Five things to take from Clippers’ 102-96 victory over Spurs in Game 6 at AT&T

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

– There is a song in the 1958 movie “Damn Yankees” entitled “Heart.” The lyrics include the phrase, “You’ve gotta have heart …” After this victory, no one should ever question the heart of the Clippers. They stared elimination in the face, and won. A loss, and all the wolves would have been out, wondering why the Clippers are going in reverse instead of forward. There is still a Game 7 to be played Saturday, but whatever happens, this team’s heart should not be in question.

– Kudos to Chris Paul. He missed all seven of his shots in the first half and although he still ended up shooting just 7 of 21, he was a big reason why the Clippers emerged victorious in this one. He scored 19 points, doled out 15 assists and played a game-high 44 minutes.

– Then there was the play of Blake Griffin. His body-language spoke volumes. It was as if he was not going to let this team lose. He scored a game-high 26 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, doled out six assists and for good measure blocked four shots.

Matt Barnes played a role in holding Kawhi Leonard to just 12 points on 3 of 15 shooting. Leonard scored 32 points in the Spurs’ Game 3 100-73 rout of the Clippers in San Antonio, so if he gets going he can be deadly.

– The only bummer to this game was that Glen “Big Baby” Davis sustained a sprained ankle at the outset of the fourth quarter. The hustle Davis gives the Clippers will be missed if he can’t make it for Saturday’s Game 7.

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After trailing by 10, Clippers rally to tie San Antonio Spurs 51-51 by halftime

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers trailed 45-35 with just over six minutes to play in the first half Thursday night in Game 6 against the Spurs at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

By the time halftime rolled around, they were tied 51-51 with San Antonio.

DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in the half. Hack-a-DJ was deployed by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, and Jordan responded by making 7 of 13 from the free-throw line.

J.J. Redick also had a solid half, with 14 points.

Marco Belinelli led the Spurs with 12 points off the bench, all on 3-pointers. Kawhi Leonard scored 10 and Tim Duncan had six points and seven rebounds, but also had three fouls.

The Clippers shot 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

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Doc Rivers: Boris Diaw has come through in solid fashion for San Antonio

Boris Diaw

Boris Diaw/Photo courtesy of San Antonio Spurs, NBA.com

Spurs reserve post Boris Diaw averaged 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 24.5 minutes during the regular season for the Spurs. He entered Game 6 averaging 10.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 28.7 minutes in the first five games of this series.

Coach Gregg Popovich was asked about Diaw’s contributions during the pregame news conference ahead of Game 6 on Thursday night in San Antonio.

“He’s doing a pretty good job,” said Popovich, who was in his short-answer mode.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers had no difficulty going into detail about what Diaw has meant to the Spurs in this series.

“I’ve heard talk about (Tim) Duncan and (Tony) Parker and (Manu) Ginobili and everyone else – and, obviously, Kawhi (Leonard) – but Diaw to me has been the quietest asset in this series,” Rivers said.

“He’s been the guy who’s made big shots, he’s made big plays. … When you just look at comfort, he’s looked so comfortable on the floor.”

Diaw has had one poor shooting game, and that came in Game 1 when he was just 2 of 12 from the field. Even then, he had six rebounds and five assists.

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Chris Paul: team won’t take negative thinking about officials into Game 6

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

By now everyone knows that coach Doc Rivers was fined $25,000 for blasting officials for a number of calls that went against the Clippers in their 111-107 Game 5 loss to the Spurs in their best-of-seven series Tuesday at Staples Center.

Chris Paul assured reporters at the Thursday morning shootaround ahead of Game 6 at AT&T Center in San Antonio that the players will not be taking any anger from that into this potential elimination game for the Clippers, who are down 3-2.

“Yeah, I said, I think after that game, you let it soak in that night and then yesterday (Wednesday), it was cool,” Paul said.

If the Clippers win this one, the deciding Game 7 will be Saturday at Staples Center.

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Doc Rivers has funny reaction after being fined 25K for blasting officials

2015-04-29-doc-rivers-fined

Doc Rivers/Photo by Associated Press

 

Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Wednesday was fined $25,000 for what the NBA termed “public criticism of officiating” after the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Clippers 111-107 in Game 5 of their Western Conference series Tuesday at Staples Center.

Rivers referred to several instances, including an offensive-goaltending call against Matt Barnes in the second quarter, a traveling violation on Blake Griffin in the third quarter and J.J. Redick’s sixth foul – on Tony Parker – with 48.5 seconds to play and the Clippers down 107-105.

“I don’t complain much, but I thought we got some really tough calls tonight, some brutal calls,” Rivers said postgame.

He was asked Wednesday his thoughts about the fine at the team hotel at the Riverwalk in San Antonio. And, like vintage Doc, he made a joke about it.

“It was a good call,” he said. “It was, it was a great call.”

He said he didn’t go into his rant Tuesday night knowing this would happen.

“No, no, I don’t plan … sometimes I’m smart enough to plan things, sometimes I’m not,” he said. “I just felt like it needed to be said. So, I’ll take it.”

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Blake Griffin scores 21 points in first half as Clippers lead Spurs 54-53

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Tuesday appeared primed for an early blowout of the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 after taking a 27-13 first-quarter lead. But the defending-champion Spurs embarked on a 15-0 run to lead by a point before the Clippers eventually took a 54-53 lead into the halftime break.

Blake Griffin scored 21 points in the half for the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills scored 10 apiece for San Antonio.

The series is tied 2-2.

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich blames Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard for J.J. Redick getting cleaner looks in Game 4

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Often times San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is very short with reporters, even chastising them for questions he deems ridiculous. It was therefore interesting to see him criticize two of his players for the way they handled – or didn’t handle – Clippers guard J.J. Redick in the Clippers’ 114-105 Game 4 victory over the Spurs on Sunday at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

The Spurs had done a good job of preventing Redick from getting a lot of clean looks in the first three games, resulting in Redick entering Game 4 having made just 10 of 32 shots from the field. He made 6 of 12 Sunday – 3 of 6 from 3-point range.- for 17 points.

Afterward, Popovich was asked about the lack of defensive execution that led to Redick getting those clean looks. Popovich laid the blame on Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, the recently crowned NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

“That’s exactly right,” Popovich said. “No matter who we had on him, both Kawhi and Danny didn’t do a very good job of playing him the way he needs to be played. He had the better of them throughout the whole evening, for sure.”

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 114-105 victory over Spurs in Game 4

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

– It was kind of ironic that coach Doc Rivers became a bit perturbed about being asked – once again – about the lack of a good bench at the pregame news conference at AT&T Center. Then his son, Austin, goes out and has the game of his life with 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting while also playing solid defense. He did all this in 17 absolutely terrific minutes.

– Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin said that without the younger Rivers, the Clippers would not have won this game. They are probably right. Then again, Paul and Griffin both had monster games. Paul scored 34 points and shot 11 of 19 while doling out seven assists. Griffin scored 20 points and was a beast on the boards with 19 rebounds; he, too, had seven assists. So you could also say that if either one of those two has a mediocre game, the Clippers don’t win this one.

DeAndre Jordan didn’t score much in this one, going for six points. But he had 14 rebounds and four blocked shots that helped the Clippers, setting the tone for a stronger defensive effort than in Game 3, when the Clippers were destroyed by 27 points.

– Another key element to this win was J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford getting their shooting back on track. Redick had shot 10 of 32 in the first three games, but shot 6 of 12 in this one for 17 points. Crawford was 12 of 34 the first three games, and shot 6 of 13 for 15 points in this one. Again, the Clippers needed every bit of that.

– If you’re a Spurs fan, don’t blame Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard or Tony Parker for San Antonio’s loss. Duncan scored 22 points with 14 rebounds, Leonard had 26 points and seven rebounds. Parker scored 18 points. The other two starters – Tiago Splitter and Danny Green – shot a combined 0 of 11. Splitter was 0 of 5, Green 0 of 6. All of Green’s misses were from 3-point range. Ouch! Neither player went to the free-throw line, either.

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Clippers hold a 51-47 lead over San Antonio at halftime at AT&T Center

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

If the Clippers were still bummed out about getting routed by 27 points in Game 3 on Friday, they didn’t show it in the first half in Game 4 on Sunday at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Chris Paul and J.J. Redick scored 12 points apiece and the Clippers took a 51-47 lead into the halftime break.

Kawhi Leonard scored 11 for the Spurs and Tony Parker and Patty Mills 10 apiece.

The Spurs are up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

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Doc Rivers pulls no punches when talking about Spurs’ dribble penetration

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored a team-high 14 points in the Clippers’ 100-73 Game 3 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Sunday ahead of Game 4 was asked about the dribble penetration that played a big part in the Spurs’ 100-73 Game 3 victory over the Clippers on Friday at AT&T Center in San Antonio. He pulled no punches.

“Dribble penetration kills everything,” he said. “I mean, it really does. It creates offensive rebounds, it creates points in the paint, it creates 3s, it creates foul trouble. If you are allowing it a lot, you’re going to lose unless you are just having an unbelievable offensive night or they are just having a bad night of missing open shots.

“I thought overall their dribble penetration … Kawhi (Leonard) was great, but all of them were beating us off the dribble and when you watch the film, it’s pretty disgusting to watch.”

 

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