Five things to take from Clippers’ 108-103 loss Friday at New Orleans

Eric Gordon, guarded by J.J. Redick, puts up a shot. He scored 28 points in New Orleans’ victory over the Clippers on Friday/Photo by Associated Press

 

- The Clippers have been playing well, so it’s hard to take a shot at them. But to lose this one when New Orleans did not have forward Anthony Davis (groin injury) – one of the top players in the league – has to be tough for them to take. That was Davis cheering from the bench as his team was securing the victory. The Pelicans are 2 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, so they are very hungry.

- The setback cost the Clippers (32-15) in the Western Conference standings. They went from being tied for third with Houston and Portland to tied for fourth with Portland, now a game behind third-place Houston, 2 1/2 games behind second-place Memphis and 5 1/2 behind frontrunning Golden State.

- The Clippers did not guard the 3-point line as well as they could have. The Pelicans shot 52 percent (13 of 25) from beyond the arc and that is not going to cut it. Forward Ryan Anderson and guard Eric Gordon, in particular, torched the Clippers from there. Anderson made 5 of 11 from 3-point range and Gordon was 5 of 7 as he went for a game-high 28 points. The Clippers, on the other hand, made just 25 percent (7 of 28) from long-distance.

- One could also say the Pelicans won this game from the free-throw line. They shot 26 free throws and made 23 for a whopping 88.5 percent. The Clippers, one of the more inferior free-throw shooting teams in tne league, made 12 of 17 for 70.6 percent. DeAndre Jordan was 0 of 2.

- It’s difficult to take a lot of positives from a road loss against a middle-of-the-road team missing its best player. But Chris Paul had a terrific game. He scored a team-high 24 points with seven assists, eight rebounds and three steals while shooting 10 of 20.

BONUS TAKE: The Clippers were outrebouned 51-38 by a team that, again, was sans Davis, who averages a team-high 10.4 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 15, Blake Griffin only four. Remember, Paul had eight and at 6-foot he’s 10 inches shorter than Griffin.

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Clippers have 1-point halftime lead at New Orleans, which is sans Davis

J.J. Redick

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

 

Even though the New Orleans Pelicans are without superstar forward Anthony Davis (groin injury), the Clippers led them by just one point (54-53) at halftime Friday at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers (32-14) with 11 first-half points. J.J. Redick, who did not play Wednesday at Utah because of back spasms, scored 10.

New Orleans (24-22) got 15 points from Eric Gordon.

 

 

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VIDEO: Clutch 3-pointer by Austin Rivers results in kudos from Sam Cassell

Austin Rivers is becoming more and more comfortable playing on his dad’s team. In this video he had just made his second 3-pointer of the game – a 25-footer – to pull the Clippers within 68-64 of Utah on their way to a 94-89 victory on Wednesday at Utah. Assistant coach Sam Cassell, who has been working with the younger Rivers, is there to greet him.

 

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Chris Paul selected as reserve for All-Star game, but DeAndre Jordan is not

Chris Paul

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

 

Clippers guard Chris Paul on Thursday was selected as a reserve by Western Conference coaches for the All-Star game that will be played Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It is Paul’s eighth consecutive All-Star game selection.
Paul finished fourth in fan voting among backcourt players.
Clippers post DeAndre Jordan did not get selected, however. Frontcourt players chosen ahead of him as reserves were LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland, Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City.
Jordan finished 12th in fan voting while Duncan, Durant and Aldridge were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

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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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