Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-93 victory over Chicago

Wesley Johnson plays tough defense on Jimmy Butler of the Bulls in the Clippers’ 120-93 victory on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht

 

– Once again the bench sparkled. Jamal Crawford scored 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting, Austin Rivers scored 16 and was 5 of 6 from 3-point range and Wesley Johnson scored 11 on 4 of 8 shooting – 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. The bench outscored the Bulls bench 58-18. The Clippers shot 53.1 percent (17 of 32) from long-distance.

J.J. Redick had a very poor shooting game on Friday against the Lakers, making just 2 of 10 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range. He rebounded nicely in this one, scoring 21 points 7 of 11 from the field – 4 of 4 from deep, where Redick is shooting a league-leading 48.6 percent.

DeAndre Jordan continued his rebounding tear, pulling down 20. He has had 19, 19, 17 and 20 rebounds his past four games and has raised his season average to 13.8, second to Andre Drummond (15.0) of Detroit. Jordan also had 17 points, four assists, four blocks and a steal

Paul Pierce’s struggles continued. He played just under 16 minutes and missed all six of his field-goal attempts, five of them coming from 3-point range. The 38-year-old Pierce is shooting 33.6 percent from the field overall, by far the worst percentage of his career, which is in its 18th season. He’s shooting 30.6 percent from beyond the arc, third-worst of his career. He shot 30.2 percent from there in 2002-03 and 29.9 percent in 2003-04.

– Considering the Clippers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, it’s always news when they outrebound an opponent. They did that in this one, taking 46 to Chicago’s 42. Besides Jordan’s 20, Lance Stephenson grabbed six boards in less than 10 minutes off the bench. Cole Aldrich and Redick had four apiece.

Wesley Johnson: Jamal Crawford has found fountain of youth

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Wesley Johnson  marveled at teammate Jamal Crawford after Crawford scored 26 points Sunday afternoon to lead the Clippers to a 120-93 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Crawford shot 11 of 15 and also had three assists and a steal. All at age 35.

“He’s found the fountain of youth somewhere,” Johnson said. “So everybody is trying to get how he feels so young and looks so young still. But it’s not like he’s surprising us by what he does on the court.”

The Clippers are now 15-3 without Blake Griffin.

Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan help Clippers to 51-47 halftime lead over Chicago Bulls

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Jamal Crawford scored 12 points and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds as the Clippers took a 51-47 lead over the Chicago Bulls into the halftime break Sunday at Staples Center.

Wesley Johnson and Chris Paul contributed eight points apiece for the Clippers (31-16).

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls (26-19) with 12 points and Derrick Rose scored eight.

How long will it take Blake Griffin to get shooting stroke back?

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Blake Griffin and team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi were absent from Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center. Griffin fractured his right hand when he punched Testi on Jan. 23 at a Toronto restaurant.

Including the five weeks he has already missed because of a quad tendon injury, Griffin will be out at least a total of two months before he gets back, and probably longer, because of the hand fracture. Then, how long will it take him to get his shooting stroke back, being it’s his shooting hand?

“I don’t know,” coach Doc Rivers said. “Obviously, not being able to shoot for a long period of time has to have an impact on you. Especially Blake, he’s a guy that works on his shot so much every day that going through this stretch of not shooting has to have some kind of impact.

“But I don’t know how long it’s going to take. We’ll see. If it just comes down to work, he’ll be fine, because no one works harder.”

Griffin is shooting 50.8 percent from the field and is averaging 23.2 points. He had already missed 17 consecutive games before Sunday, with the Clippers going 14-3 in them.

Lance Stephenson was a hit in Clippers’ 105-93 win over Lakers

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

When Lance Stephenson was acquired during the off-season, hopes were high for him bringing a lot to the team. At times, he has. But he hasn’t done well enough for coach Doc Rivers to keep him in his regular rotation, so it’s been a hit-and-miss situation.

Stephenson was a hit in Friday’s 105-93 victory over the Lakers. He scored 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting and also had five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 22 1/2 minutes off the bench.

Stephenson had an incredible dunk over Lakers power forward Julius Randle midway through the fourth quarter that brought the house down. Interestingly, he was the backup power forward in this game, a position the 6-foot-5 shooting guard/small forward had never played.

“Lance is great,” Rivers said. “He played with great energy. He had never played the 4. Every night we ask someone to play a different position and they are starting to like it. They laugh about it. Lance is guarding Randle (who is 6-foot-9). They think it is funny, I do not think it is that funny actually, but it is working for us.

“It is energy that they (the second unit) are all bringing when they come in. I like his (Stephenson’s) spirit.”

Stephenson’s energy is never-ending. And he’s always smiling out there, like he’s having more fun than anyone else.

“I come in early and meet with the coaches,” he said. “Of course, I go on the treadmill and stay in shape. I just try to be ready and learn as much as possible.”

Austin Rivers, after latest win: ‘Shout out to the second unit’

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

There was a lot of talk about what the second unit did for the Clippers (31-16)  in their 105-93 victory over the Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center.

Austin Rivers scored 17 points in 26-plus minutes on 8 of 14 shooting, Lance Stephenson scored 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting in 22 1/2 minutes. Jamal Crawford’s line was not quite as impressive, but he still scored 15 points on 5 of 13 from the field in 28 1/2 minutes. Stephenson also had five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block; Crawford had four assists.

Afterward, Rivers spoke in prideful tones about the reserves.

“Shout out to the second-unit,” he said. “The first unit has been pushing us and what we have done is not worry about our offense. We just focus on getting stops and when you do that, you just play free as a unit. Jamal (Crawford) and I are being aggressive and scoring. We are also playing defense – Pablo (Prigioni) and Cole (Aldrich) are doing a great job of that. Lance (Stephenson) did an unbelievable job tonight, so our second unit just has to keep it up and get better.”