Last 2 Minutes report: referee Lauren Holtkamp made right calls in Clippers loss to T’Wolves

J.J. Redick

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

 

The NBA’s Last 2 Minutes report from Wednesday’s game between the Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves won 108-102 by the Timberwolves shows that referee Lauren Holtkamp made the correct call when the Clippers’ J.J. Redick was whistled for fouling Ricky Rubio as Rubio was being double-teamed by Redick and Chris Paul with 20.6 seconds left in the game.

Holtkamp subsequently assessed Paul a technical foul when he clapped his hands hard in Holtkamp’s direction after the foul was called on Redick. The Clippers were down by just two points (102-100) at the time. That also was deemed the correct call by the league.

 

 

 

DeAndre Jordan says Clippers were a step slow ‘on everything’ in loss to Timberwolves

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

It just wasn’t the Clippers’ night Wednesday in their 108-102 loss to the visiting – and lowly – Minnesota Timberwolves.

Austin Rivers was ejected in the second quarter after getting two technical fouls called on him for arguing a non-call, Chris Paul took a technical with 20.6 seconds left in the game and his team trailing by two points. They were factors in the setback, but DeAndre Jordan said it was a lot more than that.

“We don’t want to get fourth-quarter technicals, Chris knows that,” Jordan said post-game. “But we made so many mistakes prior to that. Our defense was terrible tonight. I thought we were a step slow on everything. The starting five, that is on us to come out ready to play. And also, the second unit, we got in a weird situation with Austin (being ejected), but that is no excuse. We have to come out and compete and we cannot take teams lightly.”

The Clippers (32-17) had beaten the Timberwolves 14 consecutive times. Moreover, the Timberwolves (15-36) entered having lost five consecutive games, seven of eight and 16 of 18.

But like they say, on any given night …

Clippers’ J.J. Redick selected to participate in 3-point contest

J.J. Redick/Staff photo by John McCoy

 

Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick has been selected to participate in the 3-point contest during All-Star weekend in Toronto. The event will take place on Feb. 13 at Air Canada Centre, the day before the game is played there.

Redick leads the NBA in field-goal percentage from beyond the arc at 48.2 percent (120 of 249).

Joining Redick in the eight-man field will be Steph Curry and Klay Thompson of Golden State, Chris Bosh of Miami, James Harden of Houston, Kyle Lowry of Toronto, Devin Booker of Phoenix and Khris Middleton of Milwaukee.

Curry leads the NBA in made 3-pointers with 232. He is the defending champion of this contest.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 108-102 loss to Timberwolves

J.J. Redick of the Clippers guards Tayshaun Prince of the Timberwolves on Wednesday at Staples Center/Staff photo by David Crane

 

– Although this loss was a very unlikely one for the Clippers, as the Timberwolves have one of the worst records (15-36) in the league, it’s also understandable because there is a law of averages to consider. The Clippers had gone an almost-unbelievable 15-3 without Blake Griffin before this game and sometimes a team on a run like that will lose to an vastly inferior team. That’s not to mention that with young talent like Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine, the Timberwolves are going to beat good teams on a given night. They scored 31, 17 and 17 points, respectively.

– Technical fouls hurt the Clippers in this one. Austin Rivers took two for arguing a non-call in the second quarter and was ejected. Chris Paul took one with 20.6 seconds to play for arguing an “overt clap” when J.J. Redick was called for a foul on Ricky Rubio as Redick and Paul were double-teaming him. Paul said he knows he can’t be getting fourth-quarter technical fouls and that he apologized to his team after the game. The technical assessed him came from referee Lauren Holtkamp. It was in February 2015 that Paul was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his criticism of Holtkamp after a loss at Cleveland.

– Coach Doc Rivers was honest after the game. He said he thought his team lacked focus from the opening tip. “I didn’t think we had any intensity into the game,” he said. That showed defensively, several  players said. The Timberwolves shot 50.6 from the field, 47.1 (8 of 17) from 3-point range.

– It’s tough to win when one of your best shooters – Redick – goes 1 of 9 from the field. He wasn’t the only one, though. Paul Pierce shot 1 of 5 and Jamal Crawford was 5 of 15. Overall, the Clippers shot 44 percent from the field, which is not horrible. But 32 of their 75 field-goal attempts were from 3-point range, and they made only 11 of them for 34.4 percent.

DeAndre Jordan pulled down 15 rebounds, but the team as a whole only had 35, well under its season average of 42.1, which is only 24th-best in the league. Minnesota had 42 rebounds.

Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford lead Clippers to narrow halftime lead over Timberwolves

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul scored 12 points and Jamal Crawford had 10 as the Clippers took a 55-53 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves into the halftime break Wednesday at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in the half, during which Clippers reserve guard Austin Rivers was ejected after getting two technical fouls because he barked at officials for not calling a foul after he made a tough layup.

The T’Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins led everyone with 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting.

The Clippers (32-16) shot 52.8 percent in the half, the T’Wolves 53.5. Minnesota is 14-36.

Doc Rivers downplays his Coach of the Month award

Doc Rivers/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill

 

Doc Rivers this week was named Western Conference Coach of the Month by the NBA. Not only did the Clippers go 11-3 in January, they of course did it without the services of leading scorer Blake Griffin.

Rivers is not one to jump for joy over such an accolade, and he gave credit to everyone but himself.

“It doesn’t mean much,” Rivers said. “It means that our team is playing well. I was surprised I got it. I mean, I figured someone else had a better record or did something better. But it’s nice, obviously, whenever you get an award. It usually means that your players are really, really playing well, you’re staff’s doing well.”

Rivers said he found out about the award, which was announced Monday, when his phone started making noise that morning.

“It’s funny, I get all these texts and I’m like, ‘Who in the heck’s texting me?’ ” he said. “And then I actually had to read them. And that even made it worse. But it’s nice when you ever get anything.”