Clippers clinch playoff berth with 119-98 victory over Philadelphia 76ers

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Chris Paul scored 25 points, J.J. Redick scored 19 and DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 20 rebounds as the Clippers (48-25)  clinched a playoff berth with a 119-98 victory at Philadelphia on Friday night. The Clippers have won six consecutive games.

Matt Barnes contributed 15 points and Austin Rivers had 13 off the bench. Blake Griffin scored just 10 points but had eight assists and five rebounds.

Nerlens Noel led the 76ers (18-55) with 30 points and 14 rebounds.

The Clippers complete this three-game road trip Sunday at Boston.

 

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Chris Paul scores 19 points in first half as Clippers lead 62-54 at Philadelphia

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

Chris Paul scored 19 points in the first half Friday at Philadelphia and the Clippers led the 76ers 62-54 at the break.

The 76ers went to the awful hack-a-DJ tactic in the final minutes and DeAndre Jordan ended up making just 3 of 12 from the free-throw line.

J.J. Redick contributed 14 points for the Clippers (47-25), Matt Barnes scored 10 and Jordan had nine points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Blake Griffin had just two points on 1 of 3 shooting.

Nerlens Noel led Philadelphia (18-54) with 18 points and nine rebounds.

 

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Clippers won’t be seeing OKC’s Kevin Durant in playoffs, nor will anyone else

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant/Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City Thunder,  NBA.com

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday announced that reigning MVP forward Kevin Durant is out for the season and will not be able to resume playing basketball for four to six months because he will need bone graft surgery on his right foot.

Dr. (Martin) O’Malley will perform the bone graft surgery early next week in New York,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement on the team’s website. “He has extensive bone grafting experience amongst athletes and has been consulting on the case throughout. Kevin will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to basketball activities in the next four to six months.”

Oklahoma City (41-31) is currently in line for the eighth and final playoff spot available in the Western Conference. The Thunder in 2013-14 eliminated the Clippers in six games in the conference semifinals.

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Nate Robinson not yet re-signed after second 10-day contract expires

Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Guard Nate Robinson sat out Wednesday’s game at New York with a sore left knee, his second 10-day contract expires today (Thursday) and he will not be re-signed just yet because of the injury, a league spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Clippers will see how Robinson’s knee is recovering before making a decision on whether to bring him back for the rest of the season.

Robinson averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 assists in nine games for the Clippers. He shot just 33.3 percent from the field while averaging 14 minutes per game.

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Blake Griffin, Chris Paul say defense was key to Wednesday’s rout at New York

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin says players are trusting one another more on defense/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers played splendidly on offense Wednesday when they routed the New York Knicks 111-80 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. They shot 56.4 percent from the field, 39.3 (11 of 28) from 3-point range. The only area in which they didn’t really excel was the free-throw line, where they made just 66.7 percent (12 of 18).

But the Clippers wanted to talk defense afterward. They held the Knicks to 35.4 percent shooting from the field – 21.7 (5 of 23) from beyond the arc.

I think we’re just playing a little bit more consistently,” Blake Griffin said. “Guys are trusting each other and having each others’ backs, which is imperative on the defensive end.”

Said Chris Paul, to a reporter: “I actually called everybody in the huddle and said, ‘What’s making this fun is that we’re getting stops.’ It’s not even about the dunks and the lobs – that’s all good and everything. It’s funny that you didn’t notice that we were getting stops and that was the key to getting the lead.”

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DeAndre Jordan loves New York City, but he’s not yet pondering free agency

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Center DeAndre Jordan will be a free agent after this season. Apparently, Jordan has strong feelings for the Big Apple, but he didn’t say he wants to end up there.

“I love New York City – I love the city,” Jordan said after the Clippers routed the New York Knicks 111-80 on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “But right now I’m not thinking of free agency. I’m thinking about finishing our season off strong and focusing on the playoffs.”

Jordan, who is from Houston, is making $11,444,124 this season.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 111-80 victory over the New York Knicks

DeAndre Jordan throws down a dunk for Clippers in their rout of New York on Wednesday. Jordan had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks/Photo by Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

 

- Blake Griffin and Chris Paul said ahead of this three-game roadie that this was a “business trip.” In other words, they’re playing two lousy teams and one mediocre team, so just go out and take care of business. They did that with the Knicks in this one, bolting to a 63-33 halftime lead and never looking back. The Knicks are now 14-58. Up next are the Philadelphia 76ers (18-54) on Friday and then the Boston Celtics (31-40) on Sunday.

- It was nice to see the play of the bench in this one. Austin Rivers led the team with 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting. That was big because Rivers had scored a grand total of 14 points in his previous five games. Spencer Hawes, who has really struggled, even got into the act with seven points on 3 of 6 shooting.

- It sounds like a broken record, but J.J. Redick had yet another fine game. He scored 17 points while making 7 of 11 from the field – 2 of 4 from 3-point range in just 22 minutes; the starters played fewer minutes than usual because of the lopsided nature of the game. Redick’s season scoring average is at a career-high 15.9. He is averaging 20.8 points in 13 games this month while shooting 48.8 percent overall, 41.9 from beyond the arc.

- It was kind of a weird game for point guard Paul. In 28 minutes he scored 11 points with 16 assists and four steals. But he committed five turnovers. Paul is averaging 3.1 turnovers this month, the highest of any month this season. His best month was December, when he averaged just 1.6. He’s averaging 2.4 on the season.

- After taking 19 of 21 shots, respectively, in his past two games, Griffin took just eight shots in this one. He made three for 14 points. He also had six rebounds, three assists and a steal. He’s now averaging 18 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in six games since his return from an elbow injury. He’s averaging 22.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 rebounds on the season.

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New York coach Derek Fisher praises Clippers after they rout his Knicks

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers scored a game-high 21 points in the Clippers’ victory Wednesday at New York/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Derek Fisher’s New York Knicks had just been thrashed 111-80 by the Clippers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, when he doled out quite a compliment.

They are a good team,” said Fisher, in his first year at the New York helm. “They are athletic, fast and strong. You don’t understand the speed and force that these guys play with unless you are out there.”

Austin Rivers scored 21 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles (47-25); he shot 9 of 10 from the field. J.J. Redick contributed 17 points, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had 14 apiece and Chris Paul and Matt Barnes each scored 11. Paul also had 16 assists. Jordan also blocked five shots and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Cleanthony Early led the Knicks (14-58) with 18 points off the bench.

The Clippers next play Friday at Philadelphia (18-54).

 

 

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Clippers taking care of business at New York, lead Knicks 63-33 at the break

J.J. Redick

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

 

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin referred to this week’s three-game roadie as a “business trip.” The Clippers (46-25) certainly took care of business in the first half Wednesday at New York, where they lead the Knicks 63-33 at the break at Madison Square Garden.

J.J. Redick led the way with 15 first-half points. DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and seven rebounds, Austin Rivers scored 10 off the bench and Matt Barnes and Griffin scored eight points apiece. Paul scored just four points, but he doled out 12 assists in 18 minutes.

The Clippers shot 57.1 percent from the field.

The Knicks (14-57) got seven points off the bench from Cleanthony Early in the half.

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Clippers will play Charlotte twice in China in 2015-16 exhibition games in October

Steve Ballmer/Photo by Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

 

The Clippers have announced they will return to China to take part in NBA Global Games by playing the Charlotte Hornets in two exhibition games there later this year as a prelude to the 2015-16 season.

The Clippers participated in NBA Global Games in 2012 when they played the Miami Heat in China.

This time around the Clippers will play the Hornets on Oct. 11 in Shenzhen and Oct. 14 in Shanghai.

Owner Steve Ballmer is stoked.

“Returning to China to participate in the NBA Global Games China is another important step in establishing the Clippers as a first-class international franchise,” Ballmer said.  “We are looking forward to representing Los Angeles and the NBA as we bring our exciting brand of basketball to all of our fans in China.”

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