Blake Griffin gives kudos to second unit in loss to Sacramento

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Jordan Farmar

Jordan Farmar/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Coach Doc Rivers said his team’s reserves kind of let the team down in its 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday at Staples Center. Were it not for the second unit Sunday, the Clippers likely would have lost to the Sacramento Kings by much more than 98-92. Starting power forward Blake Griffin seems to realize that.

It was early in the second quarter that reserves Jordan Farmar (8), Spencer Hawes (6) and Hedo Turkoglu (3) scored all 17 points during a 17-2 Clippers run.

“I thought that we (the starters) played poorly and the second unit played good,” Griffin said. “The second unit did a good job in the second quarter by putting pressure on them (the Kings). We tried to get back in it in the third quarter, but we could not.”

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-92 loss to Sacramento

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Blake Griffin has little for which to be happy Sunday/Staff photo by David Crane

 

- Blake Griffin got frustrated at the officiating and it might have affected his game. Griffin did get hammered a few times when fouls were not called. Griffin scored 17 points, but he shot just 6 of 20. This came two nights after he scored 39 points on 13 of 23 from the field in a 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday night.

- DeAndre Jordan needs to quit chirping so much at the referees. It doesn’t seem like he’s doing himself or his team any good by getting a technical foul late in the game that cost the Clippers a point.

- The Clippers were outrebounded 46-35, so that issue continues. They were outrebounded by Oklahoma City 47-33 in the season-opener, by the Lakers 40-36. In three games, the Clippers have been outrebounded by a combined 133-104. That’s a negative differential of 29. That won’t cut the mustard.
- The Clippers went 0-for-12 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter. But Rivers afterward told reporters that he was fine with the shots his team took. Still, one has to wonder why the Clippers didn’t try to work the ball inside more once the basket started shrinking. Perhaps the Clippers figured that since they were 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range after three quarters, they’d have to start falling again. If so, they were wrong. The Clippers shot just 37.5 percent from the field overall.

- Nothing against Sacramento, it has some good players. Heck, DeMarcus Cousins was a beast in scoring 34 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. But the more-talented Clippers were at home, and took a 13-6 lead. Again, the Clippers look so good early, kind of like they did when they opened a 15-point lead over the Lakers in the first quarter of that game Friday. Then, poof, just like that the Kings go on a 15-0 run. Not long after, the Clippers embark on a 17-2 run. How does this happen? It just seems like the Clippers are checking in and out of the game mentally. Or, as Spencer Hawes intimated, maybe they are becoming “complacent” after starting quickly.

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Chris Paul and wife Jada pumped up about season bell-ringer

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Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul told reporters at the morning shootaround ahead of tonight’s (Thursday) season-opener against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder that he is fired up about the 2014-15 bell-ringer. Apparently, so is his wife Jada.

“I woke up and rolled over and my wife said, ‘Congratulations on the opening day,’ ” Paul said. “That was the first thing I heard. She sounded as excited as I was, so that got me excited. Now, they count.”

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DeAndre Jordan says players can’t worry about getting injured

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DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday morning was asked his thoughts about the unfortunate injury sustained by Lakers rookie Julius Randle in the Lakers’ opener on Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. Randle broke his right leg in the fourth quarter and figures to be out for the season.

Jordan said the one thing a player can’t do is become concerned that it could happen to him after seeing it happen to someone else.

“You can’t control things like that,” he said. “You’ve just gotta continue to play. You can’t think about getting injured or think about what could happen because that’s when things usually happen. You’ve just gotta play and if it happens, it happens.”

 

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Fergie to sing national anthem at Clippers opener at Staples Center

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Fergie/Photo courtesy of Associated Press

The Clippers on Wednesday announced that 8-time Grammy Award winner Fergie will sing the national anthem prior to the Clippers’ season-opener Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center.

Fergie is a solo singer as well as a vocalist for The Black Eyed Peas.

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A record 101 international players on opening-day NBA rosters

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Hedo Turkoglu

Hedo Turkoglu/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

There will be a record 101 international players on opening-day rosters, breaking this past season’s previous record of 97, the NBA announced Tuesday.

San Antonio will lead the way for the third consecutive season with nine international players. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets have six apiece, the Golden State Warrios five and eight teams have four.

The Clippers have just one – reserve forward Hedo Turkoglu of Turkey.

Canada leads countries with 12 players in the league, France has 10 while Australia and Brazil have eight and seven, respectively.

Moreover, the number of international players has more than doubled since the 2000-01 season, when there were 45. Ten years before that, in 1990-91, there were only 21 international players.

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J.J. Redick stoked to be healthy after injury-riddled 2013-14 campaign

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J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

J.J. Redick averaged a very respectable 15.2 points in 2013-14 for the Clippers. But the shooting guard played in only 35 games because of injuries.

On Monday, he talked in appreciative tones that he enters this 2014-15 campaign with a clean bill of health.

“I feel good,” he said ahead of practice at the team’s facility in Playa Vista. “It just seemed like I couldn’t stay healthy last year. It started right after the first of the season when I strained my quad.

“So I’m happy to have gotten through October, well, so far,” he said, knocking on wood. “But I’m happy I’ve gotten through the preseason healthy.”

Redick also missed time with a bulging disk in his back.

The Clippers open the season Thursday at home against Oklahoma City.

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Spencer Hawes: Success with early home-cooking is paramount

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Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Spencer Hawes late Friday night was talking about his team’s less-than-stellar showing in the preseason – the Clippers went 2-6 in exhibition games – when he had an interesting observation.

“We have got an important week of practice coming up here to get things going in the right direction,” Hawes, the Clippers’ backup post, said after the Clippers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in their final exhibition game. “We have got to hit the ground running. We have the opportunity here starting the season with a pretty long stretch at home and we have to take advantage of that.”

The Clippers play eight of their first nine games at Staples Center. One of those is an “away” game against the Lakers on Friday. The one true away game in that stretch will be Nov. 5 at Golden State.

The Clippers open the season Thursday against Oklahoma City at Staples Center.

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Clippers pare down roster to 15 by waiving Australian Joe Ingles

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Joe Ingles/Photo courtesy of YouTube.com

 

The Clippers on Saturday pared down their roster to 15 by waiving forward Joe Ingles of Australia. Ingles appeared in five exhibition games and averaged 1.2 points and one rebound.

NBA teams can carry as many as 15 players, but only 13 can be activated for any one game.

The roster as it stands: Guards: Chris Paul, Jordan Farmar, Jamal Crawford, Reggie Bullock, J.J. Redick, C.J. Wilcox, Jared Cunningham; Forwards: Matt Barnes, Glen Davis, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Blake Griffin, Hedo Turkoglu, Ekpe Udoh; Centers: DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Hawes.

Note: Although the Clippers list Bullock as a guard, he also plays small forward.

The Clippers, who went 2-6 during the exhibition season, begin the regular season Thursday when they play host to Oklahoma City at Staples Center.

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Clippers lose to Portland to finish exhibition season at 2-6

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Blake Griffin scored 21 points, but the Clippers were beaten 99-89 by the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center in the final exhibition game. The Clippers, who open the real season Oct. 30 against Oklahoma City, finished 2-6.

J.J. Redick and Jared Cunningham scored 12 apiece for Los Angeles, but no one else on the team was in double figures. Chris Paul had eight points and 11 assists, Spencer Hawes had nine points and seven rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu scored eight points.

DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers in rebounding with nine, but the team was outrebounded 49-39.

Portland, which went 4-3 in exhibition play, got 21 points from Damian Lillard, 14 from Meyers Leonard and 13 from Chris Kaman, who also had nine rebounds.

 

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