Blake Griffin scores 20 points, Clippers and Jazz tied 45-45 at half

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Blake Griffin scored 20 points in the first half Wednesday and the Clippers and Utah Jazz were tied 45-45 at the intermission.

Chris Paul contributed eight points and six assists and DeAndre Jordan had six points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

The Clippers (7-7) shot 47.5 percent, 0 percent (0 of 6) from 3-point range. They were outrebounded 28-20.

Gordon Hayward led Utah (6-7) with 16 points and six rebounds and Derrick Favors scored eight points.

The Jazz shot 42.2 percent, 42.9 (3 of 7) from beyond the arc.


Five things to take from Clippers’ 111-94 victory over Nuggets

Josh Smith

Josh Smith/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Josh Smith was the player identified as having a shouting match with an assistant coach following Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors. Smith showed what he’s made of by coming through with eight points, six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 18 minutes off the bench.

– One of the first thing that stands out for the Clippers in this victory was their 3-point shooting. They shot 40 percent (8 of 20) from beyond the arc. Even with that, they are shooting just 31.8 percent from 3-point range, which is tied for 22nd in the league with Memphis.

Wesley Johnson had his first start of the season at small forward and came through with a solid effort. He scored 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting – 3 of 4 from 3-point range – in 25 minutes. It will be interesting to see if he starts again Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center.

– It may be early in the season, but when a team that is supposed to be elite has lost three consecutive games and 7 of 9 after starting 4-0, that makes this victory a big one. That it came against a team now 6-9 almost doesn’t matter. If the Clippers – now 7-7 – had lost, it could have had a damaging effect moving forward. These guys are pros, but they’re also human and the pressure would have mounted with another setback.

– It was Doc Rivers who said after the loss to Toronto that his team had been losing its will early. After this one, he gave his team credit for a better effort: “I don’t think we played a perfect game, but we played harder.”

Clippers snap 3-game losing streak with 111-94 win at Denver

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers on Tuesday night snapped their three-game losing streak with a 111-94 victory at Denver.

All five Clippers starters scored in double figures with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan leading the way with 18 points apiece. Jordan added 11 rebounds, four blocks and three assists and Griffin had 10 rebounds and four assists.

J.J. Redick scored 16, Chris Paul 15 and Wesley Johnson 11. It was Johnson’s first start of the season. Paul also had 10 assists and three steals.

Jamal Crawford scored 15 off the bench and Josh Smith scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds, doled out two assists, blocked a shot and made a steal in 18 minutes.

The Clippers (7-7), who have struggled from 3-point range this season, shot 40 percent (8 of 20).

Danilo Gallinari led Denver (6-9) with 20 points and 18 rebounds, Nikola Jokic scored 16 and Gary Harris had 14 points.

The Clippers helped hold the Nuggets to 39.7 percent shooting.

The Clippers, once again, were outrebounded – this time 48-43.

The Clippers had only seven turnovers.

J.J. Redick scores 12, Clippers lead 51-45 at halftime at Denver

J.J. Redick

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


J.J. Redick scored 12 points in the first half and the Clippers took a 51-45 lead into the halftime break at Denver.

Chris Paul contributed 10 points and five assists for the Clippers, Blake Griffin had seven points and five rebounds and Josh Smith scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds off the bench.

Wesley Johnson started at small forward and scored six points.

Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Rivers: ‘Your defense has to carry you when your offense is bad’

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill

The Clippers scored only 80 points in Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors. That’s 23 points under their season average. That prompted this post-game quote from coach Doc Rivers:

“… Your defense has to carry you when your offense is bad,” he said. “That is what we have not done, in my opinion, this entire season.”

This is true.

The Clippers on Tuesday night will try to break out of their funk when they play at Denver (6-8). The Clippers (6-7) have lost three in a row and seven of nine since starting 4-0.