Chris Paul’s 33 points help Clippers to big 120-108 victory at Oklahoma City

Chris Paul

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

 

The Clippers on Wednesday night came through with an impressive 120-108 victory at Oklahoma City. Perhaps most outstanding was the game had by Chris Paul. He scored a game-high 33 points on 11 of 19 shooting – 5 of 8 from 3-point range – and also doled out nine assists with two steals and five turnovers.  Two days earlier in a victory over Minnesota on Monday, Paul had 15 assists but just two points and was noticeably hobbled by a right knee bruise.

The Clippers are now 9-5 without Blake Griffin (elbow). Jamal Crawford (calf) missed his fourth consecutive game. The Thunder were without reigning MVP Kevin Durant (foot).

Paul was not alone in his heroics. J.J. Redick scored 25 points and Matt Barnes had 22. DeAndre Jordan scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and survived more hack-a-DJ by making 12 of 22 from the free-throw line. Glen “Big Baby” Davis contributed 12 points, three rebounds and two steals off the bench.

The Clippers (42-23) shot 46.1 percent overall, 50 percent (15 of 30) from 3-point range.

OKC (35-29) fell out of the top eight in the Western Conference and is now ninth, a half-game behind New Orleans (36-29). The Clippers are fifth.

Anthony Morrow led the Thunder with 26 points off the bench. Russell Westbrook scored 24 points, but he shot just 5 of 14 from the field. He had seven assists and nine rebounds, but 10 turnovers.

Next up is Dallas (41-25) on Friday. The Mavericks are seventh in the West.

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Familiarity brings comfort to Nate Robinson, newest member of Clippers

Former Husky Nate Robinson signs with Clippers

Nate Robinson played 33 games with the Denver Nuggets this season/Photo by David Zalubowski, Associated Press

 

The Clippers were not the only team courting free-agent point guard Nate Robinson. The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the others, Robinson said.

But Robinson on Saturday signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers and had already joined the team at its practice facility in the morning. He will be reunited with Clippers coach Doc Rivers as well as with fellow Seattle native and Rainer Beach High alum Jamal Crawford.

Rivers coached Robinson for two seasons in Boston. Robinson also played four seasons with Crawford on the New York Knicks. Partly for this, he’s stoked to join the Clippers.

“I’ve played with Jamal since high school – I was a freshman, he was a senior,” Robinson said. “Played on the Knicks together, so this is going to be our third go-round and pretty cool just to have. You know, ‘Mal’s like my big brother. He’s a real Seattle guy. Our high school team is playing for its fourth state championship in a row tonight, so hopefully they can win it.

“But just beihg here and being under Doc’s system again, it’s definitely going to be comfortable for me. I know all the plays, so it won’t be hard for me to be able to come in and just help the team and run the team how he wants me to do.”
 

 

 

 

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Jordan Hamilton gets a second 10-day contract from Doc Rivers, Clippers

Jordan Hamilton

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

 

The Clippers on Friday signed 6-foot-7 wing Jordan Hamilton to a second 10-day contract, said Doc Rivers, head coach and president of basketball operations.

Hamilton, who prepped at Compton Dominguez High, has played in four games for the Clippers and started two of them. He is averaging 3.3 points while averaging 11.5 minutes.

Hamilton’s best game came Monday in a 110-105 victory at Minnesota. Starting for the injured Matt Barnes (hamstring), Jordan scored 10 points on 4 of 10 shooting in just under 26 minutes of play.

Hamilton, 24, previously played three seasons with Denver and Houston before playing this season for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League.

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Jamal Crawford sustains contusion of right calf Monday in Minnesota

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Sixth-man Jamal Crawford has sustained a right calf contusion Monday at Minnesota and will not be available for the rest of the game. He scored nine points in the first half, after which the Clippers trailed 60-58.

The Clippers (39-21) were already without Blake Griffin (elbow) Matt Barnes (hamstring).

The Timberwolves (13-45) were leading the Clippers 80-73 with 5:28 left in the third quarter.

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J.J. Redick hits nail on the head when assessing latest Clippers’ setback

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J.J. Redick

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

 

Guard J.J. Redick late Monday night gave his opinion as to why his team lost a 14-point second quarter lead and eventually lost 105-89 to the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.

“They did a great job of executing throughout the game,” he said of the Bulls. “Even when they got down in the first half, they just kind of stuck with what they do, running their stuff. They got to the second or third option. Much of our initial defense was pretty good. Any good defense can get broken down as (opponents) get to their secondary options and I think they did a good job of doing that.”

Redick hit the nail on the head in that first sentence. Chicago executed at least most of the game. The Clippers – AKA Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – executed only in spurts. This has been their problem through the first nine games of the season.

The Clippers, now 5-4, begin a seven-game road trip Wednesday at Orlando (5-7).

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Derrick Rose out, but Jamal Crawford says Chicago Bulls still dangerous

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Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose/Photo courtesy of Chicago Bulls, NBA.com

 

The Chicago Tribune has reported that point guard Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls won’t play tonight (Monday) against the Clippers at Staples Center because of a strained left hamstring. It will be Rose’s sixth missed game of 11 the Bulls (7-3) will have played this season.

But Clippers guard Jamal Crawford doesn’t believe that means the Clippers will automatically have an easier time with Chicago.

“He’s missed some time, obviously, the last couple of years,” Crawford said at the morning shootaround. “They’ve found a way to play without him and still do well without him. Obviously, they’re a better team with him, but they’ve gotten used to that, so you still can’t let your guard down.”

Rose did not play in 2012-13 and played in just 10 games in 2013-14 because of knee injuries.

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To J.J. Redick, four-day break during the season is a ‘little weird’

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J.J. Redick

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

 

The Clippers haven’t played a game since Monday, so when they take the court Saturday night against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center,. they will have gone four days without playing.

That’s not to mention coach Doc Rivers gave the team two days off from practice Tuesday and Wednesday. To guard J.J. Redick, it’s all a bit strange.

“I’m ready to get back playing,” he told reporters ahead of practice Friday in Playa Vista. “It’s always weird to have this long of a break during the season. It’s good on the body for a couple of days, it’s good on the mind, too, to get away and have a couple of days off.”

But, Redick said, “When you’re in season mode and you’re mind is wanting to play, your body wants to play, it’s a little weird.”

Redick and the rest of the Clippers will have plenty to do Saturday. The Suns are 5-3 and are tied for the fourth-highest points-per-game average in the NBA at 104.8.

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Report: Blake Griffin charged with misdemeanor battery in Las Vegas

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Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
Blake Griffin has been charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly slapping and grabbing the neck of a man at Tao Nightclub inside the Venetian in Las Vegas on Oct. 19, hours after the Clippers had played the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 18 in an exhibition game at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, TMZ has reported.
The alleged victim – identified by TMZ as Daniel Schuman – was allegedly taking flash pictures from his cell phone near Griffin, who allegedly grabbed the phone from Schuman.
If this goes to trial and Griffin is convicted, he would face up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, it is highly doubtful Griffin would do any jail time.
Jesse Roybal, public information officer with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, confirmed to this newspaper last month that the alleged incident did involve a flash from a camera.
Seth Burton, in charge of public relations for the Clippers, said Wednesday the team will not comment at this time because it is an open case. Coach Doc Rivers didn’t say all that much when the alleged incident first took place.

“I trust Blake 100 percent,” he said in October. “He’s a great kid. We’ll figure it out and get through it.”

Complaint against Blake Griffin

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Jamal Crawford says if Doc Rivers wants him to start, he’ll get used to it

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers are 1-1 since coach Doc Rivers inserted two-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford into the starting lineup, replacing Matt Barnes.

Rivers told reporters ahead of Monday night’s 89-85 loss to San Antonio that he made the move for the team, and intimated it was to inject more offense into it.

Crawford scored 20 points on 7 of 16 shooting in Saturday’s 106-102 victory over Portland. But he scored just 10 points on 3 of 13 from the field  – he was 1 of 7 from 3-point range – against San Antonio.

Following the loss to the Spurs, Crawford suggested he is determined to make this work because that’s what Rivers wants.

“I am fine,” said Crawford, who admitted being in the startling lineup “is an adjustment. But I will get used to it. As long as (Rivers) wants me there, I will get used to it.”

Rivers said this will be a game-by-game deal, which means we could see Barnes starting again at any time.

Barnes, incidentally, told yours truly before Monday’s game that he had no issue with being taken out of the starting lineup. First of all, he said during training camp he’d rather come off the bench, and he also conceded that he had been struggling on offense. He was averaging 6.0 points ahead of Monday, and he scored eight points against the Spurs.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 89-85 loss to San Antonio Spurs

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Chris Paul

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

 

- The Spurs are the defending NBA champions, but the Clippers were leading the entire game until a 12-0 run that began with 5:18 left in the game and culminated with 32.8 seconds remaining sealed their fate. San Antonio took its first lead at 83-82 with 1:44 left in the game, and by then it was obvious the Clippers were deflated. This is not the makings of a Clippers team picked by many experts to get to at least the Western Conference Finals.

- The 15 turnovers the Clippers had were their most so far this season. Previously they had committed 11, 14, 8, 10, 14, 7 turnovers, respectively. It didn’t help that their two best players – Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – combined for seven of those turnovers. Paul had four, Griffin three. Each had a pivotal turnover in the waning moments, though the one Griffin had was perpetuated by a pass into the paint from Jamal Crawford that seemed to surprise Griffin.

- Perhaps lost in the defeat was a fine defensive game from DeAndre Jordan. He blocked five shots and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Jordan had 14 rebounds in Saturday’s victory over Portland, and his season average is up to 11.0; he led the league at 13.6 a season ago.

- Even though Paul had the ball stolen from him by Kawhi Leonard with under a minute to play, Paul nearly had his second triple-double of the young campaign. He scored 13 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and doled out nine assists.

- One thing is certain, this game tells us that the Clippers have a lot of work to do. Sure, the Spurs are the defending champions, but they did not play well all night and then somehow emerged victorious over a Clippers team that couldn’t get out of its own way in the second half of the fourth quarter. The Clippers got a layup from Paul with 5:49 to play, then got only three more points on free throws from Jamal Crawford the rest of the way.

 

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