VIDEO: Clippers should thank Chris Kaman for pushing Chris Paul to the floor

Perhaps Chris Kaman was doing his old team a favor when he purposely pushed down Chris Paul late in the third quarter Wednesday night at Portland. The Clippers were down 11 points (92-81) at the time and rallied for a huge 126-122 victory at Moda Center in Portland.

The Clippers trailed by as many as 19 points (51-32) midway through the second quarter. That they came back to win a night after giving up a 17-point second-quarter lead and losing 110-106 to Golden State at Staples Center says a lot about the Clippers’ overall character.

Most importantly, Paul scored a season-high 41 points and doled out 17 assists. Again, this was a day after Golden State’s Steph Curry embarrassed Paul by sending him sprawling on an ankle-breaking dribble move that was talked about a lot in the world of sports Wednesday.

After Kaman pushed Paul, Glen “Big Baby” Davis rushed to Paul’s defense, only to taste the canvas after being headed off at the pass by LaMarcus Aldridge, who shoved Davis away from Kaman.

Either way, this is the type of victory that could go a long way in giving the Clippers (50-26) an emotional boost that could be long-lasting.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was asked if Kaman pushing Paul was the best thing that could have happened for his team in the game.

“It didn’t hurt, but CP (Paul) already had it going before that, to be honest,” Rivers said. “That just brought more energy into the game. When you’re lacking energy, you’re just looking for anything. Little plays like that can help you. Or they can do you in, too. You never know how that’s going to go. I was happy how we responded after that.”

Paul was queried as to whether Kaman’s boneheaded move helped him take him up another notch.

“No, the shove didn’t take me to another level,” Paul said. “It gave me a chance to make it to the free-throw line and get a little rhythm. But I think it was just a gutsy win.”

If you haven’t seen the incident for which Kaman was called for a flagrant 1 foul, here it is:

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Warriors’ Steph Curry talks about dribble move that sent Chris Paul sprawling

Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors had already whittled a 17-point deficit down to nine points when he did a number on the Clippers’ Chris Paul with a dribble move that sent Paul down to one hand on the hardwood. The move and subsequent short jumper pulled the Warriors within 48-41 with 2:25 left in the second quarter on their way to a 110-106 victory over Los Angeles.

Curry afterward talked about the play.

“I snaked through the paint and he (Paul) was trailing and I thought I could make a move back to the basket, and somewhere with the creativity in between doing the double move … as soon as I saw him go down, I knew I had to shoot it and see what happens,” Curry said.

His teammates on the bench went wild.

“You just have to block it (the bench’s reaction) out as best as you can,” Curry said. “You get a little bit of an adrenaline rush, so those are cool moments. But thankfully the shot went in and I finished the play. I haven’t seen the bench yet, but I heard that everyone was going crazy.”

Even if you are a Clippers fans, you have to appreciate this. Here it is once again:

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Blake Griffin just wants to win, so his 40-point night Tuesday means little to him

Blake Griffin

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

 

Blake Griffin on Tuesday night had easily his best game since he returned from an elbow injury. He scored 40 points on 16 of 25 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, doled out five assists and blocked three shots in 42 1/2 minutes.

But the Clippers lost 110-106 to the rival Golden State Warriors at Staples Center, so to him, the numbers didn’t mean much.

“I don’t really count that (scoring performance) as anything dynamic,” he said when asked to assess his game. “When you walk away with a loss, it does not matter. It doesn’t really mean a lot. There were plenty of things I could have done to help us play better. The bottom line is that we need to be a better team. Championships are not won today, but we still need to improve as a team.”

Griffin’s season-high of 45 points came Dec. 8 in a 121-120 overtime victory over Phoenix.

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Blake Griffin, Doc Rivers not happy about all the cheering for the Warriors

Matt Barnes of the Clippers goes up for a shot in Tuesday’s 110-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors/Staff photo by John McCoy

 

The Golden State Warriors aren’t the only team that has had a strong fan base this season at Staples Center when playing the Clippers. The same could be said when the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat played them there.

But it seemed like all the cheering for the Warriors in their 110-106 victory over the Clippers on Tuesday at Staples Center really rubbed some the wrong way. Blake Griffin, for example, made no bones about how displeased he was during the post-game news conference.

He was asked if it felt like a playoff atmosphere.

“Not really, no,” he said. He was asked why.

“I don’t know, the homecourt advantage is just not there for us,” Griffin said. “So if that’s how it feels in the playoffs, it’s not looking good.”

Coach Doc Rivers also was queried as to whether the ambiance had a post-season feel.

“It did, in some ways,” Rivers said. “I liked our crowd tonight, for the most part. I didn’t like their crowd.”

Having covered Clippers-Warriors games at Oracle Arena in Oakland, believe this, there is almost no cheering for the Clippers.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 110-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 40 points in Tuesday’s loss to Golden State/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- The absence of sixth-man Jamal Crawford was very obvious in this loss. While the Warriors got a big spark off the bench from post Marreese Speights, who had 13 points, the spark Crawford typically brings was not there to ignite as he missed his 14th consecutive game with a calf injury. Golden State got 34 points from its bench, the Clippers just 12. Sure, the Warriors’ bench played more minutes. But still, in games against the elite teams, Crawford not being in there becomes much more damaging. The good news is Crawford could return after the Clippers come back from their two-game trip that will see them play games Wednesday night at Portland and Saturday night at Denver.

- DeAndre Jordan leads the league in field-goal percentage at 70.6, so shooting 1 of 5 in this one was certainly uncharacteristic. Interestingly, he seemed to have a couple of opportunities to throw down dunks but instead tried to lay the ball in the basket. That resulted in misses. Even fans were yelling at Jordan to “dunk the ball.”

- Blake Griffin had a monster game. With 40 points on 16 of 25 shooting, he appears all the way back from the staph infection that was surgically removed from his right elbow. His season-high of 45 points came Dec. 8 in a 121-120 overtime victory over Phoenix. Griffin also pulled down 12 rebounds Tuesday, doled out five assists and blocked three shots.

- Considering this game was played at Staples Center and not Oracle Arena, there were way too many Warriors fans present. Both coach Doc Rivers and Griffin complained about that afterward, which was understandable. This isn’t the first time that has happened, but it makes one wonder just how much of a homecourt advantage the Clippers are going to have during the playoffs when they are playing at what are supposed to be the friendly confines of Staples Center.

- Chris Paul scored 27 points and had nine assists. But he still had to try and contain Golden State’s Steph Curry, who started out by shooting 1 of 4 before getting hot and finishing 8 of 15 for 27 points of his own. Afterward, Paul said there were three instances where he was in Curry’s chest, yet Curry still made his shot. Tonight (Wednesday), Paul will have his hands full with another dynamic guard – Portland’s Damian Lillard. “It’s a point-guard-driven league,” Paul said.

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VIDEO: Clippers fans won’t want to see any of this Tuesday night against Warriors

The rival Golden State Warriors – holders of the best record (60-13) in the NBA – are in town to take on the Clippers (49-25) on Tuesday night at Staples Center. With the Warriors comes point guard Stephen Curry. It’s moves like this one that faked the Clippers’ Chris Paul into Chick Hearn’s popcorn machine that Clippers fans most assuredly don’t want to see Tuesday. Check it out:

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A few interesting notes for Clippers fans to ponder about the Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry

Point guard Steph Curry is the guiding force behind the terrific season behind had by the Golden State Warriors/Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors, NBA.com

 

Here are just a few interesting and rather amazing things Clippers fans should know about the rival Golden State Warriors, who will play the Clippers on Tuesday night at Staples Center:

- The Warriors have won a franchise-record 60 games, besting the previous mark of 59 set in 1975-76. At 60-13, Golden State has the best record in the NBA this season.

- The Warriors are a franchise-record 47 games over .500.

- The Warriors have the league’s best road record at 26-11.

- The Warriors have 43 double-digit victories this season.

- The Warriors have won 16 games by at least 20 points.

- The Warriors are 40-0 when holding teams to under 100 points.

- The Warriors lead the NBA in field-goal percentage (47.8) and opponents’ FG percentage (42.4). The last team to lead in both categories over the course of a full season was the Philadelphia 76ers in 1980-81.

The Clippers are 1-2 against Golden State this season.

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Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis has his own memories to cherish from his Celtics days

Glen Davis

Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Doc Rivers coached the Boston Celtics for nine seasons and to the NBA title in 2008, when they beat the Lakers. When Rivers arrived inside TD Garden on Sunday ahead of the Clippers’ 119-106 victory over the Celtics, he was greeted by many wishing him well.

He wasn’t the only one with cherished memories there. Reserve forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis played for the Celtics from 2007-11. He was a rookie on the ’08 championship team and he was in his third season when the Celtics lost to the Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals.

“It always feels good to come back here to Boston,” Davis said. “This is where you started your career, for me, and I have some great memories: Finals twice, NBA championship, and also just the relationships are just awesome. So it was good seeing a lot of familiar faces.”

Davis was also asked if the Clippers resemble those winning Celtics teams.

“In some ways because Doc, and the way he coaches, and what Doc went through with that other team and now the team that we have in some ways is similar,” he said.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 119-106 victory over the Boston Celtics

J.J. Redick

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

 

- We just can’t say enough about J.J. Redick. He had another terrific game, with 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting - 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Redick is averaging 21.1 points in 15 games this month. He’s shooting 50.9 percent from the field in March, a ridiculous 44.3 from 3-point range.

- Blake Griffin has now played eight games since missing the previous 15 with a staph infection in his right elbow. He was outstanding in this one, going for 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He made 7 of 9 from the free-throw line, pulled down nine rebounds and doled out four assists. He also had a block and a steal and did not have a turnover. Other than that, he didn’t do a thing. He apparently hit his elbow on the floor in this one, but he told the Orange County Register that although it was a bit sore, he’d be OK.

- There was a down part to this game. The Clippers held a 35-point lead (96-61) with 4:20 left in the third quarter, only to see the Celtics get it all the way down to 11 (111-100) with 4:01 left in the game. When the lead was down to 14 (111-97) with 4:16 left, Doc Rivers had to bring the starters back into the game. Afterward, Rivers said he was not happy with the bench play, which shot a combined 5 of 20 and did not play well on defense.

- As poorly as the bench performed, the starting five was darn good. Besides Redick’s 27 points and Griffin’s 21, Chris Paul had 21 points and 10 assists; Matt Barnes scored 18 and DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 14 rebounds. But to be perfectly clear, everything was not terrific. Barnes was just 4 of 13 from 3-point range and Jordan made just 3 of 15 from the free-throw line.

- We can’t forget the defense. Yes, it slacked off when the Celtics made their belated run. But on the whole, it was very good. The Celtics shot just 41.9 percent from the field, only 25.8 (8 of 31) from beyond the arc. Those are numbers that Rivers would take every time.

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