustee with the power to sell the team. The NBA will still want clarity on if Donald feels the same way.

There are likely more variables to weigh considering Ballmer’s involvement and evolving developments surrounding the Sterlings.


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NBA yet to hear from Donald Sterling on charges of termination

Los Angeles Clippers owners Donald Sterling and his wife Rochelle Stein watch the Clippers play the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of their NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Clippers owners Donald Sterling and his wife Rochelle Stein watch the Clippers play the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of their NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The NBA continues to wait for embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his legal counsel to formally respond to its charges of termination. Sterling has until midnight EST on Tuesday to respond to the charges that entailed a life-time ban and a $2.5 million fine for making racially disparaging remarks on an audio tape.

Under Article 14 of the NBA Constitution, the league will consider such inaction “an admission by said Member or Owner of the total validity of the charges as presented.” In addition to Sterling’s remarks made on an audio tape to a female companion named V. Stiviano, the NBA is also holding Sterling’s recent remarks to CNN in which he made more disparaging remarks both about Magic Johnson and African Americans as additional charges. The NBA has also made unspecified charges that Sterling has destroyed and tampered with evidence.

Should Sterling fail to respond, the NBA still plans to hold a hearing on June 3 in which the Board of Governors meeting to vote on his ouster, according to a league source familiar with the situation. But the source also added such inaction could entice the owners representing the league’s Board of Governors to call for Sterling’s dismissal before the hearing.

At the hearing, both Donald and Shelly Sterling will be entitled to present their arguments and have their respective lawyers represent them. But the Sterlings have been informed that the NBA will not accept a scenario where either of them sells the Clippers while still retaining any interest of the team, according to a league source familiar with the discussions. The NBA is amenable to Donald’s attempt to transfer ownership to Shelly only if she will sell 100 percent of the team.

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Donald Sterling’s attempted ownership to transfer sparks questions about league response, tax implications

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Donald Sterling’s attempted ownership to transfer sparks questions about league response, tax implications

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, left, and his wife Rochelle look on during the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference semifinal against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Spurs won 96-86 for a 3-0 series lead. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, left, and his wife Rochelle look on during the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference semifinal against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Spurs won 96-86 for a 3-0 series lead. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Below is a select Q&A with USC law & business professor Michael Chasalow surrounding Donald Sterling’s attempt to transfer Clippers’ ownership to his wife, Shelly:

On the latest development


Chasalow:
The only thing I see significant with that is he is saying she has the authority to negotiate a sale on his half. He may still have a right to approve a sale in the end. The real idea is if there’s going to be a sale that he’s basically he won’t be involved with the process. If he’s involved in the process, there will be other concerns. So he’s saying he’ll take himself out of the process since he is clearly an inflammatory personality. That makes it more likely that the NBA will work with them on a voluntary sale. They want the team sold and to have a new owner in place.

What are the tax implications?

Chasalow:We don’t know all the circumstances. Just understanding how capital gains tax, if they bought the team for $12 million and it gets sold for more than a billion dollars, there’s going to be a huge tax bill. That’s going to happen with the sale of the team. Selling the team results in significant tax burden that might not happen if it’s stayed in a family trust and passed down to their children. It would at least be greatly reduced. If you assume the capital rains rate is 15-20 percent, you’re talking well over a hundred million dollars in tax.

What other legal implications could emerge from this this development?

Chasalow: The interesting question is what’s going to happen between now and June 3. Just because the Sterlings they’re willing to sell doesn’t mean the NBA will say, ‘Oh okay. Thank goodness. Now we’re not going to do anything else.’ The NBA announced it’s preceding with its meeting. The question is if before June 3, the NBA and the Sterlings can work out an arrangement that sets up a procedure for a voluntary sale so that the NBA puts off its process to force the Sterlings to sell. Or maybe they still have the meeting, but delay the implementation of a forced sale pending a voluntary sale. Or they could ignore it completely. But I think it’s in everybody’s best interest to have a voluntary sale. The NBA realizes that too so if there is a way to arrange that, they’re probably going to want that. But they will want a seat at the table. The NBA also gets to approve any sale.

After June 3, what do you envision the process being?

Chasalow: A good process would like an organized process through which interested buyers will submit bids. Then you will have a group of people, initially just the Sterlings and the NBA will be involved in looking over the bids and selecting a group of people to purchase the team and seeking approval once everybody has agreed upon the right purchaser. That’s if things go well. If things don’t go well, they may just wind up in litigation and the drama will keep unfolding.


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New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admired for handling of Donald Sterling controversy


USC law professor provides perspective on Donald Sterling transferring Clippers’ ownership to Shelly

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