Doc Rivers doesn’t think Clippers will play Game 7 with Game 6 hangover

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers walks off the court with Chris Paul after their 119-107 loss to the Rockets. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Doc Rivers and Chris Paul get ready to exit the court at Staples Center after the Clippers fell apart in Game 6 and lost 119-107 to the Houston Rockets/Staff photo by Michael Owen Baker, Los Angeles Daily News

Doc Rivers met with reporters before practice Saturday at Toyota Center in Houston ahead of Game 7 against the Rockets on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Not surprisingly, he was asked about the proverbial hangover his team might be feeling after falling apart in Game 6, when the Rockets outscored the Clippers 51-20 over the final 15 minutes to emerge with a 119-107 victory to force Game 7.

“Whether we have a hangover or not, I don’t think so,” Rivers said. “That’s all I can say. I mean, I don’t know, obviously. But I don’t think so. I think the guys, yesterday, they were still beat up a little bit. Then we got through the film and, you know, if you looked at it rationally and that’s what I try to do, if you look at it for three quarters, we were fantastic. And so you go through the bad stuff and then you move on to the good stuff and I think that gives them some kind of comfort.”

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Chris Paul only cares about team accomplishments, not individual

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are not happy campers here during Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinals series with the Houston Rockets. The Clippers were outscored 51-20 over the final 15 minutes of action, falling 119-107 at Staples Center/Associated Press photo by David J. Phillip

 

Not only are the Clippers trying to get to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history, Clippers guard Chris Paul is trying to do the same. He’s in his 10th year and he’s in his seventh postseason, fourth with the Clippers after having three with New Orleans.

Paul was asked about that at practice Saturday at Toyota Center in Houston, and he shot down any thoughts of individuality in this regard.

“It’s solely team,” he said. “Anybody who knows me knows it’s always been that and that’s what this is. If it wasn’t, I would have taken up golf or tennis or even ping pong; I like ping pong, it’s sort of individual. But everything that we do is always about the team.”

Paul was pressed by a reporter who wanted to know what it would mean to him to get to the conference finals.

“Is that what you play for?” Paul said. “I mean, I don’t know, do they give you a trophy for that?”

 

Game 7 is Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Toyota Center.

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Dwight Howard says his Houston Rockets must stay humble, focused

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard/Photo courtesy of Houston Rockets, NBA.com

 

In a postseason where momentum has started and stopped rather quickly, Dwight Howard’s response was not surprising when he was asked if his Houston Rockets can take some of that from their 119-107 comeback victory over the Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals Thursday at Staples Center.

“We’ve got to start out fresh,” he said postgame. “This game is over with. We had a great game, but we’ve got to put it behind us. We have some lessons that we can take from this game and use it in the next game, but this game is behind us.

“You know, we haven’t done anything yet but tie the series. We’ve got to try to stay focused, stay composed, stay hungry and stay humble.”

The series is tied 3-3. Game 7 is Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Toyota Center in Houston.

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Trevor Ariza predicted before 4th quarter his team will win NBA title

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers walks off the court with Chris Paul after their 119-107 loss to the Rockets. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Doc Rivers and Chris Paul start to walk off the court after Thursday’s meltdown that resulted in a 119-107 victory for the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals/Photo by Michael Owen Baker, Los Angeles Daily News

 

The Houston Rockets apparently felt good entering the fourth quarter of their 119-107 victory over the Clippers in Game 6 on Thursday at Staples Center.

Once the Rockets cut their 19-point deficit to 13 after three, at least one of them knew they had the Clippers where they wanted them.

Trevor (Ariza) said at the beginning of the fourth quarter, ‘We are going to win the championship, but we have to win this game right now. If we win this game right now, that’s how you become a champion,’ ” said Corey Brewer, who had 15 of his 19 points in the fourth. “Then we came together and got the win.”

Houston center Dwight Howard smiled when pondering what had taken place.

“This game was, it was amazing,” he said. “I just stopped looking at the clock and the score. We all just gave up ourselves for the team. We played big minutes, we played hard, we played together and we never stopped believing.”

When James Harden went out of the game with 1:33 to play in the third, the Rockets were still down 89-73. Harden, who has been under the weather, did not play another second. He checked in with 1:01 left in the game, which by then was over, but checked right back out.

The Rockets outscored the Clippers 51-20 over the final 15 minutes of action.

Game 7 is Sunday at Houston.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 119-107 loss to Rockets in Game 6

Clippers sit on the bench in the final minute of their 119-107 loss to the Rockets. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Bummed out Clippers watch the end of Thursday night’s fiasco from the bench/Photo by Michael Owen Baker, Los Angeles Daily News

 

– Clippers fans have to ask themselves one question: How do the Clippers get past one of the most epic fold jobs in recent memory? Think about it. They led by 19 points with 3:04 left in the third quarter and their fans at Staples Center were in a frenzy. Then they were outscored 51-20 the rest of the way. How the heck does that happen? Just when we thought the Clippers’ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome might be a thing of the past, boom, it’s back.

James Harden, who has been under the weather, didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. He did check in with 1:01 to play in the game, but checked right back out without playing a second. But, man, Josh Smith and Corey Brewer more than picked up the slack. Brewer scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Smith scored 14 of his 19 in the fourth. Smith had three big 3-point baskets, each installing a nail in the Clippers’ coffin. As good as they were, the Clippers were that bad in defending them. Not that the Clippers played any defense at all in the final quarter, during which the Rockets shot 63.2 percent from the field – 63.6 (7 of 11) from beyond the arc.

– The Clippers’ two best players – Blake Griffin and Chris Paul – fell apart during crunch time. Griffin, in particular, was awful in the fourth. He missed all five of his shots and threw up a couple of bricks from short range that were head-scratching. Paul was just 2 of 7 in the fourth as the Clippers shot just 18.2 percent (4 of 22).

– The trio of Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford once again could not find the basket. Barnes shot 4 of 12 and Redick and Crawford were both 4 of 13. That’s a combined 12 of 38 (31.5 percent). This comes on the heels of them shooting a combined 6 of 30 (20 percent) in the Game 5 loss. If this doesn’t change, the Clippers stand little chance of winning Game 7.

– Crawford scored nine points to lead the reserves. As a whole, the bench scored just 16 points with Austin Rivers scoring five points on 2 of 8 from the field and Glen “Big Baby” Davis scoring just two. The Rockets got 37 points from three players – 19 from Brewer, 16 from Terrence Jones and two from Clint Capela.

– BONUS TAKE: The Clippers were outrebounded 60-41.

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Blake Griffin has 22 points in first half as Clippers lead Rockets 64-62

Blake Griffin

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

 

Blake Griffin scored 22 points on 9 of 12 shooting to help the Clippers take a 64-62 lead over the Houston Rockets into halftime of Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinals series at Staples Center.

The Clippers led by as many as nine points in the first quarter. But behind James Harden the Rockets came roaring back to lead the Clippers by six in the second quarter before the Clippers answered.

Chris Paul contributed 10 points and seven assists in the half.

Harden led the Rockets with 21 points and Dwight Howard scored 11 and grabbed nine rebounds.

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‘Big Baby’ imparts wisdom from past experiences to current teammates

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets takes the ball by Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2015 in Houston, Texas.   The Rockets won 124-103. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Blake Griffin of the Clippers guards James Harden of the Rockets in Tuesday’s 124-103 Rockets victory in Game 5 at Toyota Center in Houston/Photo by Scott Halleran, Getty Images

 

Glen “Big Baby” Davis was a rookie when coach Doc Rivers guided the Boston Celtics to the NBA title in 2008. Now, Davis is on the Rivers-coached Clippers team trying to advance to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

The Clippers lead their Western Conference semifinals series 3-2 over the Houston Rockets, but are coming off a 21-point loss in Game 5 at Houston.

Davis on Thursday at the morning shootaround ahead of Game 6 at Staples Center was asked if he imparts any wisdom from his past to his current teammates.

“Most definitely, in ways,” he said. “We have our leaders on this team and so me, I just try to pick and choose when I feel like the moment’s right to lead from my experiences. So I just go out there and do what I can with my actions and try to help my team as much as possible.”

Davis also talked about the difficulties of winning the proverbial closeout game, which the Clippers could not do Tuesday.

“The focus level has to go to a whole other level,” he said. “You know, attention to detail, energy. It’s a whole bunch of stuff that goes in a bag in order to finish a game, so we’ve gotta make sure we put those things in a bag in order to take this series.”

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Doc Rivers unhappy about his team’s play in the paint in Game 5 loss

 

Austin Rivers, left, and Blake Griffin appear down in the dumps as they are about to lose to the Houston Rockets in Game 5 on Tuesday in Houston/Photo by David J. Phillip, Associated Press

 

 

After the Clippers were routed 124-103 by the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinals series at Toyota Center in Houston, it was pointed out to Clippers coach Doc Rivers that the Rockets, who took full advantage of DeAndre Jordan being in game-long foul trouble, outscored the Clippers 64-46 in the paint. With a frown, he intimated that didn’t tell the whole story.

“Yeah, it would have been 80 (points in the paint) if the game was closer,” he said. “The only reason it wasn’t worse is because it was a blowout and they just started shooting jump-shots.”

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