Blake Griffin: Potent Phoenix Suns are never out of any game

Blake Griffin

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

 

The Clippers (29-14) will play at Phoenix on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Suns (26-19) are a guard-oriented team can get hot and do some damage in a hurry. Point guard Eric Bledsoe leads in scoring and assists with respective averages of 16.9 and 6.0. Shooting guard Goran Dragic averages 16.7 points, backup point guard Isaiah Thomas averages 15.1 points and 3.8 assists and backup shooting guard/small forward Gerald Green scores 13.7 points per game.
“They’re a great team, especially at home,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said Saturday at practice at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. “They’re one of those teams that’s never out of a game.”
Phoenix averages 107.5 points, third in the league. The Clippers are fourth at 107.1.

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Clippers sign swingman Dahntay Jones to a second 10-day contract

Dahntay Jones

Dahntay Jones/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Saturday announced they have signed swingman Dahntay Jones – a 6-foot-6 swingman – to a second 10-day contract. He appeared in four games during the first contract, averaging just a point in 5.8 minutes. But coach Doc Rivers and several other Clippers players have commented on the energy he has brought to the bench.

Jones, 34, is a veteran of 10-plus NBA seasons. He has played in 593 games while averaging 5.6 points with seven teams.

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Chris Paul diplomatic when asked about team’s supposed improved chemistry

Chris Paul

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

 

It wasn’t long ago that a column that appeared on NBA.com suggested the Clippers players didn’t like one another. The Clippers since that time have shipped out four players and brought in two; the sequence of moves began Jan. 7. Gone are Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jared Cunningham, Jordan Farmar and Reggie Bullock and now here are Austin Rivers and Dahntay Jones.
With the spirt of the team seemingly at a season-high, Chris Paul was asked Saturday if the chemistry has improved since the moves have been made.

He was very careful with this touchy subject.
“I think we’re playing with a really good spirit,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s one way or the other because of this or because of that, but we’re playing a little bit better. Moving the ball and just playing with the right spirit. I don’t know what that means.”

The Clippers are 6-2 since Jan. 7.

 

 

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Austin Rivers loves the spirit with which Clippers are currently playing

Austin Rivers

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

 

Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Thursday night talked about how alive and energetic his bench has been of late. His son, backup guard Austin Rivers, thinks it’s pretty cool as well.

“Right now we just have positive spirit,” said Austin Rivers, who scored nine points and had six assists in the Clippers’ 123-84 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night at Staples Center. “Our spirit is up, we are all into the game. The guys on the floor and guys on the bench cheering them on and when we come in, they are cheering us on. It is just positive spirit right now and we need to keep at it.”

The Clippers (29-14) next play Sunday at Phoenix (26-18) at 3 p.m.

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Shaquille O’Neal gives Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan his All-Star endorsement

DeAndre Jordan, left, will have to rely on Western Conference coaches to pick him as a reserve for the Feb. 15 All-Star game in New York City/Photo by Associated Press

 

Chances are DeAndre Jordan will not be participating in his first All-Star game Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Jordan finished 12th among frontcourt players in fan balloting, which means his only chance would be to get picked by the coaches of the Western Conference; reserves will be announced Jan. 29.

But TNT studio analyst Shaquille O’Neal gave Jordan his personal endorsement Thursday night, saying Jordan should be selected as a reserve. Jordan was stoked to hear of it after the Clippers’ 123-84 demolition of Brooklyn on Thursday night at Staples Center.

“So he did get the hundred bucks I sent,” Jordan said, drawing laughter from reporters in the post-game news conference.

He got serious.

“It’s pretty humbling,” Jordan said. “To me, Shaq is the most dominant player ever to play the game. For him to even think of me in that light is pretty cool. Especially to have someone like him giving me some credit. It’s always nice to hear and it makes you work hard.”

 

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Blake Griffin believes Chris Paul deserves to be on eighth All-Star team

Chris Paul

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

 

Chris Paul has made seven consecutive Western Conference All-Star teams. He’ll have to be selected by coaches as a reserve if he is to make it eight because when the results of fan balloting were released Thursday, Paul was fourth among backcourt players and will not start. Teammate Blake Griffin, who was selected as a starter in the frontcourt, believes Paul should get the nod when reserves are announced Jan. 29.

“I think he deserves (a spot) and that’s not just being biased,” Griffin said. “I keep saying that a lot of guys deserve it. With the 12-man roster, a lot of guys don’t get to play that should. But I know (Paul) would say the same thing – our season isn’t won or lost by All-Star ballots. It’s an honor and I think CP deserves it.”

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Five things to take from the Clippers’ 123-84 rout of the Brooklyn Nets

Blake Griffin works  hard in the paint in Thursday’s win over Brooklyn. He scored 24 points/Staff photo by David Crane

 

- Chris Paul said afterward he doesn’t go into any game wondering how he’s going to go about things. But it seemed from the beginning he decided he was going to be more of a distributor than anything. He took just five shots in 24:01 of play, but doled out 17 assists. He passed up open looks to get his teammates the ball and became only the third player in history with 17 assists in under 25 minutes. His coach, Doc Rivers, and Brad Davis (Mavericks) are the other two. Paul had been in a shooting slump, making just 17 of his previous 54 shots (31.4 percent) heading in, so perhaps this was a way for him to break out of that. He shot 2 of 5 in this one.

- Austin Rivers, in his fourth game playing for his father – coach Doc Rivers – finally had something to shout about. Although he did most of his damage when the game had long been decided, he did score nine points on 4 of 7 shooting with six assists and two turnovers in 23:59 of play. He did miss all four of his free throws and afterward he said he’s got to do better in that regard. He’s only a 62.3 percent career shooter from the free-throw line in 2 1/2 NBA seasons, and that’s low for a guard.

- One of the best things for the Clippers in this one is their starters only had to play until about midway through the third quarter because of the lopsided nature of the game. That gave them rest, and it gave the reserves a chance to get extended minutes. A win-win situation.

- Any time his team doesn’t get that many assists, Doc Rivers talks about the lack of ball movement. Well, there was nothing lacking in that department because the Clippers had a whopping season-high 41 assists. Besides Paul’s 17 and Rivers’ six, Spencer Hawes had four assists and Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick each had three.

- Let’s not forget the defense played by the Clippers. Brooklyn is averaging 95.5 points, so it was held to well under that. The Nets were also held to just 37.5 percent shooting – just 19 percent (4 of 21) from 3-point range. The Clippers were active throughout.

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Clippers lead Brooklyn Nets by 33 points at halftime; Blake Griffin has 22

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin had 22 points in the first half Thursday/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers shot 65.9 percent from the field in the first half and lead the Brooklyn Nets 70-37 at the break.

Blake Griffin scored 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting and DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford each scored 12; Jordan also had 11 rebounds.

Chris Paul had just four points, but he doled out 12 assists in the half.

Mason Plumlee led Brooklyn (18-24) with 13 points. The Nets shot just 38.1 percent.

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Blake Griffin had 13 points in first quarter as Clippers lead Nets 34-23

Blake Griffin

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

 

Blake Griffin scored 13 points in the first quarter – eight of them on four dunks – and the Clippers led the Brooklyn Nets 34-23 after one at Staples Center.

The Clippers (28-14) shot 60 percent from the field.

Mason Plumlee led Brooklyn (18-24) with 10 points. The Nets shot 47.6 percent from the field.

Kevin Garnett is not playing for the Nets as  he is being given a day of rest.

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