Jamal Crawford is not shy launching long shots on the basketball court. He banked in this 30-foot 3-pointer that gave the Clippers an 89-81 lead over the Houston Rockets early in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s 110-95 Clippers victory at Staples Center. Crawford scored 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting. But he was just 1 of 4 from 3-point range. Here is the one long shot he made:
Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
The pressure is on the Clippers (34-19). They are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings and would love to move into the top four so they can play a first-round playoff series with homecourt advantage and so they can avoid playing either first-place Golden State or second-place Memphis in the first round, which would happen if they fall to seventh or eighth in the West.
With Blake Griffin (elbow) out at least a month, and with a brutal stretch of 14 games coming up against mostly playoff teams, none of this is going to be easy. The key, sixth-man Jamal Crawford suggested, us unity.
“Soul-searching. You’ve got to look deep,” Crawford said after his team won Monday at Dallas to complete a 3-5 Grammy road trip. “You have to look in the mirror, take a step back and see what you can do better. Collectively, you have to have each others’ backs.”
Dean Smith, center, is flanked by current North Carolina coach Roy Williams and Michael Jordan/Photo by Associated Press
When legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday, he was remembered throughout the country by those who knew him and by those who played for him. Clippers coach Doc Rivers was one of many who said that Smith was much more than one of the greatest college basketball coaches in history.
“It’s a sad day,” Rivers said Sunday after his team was beaten 131-108 at Oklahoma City. “Obviously, we lost a giant. The thing I liked the most about Dean – we always talk about his coaching because we know he was a great coach – but I just thought he was a great leader of people. He would lead his teammates or all the guys that he coached. You have to be around those guys to understand that. But you really get the impact that he had on them.”
Smith, who was three weeks shy of his 84th birthday, was head coach of the Tar Heels from 1961-97. He had 879 victories, fourth-best among Division I men’s coaches.
DeAndre Jordan/Photo by Associated Press
DeAndre Jordan had 22 points and a career-high 27 rebounds Monday in the Clippers’ 115-98 victory at Dallas. Another All-Star performance by a player not on the Western Conference All-Star team.
“He should be in the All-Star game (Feb. 15),” teammate Jamal Crawford said of Jordan. “He’s an All-Star who’s not playing in the All-Star game. As long as he has the respect of his peers and his coaches, that’s all that matters.”
DeAndre Jordan pulled down 27 rebounds in Monday’s victory at Dallas/Photo by Associated Press
- Yes, it is somewhat amazing to think the Clippers went into Dallas without Blake Griffin and beat the Mavericks by 17 points on their home court. But before you get too excited, keep in mind Dallas lost starting center Tyson Chandler to an ankle injury 39 seconds into the game. Monta Ellis, the starting shooting guard, played only four minutes after sustaining a hip injury. Ellis averages a team-high 20 points and did not score, Chandler averages 10.7 points and a team-high 11.8 rebounds and he had one point and zero rebounds. That’s not to mention Mavericks starting point guard Rajon Rondo was already out with an orbital bone fracture.
- DeAndre Jordan took full advantage of not having to deal with Chandler by coming away with a career-high 27 rebounds. He also scored 22 points with three blocks. Sure, he would have had more difficulty doing that with Chandler playing, but 27 rebounds is 27 rebounds and it’s just a beautiful thing to watch any player do that.
- Chris Paul. He really came through when his team needed him most. He scored 25 points, doled out 13 assists, grabbed six rebounds and had two steals with three turnovers in 40 minutes.
- Having J.J. Redick back after he missed the previous three games with back spasms helped, for sure. He scored 15 points while making 5 of 12 from the field, but he was 3 of 4 from 3-point range. He also had three assists and no turnovers.
- It’s difficult to tell how much of a positive effect this might have on the team. Yes, winning meant the Clippers didn’t have to come home 2-6 from the Grammy trip. Instead, they finished 3-5. But the realization of not having Griffin – out at least three weeks and probably more after having surgery Monday to remove a staph infection in his right elbow – may set in and this win may not mean much at all. One thing’s for sure, it moved the Clippers (34-19) to within a half-game of fifth-place Dallas (35-19) in the Western Conference standings.
DeAndre Jordan had a whopping 27 rebounds in Monday’s victory at Dallas/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
It didn’t figure the Clippers could go into Dallas and beat the Mavericks by 17 points without Blake Griffin. But that’s what they did Monday, winning 115-98 at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.
Perhaps Dallas figured the same thing, that the Clippers – losers of four in a row going in – would be easy prey in their second game without Griffin, who had elbow surgery Monday and is out at least three weeks. Not the case as the Clippers broke that losing streak by having three players score more than 20 points. One of them was DeAndre Jordan, who scored 22 and also pulled down a whopping 27 rebounds while blocking three shots.
Chris Paul, who said after Sunday’s 23-point loss at Oklahoma City that everyone would have to step up in Griffin’s absence, scored 25 points to go along with 13 assists and six rebounds. Jamal Crawford scored 22 points off the bench. J.J. Redick returned after missing three games because of back spasms to score 15 points, Matt Barnes scored 12 and Hedo Turkoglu nine.
Charlie Villanueva led Dallas (35-19) with 26 points off the bench and Dirk Nowitzki scored 18.
This was the final game of the long Grammy road trip, during which the Clippers (34-19) went 3-5.
J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
As poorly as things are going for the Clippers, they received some good news when J.J. Redick was able to start Monday night’s game at Dallas after having missed the past three games with back spasms.
Redick scored five points in the first quarter, after which the Clippers led the Mavericks 32-31. Redick shot just 1 of 4 in the quarter, however.
The Clippers needed something to give them good vibrations. They are 2-5 on this Grammy road trip and will be without Blake Griffin for a good three weeks after he underwent surgery Monday to remove a staph infection from his right elbow, the team said.
Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
Blake Griffin on Monday underwent successful surgery to remove a staph infection in his right elbow, the Clippers announced. The surgery was performed in in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and assisted by Clippers team physician Dr. Steven Shimoyama.
The Clippers in a release said that Griffin will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
Griffin, who would have played in his fifth consecutive All-Star game but has been replaced by Portland guard Damian Lillard, is averaging 22.5 points and a career-high 5.1 assists.
The Clippers (33-19), losers of four consecutive games, play Monday night at Dallas. The game will mark the end of a 13-day, eight-game Grammy road trip. They are 2-5 so far.