Denver coach Brian Shaw talks about Jamal Crawford’s 21 points in 4th

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford scored 21 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter of Monday’s win over Denver/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Jamal Crawford had all of two points through three quarters Monday against the Denver Nuggets. He finished with 23 as the Clippers rallied for a 102-98 victory at Staples Center.

Denver coach Brian Shaw afterward talked about his team’s failed attempt to corral Crawford, the two-time Sixth-Man of the Year.

“In the fourth quarter I thought we fell asleep a few times when (Crawford) was off the ball and he was able to get some clean looks coming off of picks shooting the ball,” Shaw said. “We stunted at their lesser shooters a couple of times. We rotated over to Matt Barnes, so instead of making him be the one to shoot the ball and finish, he was able to swing it to Crawford a couple of times. That was one of the points of emphasis for us, to try and control Crawford coming off the bench.”

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DeAndre Jordan blocks four shots and Clippers lead Nuggets 50-47 at break

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan had four blocked shots in the first half Monday against Denver/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

After a poor first quarter the Clippers roared back to outscore the Denver Nuggets 30-16 to take a 50-47 lead into intermission on Monday night at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan had four blocked shots in the half, three in the final minute – two on one possession. Chris Paul scored nine points, Blake Griffin had eight and Matt Barnes and Jordan scored seven apiece.

Wilson Chandler led Denver with 13 first-half points, all of them coming in the first quarter.

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Denver Nuggets outscore Clippers 31-20 in first quarter at Staples Center

Chris Paul

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

 

The Nuggets led the Clippers by as many as 16 points at 31-15 before settling for a 31-20 lead over the Clippers after one quarter.

Hedo Turkoglu hit a 3-point basket with about 20 seconds left in the quarter and then Austin Rivers made a layup with 0.7 seconds left as the Clippers scored the final five points of the quarter.

Chris Paul led the Clippers (30-14) with six points in the quarter, Wilson Chandler had 13 for Denver (18-26).

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Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan to find out Thursday if they are All-Star reserves

DeAndre Jordan

Chris Paul

DeAndre Jordan, top, and Chris Paul will find out Thursday if they were selected by Western Conference coaches as reserves for next month’s All-Star game/Photos courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin was the lone member of the Clippers to be voted into next month’s All-Star game by the fans. But the Clippers public relations department is making a hard push to have Paul and Jordan selected by the coaches. Upon arrival Monday at Staples Center, reporters found flyers with “Chris Paul for All-Star 2015″ and “DeAndre Jordan for All-Star 2015″ on them.
Paul was averaging 17.5 points, 9.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.93 steals before Monday and was first in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.61.Jordan was averaging a league-high 13.4 rebounds, 2.39 blocks (second) and a league-best 73.4 percent from the field; of course, Jordan’s shooting range is about three feet. Jordan was also averaging 10.3 points.
Reserves will be announced Thursday.

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Doc Rivers didn’t feel comfortable at Phoenix, even with a big lead late

Matt Barnes on Sunday puts up a shot against Eric Bledsoe of Phoenix/Photo by Associated Press

 

Even with just a few minutes left and a lead of 17 points (101-94) over the Phoenix Suns following a 15-0 run Sunday, Clippers coach Doc Rivers intimated he didn’t think his team was out of the woods because of how rapidly Phoenix can get on an offensive roll.

“We talked about it before the game; Phoenix doesn’t go away,” said Rivers, whose team won 120-100 at US Airways Center in Phoenix. “There’s no lead safe when you have Isaiah Thomas and (Eric) Bledsoe and (Goran) Dragic and Gerald Green on the other team. Honest to goodness, with three minutes left, I did not feel safe.

“That’s who they are. They’re capable and you  have to keep your focus when you’re playing them.”

The Clippers (30-14) on Monday night host the Denver Nuggets (18-26) at 7:30.

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Defensive charge led by DeAndre Jordan gave Clippers big win at Phoenix

DeAndre Jordan had 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in the Clippers’ win Sunday at Phoenix/Photo by Associated Press

The Clippers (30-14) showed plenty of offense Sunday afternoon during a 120-100 victory at Phoenix. But it was the defense played in the second half – particularly during a 15-0 fourth-quarter run – that was perhaps most responsible for the victory.

“I think we were just so connected tonight,” Chris Paul said post-game. “They (the Suns) have a lot of great guards and we just try to contain the dribble. But once again, D.J. (DeAndre Jordan) and Blake (Griffin) – our bigs – it’s hard to keep those guys in front. D.J. made some impressive blocks. He’s got to be up there for Defensive Player of the Year.”

Jordan had four blocks, but Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek thought he had many more.

“When we got back in the game, I know DeAndre Jordan came back in and blocked some shots,” he said. “I don’t know, the stats say he had four. That can’t be right. It seemed like he had 14. So, you know, he’s a big influence down there and again, we’ve got to be aware of where he’s at. He does such a great job of coming from distance, where you think you have a layup, but he’s so long that he still get it.”

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 23 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists in Sunday’s win at Phoenix/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- In a game where things got chippy, the Clippers held their ground and won going away on the road against a playoff contender. That shows the kind of heart a team needs in the post-season.

- DeAndre Jordan had yet another dominant performance, scoring 18 points with 14 rebounds and four blocks. He was 8 of 15 from the free-throw line, too, which for a guy who entered shooting 39.3 percent from the free-throw line, isn’t too shabby. More importantly, Jordan made four consecutive free throws during the fourth quarter when the Clippers were putting the finishing touches on their victory.

- The Clippers (30-14) are now alone in fifth-place in the Western Conference standings. They are a half-game behind fourth-place Houston (31-14). Finishing the regular season in the top four means homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which begin mid-April.

- The Clippers got a combined 66 points from Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. It’s tough to beat the Clippers when that happens. Add to that seven rebounds and seven assists from Griffin and eight rebounds and 12 assists from Paul and, well, you get the idea.

- The Clippers outrebounded the Suns 50-31, which of course is terrific. The Clippers also had 28 assists, which coach Doc Rivers always likes to hear.

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Clippers come away with impressive 120-100 victory at Phoenix

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 23 points and 12 assists in Sunday’s win at Phoenix/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Sunday afternoon took a 12-point lead over the host Phoenix Suns into the fourth quarter and then the Clippers outscored Phoenix by eight points in the final stanza to come away with an impressive 120-100 victory at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The Clippers (30-14) got 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds from Chris Paul; 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Blake Griffin; 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks from DeAndre Jordan; 20 points from J.J. Redick; Spencer Hawes scored 11; and Jamal Crawford had 10 points.

The Clippers shot 49.4 percent from the field, 43.5 (10 of 23) from 3-point range. Matt Barnes had an off-night, shooting just 1 of 9 from the field for four points.

Isaiah Thomas led the Suns (26-20) with 25 points off the bench. Eric Bledsoe had 17 points, Alex Len scored 15 and Goran Dragic just 10 on 3 of 11 shooting.

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Blake Griffin: Potent Phoenix Suns are never out of any game

Blake Griffin

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

 

The Clippers (29-14) will play at Phoenix on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Suns (26-19) are a guard-oriented team can get hot and do some damage in a hurry. Point guard Eric Bledsoe leads in scoring and assists with respective averages of 16.9 and 6.0. Shooting guard Goran Dragic averages 16.7 points, backup point guard Isaiah Thomas averages 15.1 points and 3.8 assists and backup shooting guard/small forward Gerald Green scores 13.7 points per game.
“They’re a great team, especially at home,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said Saturday at practice at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. “They’re one of those teams that’s never out of a game.”
Phoenix averages 107.5 points, third in the league. The Clippers are fourth at 107.1.

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Clippers sign swingman Dahntay Jones to a second 10-day contract

Dahntay Jones

Dahntay Jones/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Saturday announced they have signed swingman Dahntay Jones – a 6-foot-6 swingman – to a second 10-day contract. He appeared in four games during the first contract, averaging just a point in 5.8 minutes. But coach Doc Rivers and several other Clippers players have commented on the energy he has brought to the bench.

Jones, 34, is a veteran of 10-plus NBA seasons. He has played in 593 games while averaging 5.6 points with seven teams.

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