Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-100 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans

Blake Griffin

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

 

- Blake Griffin called this “a big win for us.” He’s right in as much as every victory is big this time of season because the Clippers are trying to get as high in the standings as they can for playoff-seeding purposes. The Clippers improved, in a way, with this win because record-wise, they now have the fourth-best in the Western Conference at 46-25. But Portland, which has the fifth-best record of 44-24, is still technically in fourth because it leads the Northwest Division. Check the conference standings right here and you’ll see that their better record notwithstanding, the Clippers are still listed in the No. 5 spot. That said, I was told today that if the Clippers played the Trail Blazers as the No. 5 seed to Portland’s No. 4 – and the Clippers had the better record – they would still get homecourt advantage. Confused?

- Griffin scored 23 points on 10 of 21 shooting. Those were the most shots he’s taken in five games since returning after missing 15 games with a staph infection in his right elbow. He has taken more shots in each game along the way, going from 10 to 12 to 16 to 19 to 21.

- What a terrific all-around game by Chris Paul. He scored 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting with 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. He had just two turnovers in 37 1/2 minutes and made 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. His only real blemish was his 0-for-4 shooting performance from 3-point range. Can’t have everything.

- J.J. Redick scored 20 points on 7 of 16 shooting – 3 of 6 from 3-point range. That was Redick’s fourth consecutive game of scoring 20 points or more. He has scored at least 20 points in seven of the 12 games this month, during which he’s averaging 21.2 points.

- It would be unfair if we didn’t mention that New Orleans was missing several key players in this game. Yes, the Clippers were without sixth-man Jamal Crawford and his 16.4 scoring average for the 10th consecutive game. But the Pelicans were minus guards Tyreke Evans (16.5 points per game) and Jrue Holiday (15.2), forward Ryan Anderson (14.6) and center Omer Asik (10.0 rebounds per game). All were injured.

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DeAndre Jordan says Clippers won a game Sunday they wouldn’t have two years ago

DeAndre Jordan

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

 

The Clippers got off to a slow start Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans and trailed 13-2 early. Leading 50-43 late in the second quarter, they watched as the Pelicans finished the half on a 10-0 to lead 53-50 at intermission.

The Clippers ended up with a 107-100 victory. DeAndre Jordan noted that it was a good victory for one big reason.

“When we come out and play the way that we should play, we can beat anybody,” said Jordan, who had 12 points and 16 rebounds. “Tonight we came out flat. A couple of years ago, we wouldn’t have won this game. We kept fighting and then we turned it on. We were able to stay in the game mentally and gut out a game.”

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Doc Rivers appreciates what small forward Matt Barnes brings to the team

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Doc Rivers on Friday night did not hesitate when he was asked about the importance of starting small forward Matt Barnes. Barnes recently missed a total of four games because of a sore hamstring and though the Clippers went 3-1 in them, Rivers apparently would not want to be without him for very long.

“Matt is huge for us,” Rivers said following his team’s 113-99 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday at Staples Center. “He’s just an important player for us. The stats don’t say it. He had eight points, but he made some huge plays for us. Even early, (Washington’s) Paul Pierce makes a 3, I think it was the second shot of the game, and then Matt comes down and makes a 3 on top of him. Those little plays are big plays and that‟s what Matt has been doing for us all year.”

Barnes shot just 3 of 10 Friday. He also had two blocks and four rebounds.

Barnes, who turned 35 on March 9, is averaging 10.0 points and 3.9 rebounds and is shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 38 percent from 3-point range (112 of 295).

 

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J.J. Redick breaks Jamal Crawford’s franchise record for made 3-pointers

J.J. Redick

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

 

J.J. Redick scored 26 points Friday in the Clippers’ 113-99 victory over the Washington Wizards at Staples Center. He made 4 of 7 from 3-point range and now holds the Clippers’ single-season record for made 3-pointers with 164. He broke the record of teammate Jamal Crawford, who made 161 in 2013-14.

“I knew I was getting close,” Redick said. “I didn’t know I was that close, that I was one away (before Friday). Jamal had mentioned something to me two or three weeks ago, when I was at 130-something. It’s cool to break Jamal’s record – a good friend and a guy I love playing with. Hopefully, I will have many more seasons with the Clippers and challenge this record.”

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Matt Barnes could return to the lineup Friday against Washington Wizards

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Matt Barnes on Friday morning told reporters that there is a good chance he will play later in the evening when the Clippers host the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.

Barnes, the Clippers’ starting small forward, has missed the past two games with a sore hamstring and has missed four games since March 2 because of the injury.

Barnes was shooting and running at the morning shootaround.

“It’ll be a game-time decision; it looks good,” Barnes said.

 

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Kings coach George Karl bemoans being beaten so badly by Clippers from 3-point line Wednesday in Sacramento

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick had seven of the Clippers’ 17 3-point baskets in Wednesday’s victory at Sacramento/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Sacramento Kings coach George Karl perhaps said it best late Wednesday night when he assessed his team’s 116-105 loss at the hands of the visiting Clippers at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

In talking about the disparity in points made from 3-point range, Karl said, “There’s no question, when you lose by 42 points at the 3-point line, well, it’s tough to make those up.”

Indeed, the Clippers made 17 of 37 from the 3-point line (45.9 percent). That’s 51 points from beyond the arc. The Kings made just 3 of 17 (17.6 percent) from 3-point range for nine points.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 116-105 victory over Sacramento Kings

Chris Paul

Chris Paul led the Clippers with 30 points in Wednesday’s 116-105 victory at Sacramento/:Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- The Clippers received very little from their bench in this victory. Austin Rivers, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Spencer Hawes all shot 1 of 4 from the field, meaning they were a combined 3 of 12. Nate Robinson was 2 of 3 for four points, but he played only 9 1/2 minutes. Well, when four of your starters each score at least 19 points – Blake Griffin and Hedo Turkoglu had 19 apiece, J.J. Redick scored 27 and Chris Paul 30 – the bench doesn’t need to score much.

- Speaking of Turkoglu, his 19 points were a season-high. He shot very well, making 7 of 12 shots overall, 5 of 10 from 3-point range. He made his second consecutive start in place of Matt Barnes (hamstring). He also played solid defense on Kings forward Rudy Gay, who made just 6 of 19 from the field to get his 23 points. “Tonight he looked like the defender that he was before,” Kings coach George Karl said. “When he was in his prime, his defense was pretty first class. I thought that he did a nice job on Rudy Gay tonight.”

- There is one thing that seems to have gone unnoticed regarding the return of Griffin. Remember how he had taken his game to the outside more than ever this season, thus resulting in his rebounding numbers being down? Well, he had 10 rebounds in this one, meaning he has had 11, 11 and 10 in his three games back. He’s averaging a career-low 7.7 for the season.

- What can we say about Redick? He had himself another fine outing with his 27 points. He shot 9 of 16, 7 of 12 from beyond the arc. Redick is now averaging 15.6 points while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 42.4 percent (160 of 377) from 3-point range. All of those numbers represent career-highs. Redick is averaging 20.7 points in 10 games this month.

- So, had a few tweets and whatnot about why it was so difficult for the Clippers to put away a lowly team like the Kings, who are now just 22-45. The Clippers led just 87-86 with 8:07 to play. Yes, the Clippers were again without Barnes and Jamal Crawford (calf). But the Kings
were without All-Star post DeMarcus Cousins (calf) and have been without guard Darren Collison (hip) since early February. That said, keep in mind that the Clippers all season have had trouble maintaining focus throughout a given game. That’s still happening. Yet, they are 44-25 and tied for fifth-place in the Western Conference standings. The point being, if the Clippers can figure out their in-game lapses – and we realize that is “if” – they could be tough to deal with in the post-season.

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Chris Paul’s 30 points help Clippers put away lowly Kings 116-105 at Sleep Train

Chris Paul

Chris Paul scored 30 points in the Clippers’ victory Wednesday night at Sacramento/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Once again minus Jamal Crawford (calf) and Matt Barnes (hamstring), it took the Clippers some time to put the lowly Sacramento Kings away. But Chris Paul’s 3-pointer with 3:44 to play was the dagger in their 116-105 victory Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

Paul’s basket gave him 30 points on the night, and it gave the Clippers a 13-point lead at 106-93. The Clippers – 44-25 – remained tied with Dallas for fifth-place in the Western Conference standings.

J.J. Redick contributed 27 points for the Clippers, Blake Griffin had 19 points in his third game back. He also had 10 rebounds and five assists. Hedo Turkoglu, starting for Barnes, came through with 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting – 5 of 10 from 3-point range. DeAndre Jordan scored just six points, but he grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked four shots.

The Clippers shot 51.1 percent from the field, 45.9 (17 of 37) from 3-point range.

The Kings (22-45) got 23 points from Rudy Gay and 16 off the bench from Andre Miller. They were without center DeMarcus Cousins (calf) and guard Darren Collison, who has not played since early February because of a hip injury.

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Chris Paul’s jumper gives Clippers a 2-point lead at halftime at Sacramento

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick scored 17 points in the first half Wednesday night at Sacramento/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Chris Paul’s jumper with 1.4 seconds to play in the first half Wednesday gave the Clippers a 51-49 lead at halftime at Sacramento.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers (43-25) with 17 points in the half; he made 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Paul and Blake Griffin scored 10 points apiece and Hedo Turkoglu – starting for Matt Barnes (hamstring) for the second consecutive night – had five points. DeAndre Jordan did not score, but he grabbed nine rebounds.

Jamal Crawford (calf) is missing his eighth consecutive game.

The Kings (22-44), who are without All-Star post DeMarcus Cousins, got 11 points from Rudy Gay and seven from Ryan Hollins.

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Doc Rivers recalls former teammate Jack Haley, who died Monday at 51

Jack Haley/Photo by Stephen Shugerman, Getty Images

 

Jack Haley, a former UCLA center who went on to play in nine seasons in the NBA, died Monday at age 51 of heart disease. Haley was a member of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1994-95 season, as were Clippers coach Doc Rivers and the eccentric Dennis Rodman.

Rivers on Tuesday night fondly recalled the relationship between Haley and Rodman.

“He was crazy,” Rivers said of Haley. “Him and Dennis Rodman were very, very tight and to say they kept things loose in our locker room and off the floor, would be an understatement. He also was a very good instigator in games.

“That was something that Red Auerbach always, until his dying days, told me, ‘Add instigators if you can. Even if they don’t play a lot, they can help you in some way,’ and Jack did that very well.”

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