Blake Griffin had 13 points in first quarter as Clippers lead Nets 34-23

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin scored 13 points in the first quarter – eight of them on four dunks – and the Clippers led the Brooklyn Nets 34-23 after one at Staples Center.

The Clippers (28-14) shot 60 percent from the field.

Mason Plumlee led Brooklyn (18-24) with 10 points. The Nets shot 47.6 percent from the field.

Kevin Garnett is not playing for the Nets as  he is being given a day of rest.

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Blake Griffin selected by fans to start 2015 All-Star game in New York City

L.A. Clippers focused on Nets, but aware of Grammy road trip

Blake Griffin, center, was voted by fans to start the 2015 All-Star game for the Western Conference/Staff photo by John McCoy

 

Blake Griffin was the lone member of the Los Angeles Clippers to be selected by fans to start the 2015 All-Star game, the NBA announced Thursday afternoon.

Griffin received 700,615 votes and will join other frontcourt players Anthony Davis (1,369,911) of New Orleans and Marc Gasol (795,121) of Memphis in the starting lineup for the Western Conference. The two guards are Stephen Curry (1,513,324) of Golden State and Kobe Bryant (1,152,402) of the Lakers; Bryant on Thursday was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff.

Curry was the overall leading vote-getter with the Eastern Conference’s LeBron James (1,470,483) of Cleveland second.

DeAndre Jordan (117,816) and Chris Paul (551,167) of the Clippers were 12th and fourth in the frontcourt and backcourt, respectively, in the West. They would now have to be voted in as reserves by the conference coaches. The reserves will be announced Jan. 29.

Joining James in the frontcourt for the Eastern Conference will be Pau Gasol (974,177) of Chicago and Carmelo Anthony (647,005) of New York. The two guards are Kyle Lowry (805,290) of Atlanta and John Wall (886,368) of Washington.

The 64th NBA All-Star game will take place Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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Austin Rivers struggling with his shot, but being all he can be on defense

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Austin Rivers was 0 of 7 from the field in his first two games playing for the Clippers and his father, coach Doc Rivers. He finally made a shot in the third game – a 102-93 victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday at Staples Center.

Still, by shooting 1 of 3 that day, he is just 1 of 10 since joining the Clippers. It stands to reason that the younger Rivers will begin to shoot the ball better. In the meantime, the 6-foot-4 guard will make sure he’s playing the best defense he can play. It will give him more minutes, and it will help his team.

“That’s always helpful,” he said at the morning shootaround ahead of his team’s game Thursday night against the visiting Brooklyn Nets. “Any time you’re playing great defense, it always buys you more … you know, it’s like that thing where if you play no defense and you;’re missing shots, what are you out there for? You know what I mean? I think that’s on any player. If you’re out there playing great defense and you miss a couple of shots, you can deal with it.

“And to be honest, with this team, I think they look at it as, just go out there and play hard regardless. You make shots that night, you make them. You miss them, you miss them..That’s kind of of just the attitude here.”

Rivers, in his third season in the NBA, has a career shooting percentage of 38.7, 32.9 from 3-point range.

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Clippers have same record as 2013-14, but Blake Griffin says team can be better

Blake Griffin goes to the basket in Saturday’s 117-108 victory at Sacramento/Photo by Rich Pedroncelli of Associated Press

 

The Clippers are 28-14 after 42 games. They were 28-14 after 42 games in 2013-14, as well. Blake Griffin on Wednesday at practice was asked if it feels different than it did a year ago.

“I think we can play better,” Griffin said. “And last year we probably could have played better, too. But this year I really believe that and we’ll find it. But it’s encouraging to have that same record.”

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Chris Paul says upcoming eight-game road trip is ‘big’ for his Clippers

Monta Ellis, Chris Paul Photo: George Nikitin, Associated Press

Chris Paul says upcoming Grammy road trip is big for the Clippers/Photo by of Associated Press

 

The Clippers have three games left before their upcoming Grammy road trip that will include eight games in 13 days. The Clippers host Brooklyn on Thursday, play Sunday at Phoenix and host Denver on Monday.

The Grammy roadie then begins Jan. 28 in Utah and will also go to New Orleans, San Antonio, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Toronto, Oklahoma City and Dallas (on Feb. 9).

The Clippers are currently in sixth in the Western Conference standings and certainly want to move up before the playoffs arrive and since the season is now more than halfway over, the post-season will be here before any of us know it.

Indeed, this trip could prove vital to the Clippers’ playoff seeding, and Chris Paul agrees.

“It’ll be a big trip for us,” he said. “You know, the West is tough. Obviously, we’re in the bottom eight of the playoffs right now and that’s going to be a big test for us.”

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Clippers recall C.J. Wilcox from Fort Wayne Mat Ants of Development League

CJ Wilcox

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

 

The Clippers on Wednesday recalled guard C.J. Wilcox from the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Wilcox, selected in the first round by the Clippers in the June draft out of the University of Washington, played five games for Fort Wayne  and averaged 13.2 points.

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Doc Rivers has interesting response to question about Austin’s new apartment

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Coach Doc Rivers was asked by a reporter (not this one) on Monday about his son Austin getting his own apartment rather than moving in with his parents – Doc and Kristen Rivers. Austin Rivers was recently brought in to play for his father via a three-team trade.

Doc Rivers had an interesting and, perhaps, even annoyed response.

“You know he’s in the NBA, right?” Doc Rivers said of Austin, a backup guard. “He’s an adult. They don’t stay with their parents anymore. You do understand that, right?”

But, Doc Rivers was asked by the same reporter, do you think Austin is trying to make a statement of some sort by doing this?

“No,” the elder Rivers said. “I’ll be glad when this is all over. How big this has become for you guys, it’s actually laughable to me. It really is. I don’t know, how old is Austin, 22? He’s been living by himself the last three years. I don’t think he’s going to move in with dad now. That’s what I’m saying. So I don’t think he’s making a statement for anything.”

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J.J. Redick says team has to keep winning to keep up with conference foes

J.J. Redick

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

 

The Clippers defeated the lowly Boston Celtics 102-93 on Monday. Although players and coaches weren’t happy that they let the Celtics back into the game – the Clippers led by 23 points, only to see Boston creep within three with 3:50 left to play – they did emerge victorious and now it’s time to focus on what lies ahead.
They host Brooklyn on Thursday, play at Phoenix on Sunday, host Denver on Monday and then depart on their 13-day, eight-game Grammy road trip.
“We have a hard schedule coming up with the Grammy trip and a tough February, where we play a lot of Western Conference playoff teams,” J.J. Redick said. “If we want to be up there at the end of the season in the top four or five seeds, then we need to win games.”

The Clippers (28-14) are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings, a game behind Houston and Dallas.

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DeAndre Jordan says he doesn’t care that he’s overlooked at All-Star time

DeAndre Jordan, left, has never played in an NBA All-Star game/Photo courtesy of Clippers.com

 

Fan voting for the 2015 All-Star game ended Monday. The results for the starters will be announced Thursday night on TNT, but don’t expect DeAndre Jordan to be among them because at last look he was way down the list of frontcourt players.

He doesn’t seem to mind.

“When I was a little younger, I would think about (not making it), but now I don’t think about it as much,” said Jordan, 26. “Blake sends me pictures and FaceTimes me when he’s there, so it’s kind of like I’m there.”
Jordan had reporters laughing. But he seemed serious when he intimated it’s just not that big of a deal. Rather, he’s focused on team stuff.
“I don’t care,” he said. “We know what our ultimate goal is at the end of the season. I’m happy for my teammates if they make it. Really, it’s like we are all there. So I really don’t get too involved in it.”
Jordan is averaging 10.0 points this season and has a career scoring average of just 7.6, so the idea that he doesn’t score a lot does not help his cause. It also doesn’t help that he is a terrible free-throw shooter. He’s shooting just 39.9 percent this season with a career percentage of just 42.2.
Yes, he has a terrific league-leading field-goal percentage of 72.1 percent this season, but his range is about three feet, so he should be shooting inordinately high from the field.

Teammate Blake Griffin was asked after Monday’s victory over Boston if he believes Jordan doesn’t get the league-wide respect he deserves. He took a shot at reporters.

“Maybe the media, I mean, people that don’t really understand the game and appreciate what a guy does beyond the box score,” Griffin said. “But other teams know, we know what he does and what he’s capable of; he’s a game-changer.”

 

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