Blake Griffin likes what he’s starting to see from young Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers

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

 

Austin Rivers on Wednesday night had his best game as a member of his father’s team, scoring 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting – 2 of 4 from 3-point range – in the Clippers’ 94-89 victory at Utah. He had one assist and zero turnovers in 22 minutes off the bench.

Teammate Blake Griffin liked what he saw from the 22-year-old Rivers, son of Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

“I just love his aggression on offense and his willingness to attack the basket,” Griffin said. “And defensively, on the ball, he’s a dog on the ball. It’s tough to get around him. He’s guarding multiple guys very very closely and very tough.
“He’s been huge for us and you got to think, he still doesn’t really have his rhythm with our team. Those are all extremely promising things and I expect more out of him.”

Austin Rivers has played seven games for the Clippers after coming over in  a three-team trade two weeks ago.

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Five things to take from the Clippers’ 94-89 victory over the Utah Jazz

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers on Wednesday had his best game as a member of the Clippers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- With J.J. Redick out with back spasms, that left the bench thin because sixth-man Jamal Crawford started in place of Redick. Enter Austin Rivers, who had by far his best game as a member of the team with 12 points off the bench on 5 of 8 shooting – 2 of 4 from 3-point
range. Rivers only had one assist, but no turnovers in 22 minutes.

- Rivers was the only reserve to score for the Clippers. Interestingly, there were only three other shots even taken by reserves. Spencer Hawes was 0 of 2 and Hedo Turkoglu was 0 of 1. Glen “Big Baby” Davis did not take a shot in nine minutes, neither did Dahntay Jones in one minute of play.

- Sure, the Jazz entered the game with a record of 16-29 and virtually no chance of making the playoffs. But the bottom line is they led 72-68 after three quarters and still led 83-81 with 5:11 to play before the Clippers showed some toughness by outscoring Utah 13-6 down the
stretch.

- Matt Barnes has been nursing a strained abdominal muscle, but he was Mr. Clutch when the Clippers needed him most. He shot just 5 of 12, but he scored eight of his 14 points during a four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter. Six of those points came on 3-point baskets.

- Chris Paul shot 8 of 16 from the field, giving him three consecutive hot-shooting games in succession after a five-game stretch during which he made just 19 of 59 (32.2 percent). Including this game, Paul has shot 22 of 38 (57.8 percent) the past three games.

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Blake Griffin praises the energy Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis brings to the team

Glen “Big Baby” Davis doesn’t play a lot of minutes as a reserve – he’s averaging 10.6 this season – but the minutes he does play are often inspiring.

Take the beginning of the fourth quarter of Monday’s 102-98 victory over Denver. The Clippers began the quarter down by eight points. Jamal Crawford made a 3-pointer to get his team within five points. The Clippers’ next time down the court, Davis kept a ball alive that was headed out of bounds and would have been awarded to Denver. Davis, all 290 pounds of him, hustled like nobody’s business and his effort allowed the Clippers to keep possession. Davis was so jacked, he began to scream at fans as if to pump some life into them as well as into his teammates.

The Clippers did not score out of that, but the tone had been set for their comeback victory. Blake Griffin praised his teammate.

“He has great energy and we want him to keep it going,” Griffin said. “He was huge. He only played 10 minutes, but those minutes go way beyond his stat line, which was good for those 10 minutes.”

Davis had eight points and five rebounds in 10:10 of playing time. He made both of his shots from the field and all four of his free throws.

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Report: Matt Barnes’ fine not because of back-and-forth with Suns owner

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

According to ESPN.com, which cited an “NBA spokesman,” the $25,000 fine Matt Barnes received Tuesday for an incident that took place Sunday at Phoenix was not because he exchanged inappropriate language with Suns owner Robert Sarver.

When the NBA released its statement about the situation, it said Barnes was fined for directing inappropriate language toward a fan during the Clippers’ 120-100 victory. Barnes took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and said that was not true, that it was directed at Sarver after Sarver started it.

“As players, we’re obviously held to a higher standard; I’ve had to watch myself on that. But I think if we’re held to high standards, owners should be held to even higher standards,” Barnes told ESPN.com at Thursday’s shootaround ahead of Thursday night’s game at Utah.. “When an elder says something derogatory toward me and I respond, I thought it would stay there. It’s one grown man saying something to another grown man. I’m not going to run and tell, but the fact that he or someone around him told (the league), it’s crazy.”

Barnes did admit he was having words with some fans as well, but still believes his fine was because of his back-and-forth with Sarver.

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Chris Paul makes pitch for DeAndre Jordan to make his first All-Star team

DeAndre Jordan has never been selected to the All-Star team/Photo by Associated Press

 

DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul on Thursday will find out if they will be members of the 2015 Western Conference All-Star squad when the reserves – picked by conference coaches – are announced.

Paul figures to have a better chance of making the team for the eighth consecutive season, but he gave his best pitch for Jordan following Monday’s 102-98 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.

His comments came when somebody mentioned a sequence in the final minute of the half where Jordan got three of the four blocked shots he had in the game. Two came on one Nuggets possession.

“I say it all the time, but to me D.J. is an All-Star, he is the Defensive Player of the Year and many other accolades that I think he should have,” Paul said. “D.J. also understands that he does not need all of that to validate him. We all know what he does and what he is capable of.”

The Clippers (31-14) on Wednesday night begin their eight-game Grammy road trip at Utah (16-29) at 6 p.m.

 

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Report: J.J. Redick to take part in 3-point shooting contest at All-Star weekend

J.J. Redick

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

 

J.J. Redick will be among those competing in the 3-point shooting contest at this year’s All-Star game weekend Feb. 13-15 in New York City, according to a report on Yahoo.com, which cited league sources.

Others expected to compete are Splash Brothers Klay Thompson and Steph Curry of Golden State as well as Kyle Korver of Atlanta and Wesley Matthews of Portland. There is one more spot available.

Korver is shooting a ridiculous league-high 53.1 percent from 3-point range, Thompson is at 45.8, Redick at 44.1, Matthews at 39.9 and Curry is shooting 39.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Marco Belinelli of San Antonio is the defending champion in this event.

 

 

 

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Matt Barnes says his Tuesday fine of $25,000 was because he exchanged expletives with Suns owner, not a fan

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Forward Matt Barnes on Tuesday was fined $25,000 for what the NBA said was directing inappropriate language at a fan, it was announced by Rod Thorn, president of basketball operations for the NBA.

A news release stated the incident took place with 4:28 left in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 120-100 victory over the Suns at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

However, Barnes took to Twitter to let everyone know it wasn’t a fan he was exchanging pleasantries with:

“Another 25k! The part of the story the nba hasn’t told you was my language wasnt directed at a fan, I was talkn to the owner of the Suns….”

“..Who was sitting on the baseline & I only said something to him AFTER he cussed at me, BUT because I didn’t SNITCH I get fined!!” #thecode

Robert Sarver is the majority owner of the Suns.

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