DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers, left, gets ready to go up for a shot while being defended by Orlando’s Aaron Gordon during Friday’s game won by the Clippers/AP photo by John Raoux
Considering how well the Clippers have done since Blake Griffin went out, the last thing they want is to ruin their work by going into a slump before the All-Star break. That’s why Friday’s 107-93 victory at Orlando was big, especially considering the Clippers were coming off an unlikely loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at Staples Center.
“We just tried to come into the game focused and understand how important this trip is for us going into the break,” said point guard Chris Paul, who scored 21 points, doled out six assists, made four steals but committed six turnovers. “We tried to play with a sense of urgency and that is what we did.”
The Clippers – 16-4 without Griffin – next play Sunday morning at 11 at Miami (29-22). The Clippers (33-17) will play at Philadelphia on Monday and finish the trip Wednesday at Boston.
“We have to keep it going,” Paul said. “At the end of the day, it’s about wins and losses. It is a good win for us and now we have to go to Miami.”
The Clippers return from the All-Star break to play host to San Antonio on Feb. 18 and Golden State on Feb. 20.
J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick played the first six-plus seasons of his career for Orlando, which drafted him 11th overall in 2006. He spoke in sentimental tones about his days there after the Clippers beat the Magic 107-93 on Friday in Orlando.
“I have nothing but good memories here,” he said. “It is always nice to see familiar faces. One of the ushers is like 82 and he just treated my wife like she was his daughter.
“I caught up with him actually during the game. Just seeing people like that who kind of watched me grow up a little bit from being a rookie to a vet, it is good to see some familiar faces.”
Redick scored 20 points Friday.
Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
– Lance Stephenson continued his recent surge by scoring 13 points on 6 of 6 shooting. He hit a buzzer-beating basket at the end of the third quarter after the Magic had cut a nine-point deficit to just two, then scored the Clippers’ first seven points of the fourth to regain that nine-point cushion.
– Austin Rivers didn’t play because of a hand injury, so sixth-man Jamal Crawford played 35 minutes. He came through with 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting. However, Crawford was 0 of 4 from 3-point range. He did have three steals.
– Speaking of the 3-point line, the Clippers shot just 29.6 percent (8 of 27) from there. But they shot 54.1 percent overall, so no problem there.
– DeAndre Jordan had another monster rebounding game, coming through with 18 to help the Clippers out-rebound the Magic 44-39. Jordan has 19, 19, 17, 20, 15 and 18 rebounds his past six games.
– The down side to this victory was that the Clippers – including one team turnover – committed a whopping 21 turnovers. Point guard Chris Paul had six of them.
J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
The NBA’s Last 2 Minutes report from Wednesday’s game between the Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves won 108-102 by the Timberwolves shows that referee Lauren Holtkamp made the correct call when the Clippers’ J.J. Redick was whistled for fouling Ricky Rubio as Rubio was being double-teamed by Redick and Chris Paul with 20.6 seconds left in the game.
Holtkamp subsequently assessed Paul a technical foul when he clapped his hands hard in Holtkamp’s direction after the foul was called on Redick. The Clippers were down by just two points (102-100) at the time. That also was deemed the correct call by the league.
DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
It just wasn’t the Clippers’ night Wednesday in their 108-102 loss to the visiting – and lowly – Minnesota Timberwolves.
Austin Rivers was ejected in the second quarter after getting two technical fouls called on him for arguing a non-call, Chris Paul took a technical with 20.6 seconds left in the game and his team trailing by two points. They were factors in the setback, but DeAndre Jordan said it was a lot more than that.
“We don’t want to get fourth-quarter technicals, Chris knows that,” Jordan said post-game. “But we made so many mistakes prior to that. Our defense was terrible tonight. I thought we were a step slow on everything. The starting five, that is on us to come out ready to play. And also, the second unit, we got in a weird situation with Austin (being ejected), but that is no excuse. We have to come out and compete and we cannot take teams lightly.”
The Clippers (32-17) had beaten the Timberwolves 14 consecutive times. Moreover, the Timberwolves (15-36) entered having lost five consecutive games, seven of eight and 16 of 18.
But like they say, on any given night …
J.J. Redick/Staff photo by John McCoy
Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick has been selected to participate in the 3-point contest during All-Star weekend in Toronto. The event will take place on Feb. 13 at Air Canada Centre, the day before the game is played there.
Redick leads the NBA in field-goal percentage from beyond the arc at 48.2 percent (120 of 249).
Joining Redick in the eight-man field will be Steph Curry and Klay Thompson of Golden State, Chris Bosh of Miami, James Harden of Houston, Kyle Lowry of Toronto, Devin Booker of Phoenix and Khris Middleton of Milwaukee.
Curry leads the NBA in made 3-pointers with 232. He is the defending champion of this contest.