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.
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.