J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
J.J. Redick scored 12 points in the first half and the Clippers took a 51-45 lead into the halftime break at Denver.
Chris Paul contributed 10 points and five assists for the Clippers, Blake Griffin had seven points and five rebounds and Josh Smith scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds off the bench.
Wesley Johnson started at small forward and scored six points.
Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Doc Rivers/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill
The Clippers scored only 80 points in Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors. That’s 23 points under their season average. That prompted this post-game quote from coach Doc Rivers:
“… Your defense has to carry you when your offense is bad,” he said. “That is what we have not done, in my opinion, this entire season.”
This is true.
The Clippers on Tuesday night will try to break out of their funk when they play at Denver (6-8). The Clippers (6-7) have lost three in a row and seven of nine since starting 4-0.
Chris Paul reacts with a smile after being called for an offensive foul during Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors/Staff photo by Steve McCrank
The Clippers trailed the Toronto Raptors by 10 points (33-23) at the end of the first quarter of Sunday’s 91-80 loss to the Raptors at Staples Center. By the time halftime rolled around, the Clipers trailed by 29 (63-34).
J.J. Redick, who scored a team-high 17 points on a night his team scored 22 points under its season average, pulled no punches afterward.
“(Their) lead went from 10 to 30 real quick,” he said. “Bad offense leads to bad defense and bad defense leads to bad offense.”
Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Blake Griffin was honest – he isn’t exactly sure what the problem is with his team after 13 games. The Clippers started 4-0 and have lost 7 of 9, including their past three, and are now 6-7 ahead of Tuesday’s game at Denver.
Among those losses was Sunday’s 91-80 setback to the Toronto Raptors. It was a game in which the Clippers trailed by 29 points at halftime on their home court.
“I think it’s one of those things where if you pinpoint it, then you know exactly what it is, then you resolve,” Griffin said afterward. “I think we need to find that, whether it is playing harder, whether it is having a sense of urgency, whatever the case may be.”
It’s collective, he said.
“It’s not just one person,” Griffin said. “Doc (Rivers) keeps saying it’s on him. It’s on all of us. It’s on our leaders – myself, CP (Chris Paul), DJ (DeAndre Jordan). We need to do a better job. I need to do a better job.”
Griffin is the only one of four returning starters whose numbers are equal to or better than they were a season ago.
Doc Rivers is bugged about a call made during Sunday’s 91-80 loss to Toronto at Staples Center/Staff photo by Steve McCrank
– As good as Blake Griffin has been, he was bound to have a poor game and it came in this one. Early foul trouble limited him to just under 30 minutes and he took just 10 shots, making four and finishing with nine points. He grabbed six rebounds and doled out four assists, but also had six turnovers. Definitely, it was not his night. Griffin is averaging 24.8 points.
– Speaking of turnovers, the Clippers had 19 of them. That’s way too many. Chris Paul had three as the starters had 14 of the 19. The Raptors had 14 total.
– One interesting statistic came in the shooting percentages. The Clippers shot 39.2 percent, the Raptors just 37.2. The game was won at the free-throw line, where Toronto made an incredible 29 of 31 (93.5 percent) with the Clippers making 14 of 20 (75 percent).
– DeAndre Jordan had a nice game, with 13 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. But he was the only starter who played up to par. Paul and J.J. Redick scored 13 and 17 points, respectively, but both shot just 5 of 13.
– It didn’t help that Jamal Crawford played 29 minutes off the bench, yet made just 1 of 9 from the field – he was 0 of 6 from 3-point range. Crawford is not shooting just 28.3 percent from beyond the arc. He has a career percentage of 34.9.
BONUS TAKE – It was Josh Smith who was involved in a shouting match with an unspecified assistant coach in the locker room after the game. Perhaps anger is what this team needs to start playing well.
Doc Rivers is perturbed about a call made during Sunday’s 91-80 loss to the Toronto Raptors/Staff photo by Steve McCrank
The Clippers are going nowhere fast. They know it, They at times look like a terrific team. At other times, they play poorly – plain and simple. It’s head-scratching to Chris Paul, who scored 13 points on 5 of 13 shooting during Sunday’s 91-80 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. The Raptors led by 29 points (63-34) at halftime before the Clippers cut their deficit to six (73-67) with 7:30 to play, eventually running out of gas.
“It is tough because I know we are a lot better than we are showing,” said Paul, whose team is now 6-7 and has lost three in a row and 7 of 9 after starting the season 4-0. “We have to get more consistent. We put together these great 10 minute stretches, 16-, 18-minute stretches and we have not been able to put together a full game – 48 minutes. In order to be a good team in this league, you have to be able to do that.”
Paul doled out 11 assists in the loss.
Disturbing Numbers Dept.: The Clippers had 19 turnovers, with Blake Griffin making six of them in 29 minutes.
The Clippers next play Tuesday at Denver.