Jamal Crawford stoked about surpassing 15,000-point plateau

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

With his 19 points in Monday’s 107-101 victory over Utah at Staples Center, sixth-man Jamal Crawford surpassed the 15,000-point plateau for his career. He did it while playing with bruised ribs sustained in Friday’s victory over the Lakers.

Crawford was stoked.

“That was really cool,” Crawford said. “I didn’t know, I guess coming into the NBA, you are not really thinking like that. You are just trying to establish yourself and stick (in the league), honestly. I have seen so many guys come and go, and I didn’t get normal minutes until my third or fourth year in the NBA.”

Crawford, 34, now has 15,003 career points. He has a career scoring average of 15.6.

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Blake Griffin gives kudos to second unit in loss to Sacramento

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Jordan Farmar

Jordan Farmar/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Coach Doc Rivers said his team’s reserves kind of let the team down in its 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday at Staples Center. Were it not for the second unit Sunday, the Clippers likely would have lost to the Sacramento Kings by much more than 98-92. Starting power forward Blake Griffin seems to realize that.

It was early in the second quarter that reserves Jordan Farmar (8), Spencer Hawes (6) and Hedo Turkoglu (3) scored all 17 points during a 17-2 Clippers run.

“I thought that we (the starters) played poorly and the second unit played good,” Griffin said. “The second unit did a good job in the second quarter by putting pressure on them (the Kings). We tried to get back in it in the third quarter, but we could not.”

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-92 loss to Sacramento

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Blake Griffin has little for which to be happy Sunday/Staff photo by David Crane

 

- Blake Griffin got frustrated at the officiating and it might have affected his game. Griffin did get hammered a few times when fouls were not called. Griffin scored 17 points, but he shot just 6 of 20. This came two nights after he scored 39 points on 13 of 23 from the field in a 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday night.

- DeAndre Jordan needs to quit chirping so much at the referees. It doesn’t seem like he’s doing himself or his team any good by getting a technical foul late in the game that cost the Clippers a point.

- The Clippers were outrebounded 46-35, so that issue continues. They were outrebounded by Oklahoma City 47-33 in the season-opener, by the Lakers 40-36. In three games, the Clippers have been outrebounded by a combined 133-104. That’s a negative differential of 29. That won’t cut the mustard.
- The Clippers went 0-for-12 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter. But Rivers afterward told reporters that he was fine with the shots his team took. Still, one has to wonder why the Clippers didn’t try to work the ball inside more once the basket started shrinking. Perhaps the Clippers figured that since they were 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range after three quarters, they’d have to start falling again. If so, they were wrong. The Clippers shot just 37.5 percent from the field overall.

- Nothing against Sacramento, it has some good players. Heck, DeMarcus Cousins was a beast in scoring 34 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. But the more-talented Clippers were at home, and took a 13-6 lead. Again, the Clippers look so good early, kind of like they did when they opened a 15-point lead over the Lakers in the first quarter of that game Friday. Then, poof, just like that the Kings go on a 15-0 run. Not long after, the Clippers embark on a 17-2 run. How does this happen? It just seems like the Clippers are checking in and out of the game mentally. Or, as Spencer Hawes intimated, maybe they are becoming “complacent” after starting quickly.

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With more nights like Friday, Blake Griffin can climb MVP ladder

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The Clippers' Blake Griffin grabs a rebound from the Lakers' Carlos Boozer, Friday, October 31, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)

Blake Griffin battles against the guard of the Lakers’ Carlos Boozer/Staff photo by Michael Owen Baker

 

Blake Griffin finished third in the MVP voting a season ago. The more nights he has like Friday’s, the better chance he has of moving up a rung or two on that ladder.

Griffin scored 39 points on 13 of 23 shooting in the Clippers’ 118-111 victory over the Lakers at Staples Center. He made both of his 3-point attempts, 11 of 12 from the free-throw line. He also had seven rebounds and four assists. He had five turnovers as well, but he played nearly 40 minutes, so no big deal there.

And, perhaps as vital as anything, he was calling for the ball in a hotly contested game.

“I’ve become a little more comfortable and confident each year,” Griffin said.

Teammate Chris Paul said a mouthful.

“Tonight was the night where he started to understand who he is, and how good he is,” Paul said. “He demanded the ball, and I think that was great. Every time he posts and says ‘Bring it,’ it’s like music to our ears because he deserves it. He is our go-to guy.”

 

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Doc Rivers refers to Jamal Crawford as ‘a professional scorer’

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Jamal Crawford is not a professional  hit-man, but his cold-blooded 3-point baskets often kill the other team. Thus, this anecdote from coach Doc Rivers following his team’s 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center:

He’s just a professional scorer, he really is,” Rivers said of Crawford. “I don’t think there’s a coach in the world teaching those shots, at least this coach will never tell him not to take them.”

Crawford scored 22 points. He hit a 32-foot 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left in the third quarter to stop the Lakers’ momentum and cut a seven-point Clippers deficit to just four entering the fourth. Then, with 1:38 left in the game and the score tied 109-109, he made a 28-foot 3-pointer and the Lakers never recovered.

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Chris Paul passes John Havlicek on all-time assists leader board

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Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Point guard Chris Paul had seven assists in Thursday’s season-opening 93-90 victory over Oklahoma City at Staples Center. That moved him past the Boston Celtics’ John Havlicek into 28th place on the all-time list; Havlicek had 6,114.

Paul, 29, is in his 10th season. He now has 6,119 assists. Next at No. 27 is Clyde Drexler (Portland/Houston). He has 6,125.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 93-90 victory over Oklahoma City

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DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan had a big block down the stretch Thursday/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

- This may have been just the first game of the 2014-15 season, but the idea that the Clippers had difficulty putting away OKC when the Thunder were missing reigning MVP Kevin Durant and guard Reggie Jackson, is kind of scary going forward; that’s not to mention that guard Russell Westbrook played only eight minutes because he fractured a finger in the second quarter.

- The Clippers had a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and nearly lost it when the Thunder’s Sebastian Telfair hit a 3-pointer to pull OKC within 89-88. Again, that this would happen when the Clippers are basically at full strength and the Thunder were at about two-thirds of that, is head-shaking.

- One of the things the Clippers were so poor at during the preseason – rebounding – was again at work in this one. The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 47-33.

- The Clippers shot 72 percent (18 of 25) from the free-throw line. That’s not terrific. But Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick were 4-for-4 in the waning moments, and the Clippers will need that kind of clutch free-throw shooting all season because they figure to be in a lot of close games with the league’s better teams.

- The Clippers also were clutch down the stretch defensively. DeAndre Jordan blocked Telfair’s driving shot attempt with under 10 seconds to play. Not long before that, Jamal Crawford stole the ball away from the Thunder, preventing them a chance to take the lead just seconds after Telfair hit that 3-pointer to get his team within a point.

 

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