Clippers coach Doc Rivers would love to be able to lean on his mom

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill). Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, right, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Wesley Johnson defends during the first half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, ...

Wesley Johnson of the Clippers defends against Al-Farouq Aminu during the first half of the Trail Blazers’ 108-98 victory over the Clippers in Game 5 on Wednesday at Staples Center/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill

Clippers coach Doc Rivers suddenly found it difficult to speak. Then he began to cry.
Rivers had just been asked who he leans on so he doesn’t get discouraged. It was a good question, considering the Clippers lost their two best players – Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – to injury in a Game 4 loss Monday that tied their first-round playoff series 2-2 with the Portland Trail Blazers.

He was OK, for a moment.

“I don’t know,” he said Wednesday at the pre-game news conference ahead of Game 5 at Staples Center, won 108-98 by the Trail Blazers, who took a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 on Friday at Portland. “That’s a good question.”

Then the tears came, and he managed to push out a few more words.

“I’m not crying over being discouraged,” he said. “(The reporter) made me think about my mom. That would have been the person.”

Rivers’ mom, Bettye, passed away in June of 2015. It sounds like she might have been the first person her son called when the bottom fell out Monday in Portland when Paul sustained a fractured right hand and Griffin aggravated his partially torn left quad tendon. Paul is out four to six weeks, Griffin for the season.

DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick help depleted Clippers to 50-45 halftime lead over Blazers in Game 5

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The depleted Clippers – missing stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – started 1 of 8 from the field on Wednesday in Game 5 of their first-round series with Portland at Staples Center. They trailed by as many as seven points in the first quarter.

By the time halftime rolled around, the Clippers were able to take a 50-45 lead over the Trail Blazers into the break. The Clippers led by as many as eight points in the second quarter.

DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick scored 10 points apiece for the Clippers in the half with Jordan grabbing 11 rebounds. Austin Rivers had nine points, Jamal Crawford eight and Jeff Green seven.

Maurice Harkless led Portland with 17 points and C.J. McCollum and Gerald Henderson each scored eight. Damian Lillard had only three points, however. He was 0 of 5 from the field.

The Clippers shot 44.7 percent, the Trail Blazers just 35.9 percent.

The series is tied 2-2.

Don’t expect Trail Blazers to exhale with Clippers’ stars unable to play

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


With an opportunity to win a series few thought his team could when it began, don’t think for one second that Portland coach Terry Stotts and his Trail Blazers will now relax because Chris Paul (fractured hand) and Blake Griffin (partially torn quad tendon) are out.

Stotts said as much after his team’s 98-84 Game 4 victory on Monday night in Portland. By then, Stotts knew Paul had a fractured hand and he knew that Griffin could not finish Game 4 because he had aggravated his quad tendon, which was originally injured on Dec. 25.

“Two-two,” he said of the series score. “I love the energy that we’ve had defensively the last three games. We have to take that to L.A. But this is the playoffs. You don’t have time to exhale.”

Expect the Trail Blazers to come out hard against the Clippers on Wednesday night in Game 5 at Staples Center. Austin Rivers is expected to start for Paul and Jeff Green is supposed to start for Griffin.

Damian Lillard on Chris Paul, ‘You don’t wish that on anybody’


Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Damian Lillard of Portland goes up for a shot over the Clippers’ J.J. Redick during Monday’s Game 4 at Portland, won by the Trail Blazers 98-84/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Things just got a whole lot easier for the backcourt of the Portland Trail Blazers, what with Clippers’ star point guard Chris Paul being out indefinitely after having surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured third metacarpal on his right hand. Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are the beneficiaries.

“I mean, it changes a lot,” Lillard said late Monday after his team tied the Clippers 2-2 in their first-round playoff series with a 98-84 victory at Moda Center in Portland; Paul’s injury was sustained in the third quarter. “More so for them as far as what they’ll have to do. When your bast player goes down, a guy that makes your team go … it’s unfortunate for one of the better players in the league to go through an injury like that, first of all. You don’t wish that on anybody. It’s a part of the game.”

Lillard went on to say that the Clippers have still have good players, but this was before it was announced Tuesday that Blake Griffin is out for the rest of the playoffs after aggravating his partially torn left quad tendon in Monday’s loss. Paul is to miss an expected four to six weeks, which means he’s done unless the Clippers advance to the NBA Finals.

Either way, Lillard said his team can’t take its foot off the gas.

“For us, our mindset has to be nothing changes,” he said. “We’ve got to have the same approach defensively and we’ve got to continue to trust each other offensively and try to just continue to overwhelm them that way.”


Clippers’ playoff hopes appear crushed with loss of their two stars

Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin out, DeAndre Jordan will have to step up in Game 5 on Wednesday at Staples Center/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Clippers coach Doc Rivers was not in a good mood late Monday night. No one could blame him. As  he sat on the dais addressing reporters following his team’s 98-84 loss at Portland in Game 4 that ended up being an absolutely disastrous night, Rivers was asked if he had concern that the Trail Blazers had wrested momentum away from the Clippers with their back-to-back wins at Moda Center in Portland, which tied the first-round playoff series 2-2.

Rivers was terse, but respectful, in his response.

“We’re going home,” Rivers said, referring to Game 5 on Wednesday night at Staples Center. “All they’ve done is win two games at home, just like we won two games at home. We’ve been in adverse situations all year with guys out, but guys have come through and I expect us to do that at our place.”

This is exactly what Rivers should say. As a leader, he has to exude confidence, regardless of the situation. That’s why he’s considered to be a strong leader of men.

Still, it’s going to be tough now for the Clippers to accomplish anything real good in the playoffs. As we all know, power forward Blake Griffin has been deemed out of the playoffs by the team because of his still-partially torn left quad tendon that was aggravated in Game 4. Point guard Chris Paul is out indefinitely after having surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured third metacarpal in his right hand, an injury also sustained Monday. This news came Tuesday, the day after Rivers made the aforementioned comment. But Rivers knew it was going to be bad news. His face showed it.

The word “indefinitely” comes from a Clippers news release. Basically, it’s a 4 to 6 weeks thing. That means if the Clippers were to win this series, beat Golden State in the conference semifinals and either San Antonio or Oklahoma City in the finals to reach the NBA Finals without Paul and Griffin, Paul could possibly come back.

Well, chances of that happening with the two best players on the team out, are about slim and none. What’s a shame for the Clippers and their fans is they looked so good the first two games of this series. There had to be hope they could give the Warriors at least a fight next round – especially now that MVP Steph Curry will likely miss the first few games because of a sprained knee.

One thing’s for sure, it will be interesting to see how the Clippers come out in Wednesday’s game. Are they broken? We’ll see.




Clippers’ Chris Paul out indefinitely, Blake Griffin out for rest of the playoffs

Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Chris Paul tries to rid himself of the Trail Blazers’ Maurice Harkless during the first half of Portland’s 98-84 victory that tied the series/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


The Clippers received the worst, but not-so-surprising, possible news Tuesday regarding point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin.

Paul underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the fractured third metacarpal on his right hand sustained in Monday night’s 98-84 Game 4 loss at Portland and will be out indefinitely. Rowan Kavner of tweeted that meant 4 to 6 weeks, meaning Paul would miss the rest of the postseason unless the Clippers find a way to advance to the NBA Finals.

Griffin aggravated his partially torn left quad tendon in Game 4 and was not able to play down the stretch. The Clippers on Tuesday said he will miss the rest of the playoffs.

Paul had easily been the Clippers’ best player in the playoffs. In four games he averaged 23.8 points, 7.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals even though he wasn’t able to finish Game 4 because of the injury in the third quarter.

The Clippers and Trail Blazers are tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven first-round series. Game 5 is Wednesday at Staples Center with Game 6 back in Portland on Friday. Game 7, if necessary, will be Sunday at Staples Center.