Five things to take from the Clippers’ 120-108 victory at Oklahoma City

Chris Paul goes up for two of his 33 points with OKC’s Russell Westbrook guarding him/Photo by Alonzo Adams, Associated Press

 

- Point guard Chris Paul had a terrific game. He scored 33 points on 11 of 19 shooting - 5 of 8 from 3-point range. He also helped throw a blanket over OKC point guard Russell Westbrook, who has been phenomenal this season – especially of late. Since Feb. 2 he had produced six 40-plus point games and six triple-doubles. He was held to 24 points Wednesday on 5 of 14 shooting. He was just 2 of 8 from the field for seven points and seven of his 10 turnovers while Paul was guarding him. Paul has averaged 22 points and 13.4 assists in the past 14 games, all of which have been missed by Blake Griffin (elbow).

- J.J. Redick also came up with another fine performance. He scored 25 points with five rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Redick has averaged 22.6 points in five games this month while shooting a combined 48.3 percent from the field – 41 percent from beyond the arc.

- What the heck is going on with Spencer Hawes? He scored just four points on 1 of 7 shooting in 31 1/2 minutes of action. The 7-foot-1 big gathered only three rebounds. In his past five games he’s made just 11 of 40 field-goal attempts (27.5 percent) while averaging 5.8 points and just 3.6 rebounds. In one of those games, Monday’s victory over Minnesota, Hawes had one measly rebound in 23 minutes. Though a center by trade, Hawes has been starting at power forward for Griffin.

- Matt Barnes was feeling it in this one. The small forward out of UCLA burned the Thunder for 22 points on 6 of 8 shooting. Barnes made all of his field-goal attempts from 3-point range, going 6 of 7 from beyond the arc. Barnes also was solid on defense as he came through with three steals and two blocks.

- So the Thunder and coach Scott Brooks went to the hack-a-DJ ploy in this one and DeAndre Jordan responded by making 12 of 22 from the free-throw line. That is 54.5 percent. For someone shooting just 41 percent on the season, that is not too shabby. Beginning with 7:50 left in the game, Jordan made seven of his final 10 free-throw attempts. He had 17 points and 18 rebounds.

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Chris Paul’s 33 points help Clippers to big 120-108 victory at Oklahoma City

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Wednesday night came through with an impressive 120-108 victory at Oklahoma City. Perhaps most outstanding was the game had by Chris Paul. He scored a game-high 33 points on 11 of 19 shooting – 5 of 8 from 3-point range – and also doled out nine assists with two steals and five turnovers.  Two days earlier in a victory over Minnesota on Monday, Paul had 15 assists but just two points and was noticeably hobbled by a right knee bruise.

The Clippers are now 9-5 without Blake Griffin (elbow). Jamal Crawford (calf) missed his fourth consecutive game. The Thunder were without reigning MVP Kevin Durant (foot).

Paul was not alone in his heroics. J.J. Redick scored 25 points and Matt Barnes had 22. DeAndre Jordan scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and survived more hack-a-DJ by making 12 of 22 from the free-throw line. Glen “Big Baby” Davis contributed 12 points, three rebounds and two steals off the bench.

The Clippers (42-23) shot 46.1 percent overall, 50 percent (15 of 30) from 3-point range.

OKC (35-29) fell out of the top eight in the Western Conference and is now ninth, a half-game behind New Orleans (36-29). The Clippers are fifth.

Anthony Morrow led the Thunder with 26 points off the bench. Russell Westbrook scored 24 points, but he shot just 5 of 14 from the field. He had seven assists and nine rebounds, but 10 turnovers.

Next up is Dallas (41-25) on Friday. The Mavericks are seventh in the West.

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Chris Paul scores 20 points in first half at OKC, Clippers lead 65-57 at break

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers went on a scoring rampage in the first half Wednesday night at Oklahoma City and by the time intermission rolled around, they held a 65-57 lead over the host Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Chris Paul – sore right knee and all – scored 20 points in the half on 8 of 12 shooting – 4 of 6 from 3-point range. J.J. Redick had 16 points on 4 of 7 from the field – 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.

The Clippers (41-23) shot 50 percent overall, 50 percent (8 of 16) from 3-point range. They also made 17 of 18 from the free-throw line in the first 24 minutes of action. Believe it or not, DeAndre Jordan made 5 of 6 from the line. He had nine points and 11 rebounds.

Anthony Morrow led OKC (35-28) with 17 points off the bench in the half. Russell Westbrook, who is averaging 40.7 points this month, had 12 points, four assists and seven rebounds.

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VIDEO: Check out New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski leading dance party Monday night at Staples Center

The New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski caught six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the Feb. 1 Super Bowl. Apparently, Gronkowski hasn’t stopped celebrating. Here, he leads quite a dance party in the stands at Staples Center during the Clippers’ 89-76 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. Check it out:

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VIDEO: This is why Dahntay Jones was fined $10,000? Seriously? Wow!

Dahntay Jones on Monday was fined $10,000 by the NBA for bumping Golden State’s Draymond Green while he was being interviewed Sunday after the Warriors had defeated the Clippers 106-98 at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Obviously, it wasn’t much of a bump and to make matters worse, Green lobbied the NBA to punish Jones, which was absolutely bush-league. Green is a hard-nosed player, a good player. But he needs to grow up a little bit.

“I definitely expect that to be reviewed by the NBA,” Green told reporters at the time.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers gave his take Monday night ahead of the Clippers’ 89-76 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Honestly, I just saw it an hour and a half ago,” said Rivers, who began to laugh sarcastically. “And, wow, that was such a violent bump. I’m telling you, I mean, it was amazing. Like, I told Dahntay, ‘You’ve gotta be careful, that was too hard.’

“And I guess that tough guy at Golden State, I mean, I think the bump was too hard for him, clearly, the way he reacted. My goodness. I thought that guy was tough.”

Jones had this to say about Green wanting the NBA to look at this so-called incident, which, frankly was not much of an incident.

“I was surprised,” Jones said. “That was a little bit immature. If the situation was different, if I was taking the situation, I would just like shrug it off, and it is what it is, not make anything of it. But he wanted to make something of it, so it is what it is.”

Jones said he did not do this on purpose. We don’t believe that for a second. Still, what Green should have done is kept his mouth shut, man up and take care of it when the teams play on March 31 at Staples Center. Even if the seldom-used Jones doesn’t play in that game, Green could have talked some trash to let Jones know he didn’t appreciate it. But to ask the NBA to review something so petty, thus resulting in a heavy fine, was just ridiculous.

Check out the video of this baby bump by Jones:

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 89-76 victory over the Timberwolves

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- First and foremost, we must give kudos to Chris Paul. He was hobbled by a bruised right knee because he banged knees a day earlier in Golden State. He scored only two points on 1 of 6 shooting, but he was able to dole out 15 assists, leading his much-depleted team very
well. The T’Wolves (14-48) have the worst record in the West and had nothing to lose, so they played hard. With the Clippers already sans Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford, it wasn’t an easy game to win.

- The Clippers are now 8-5 without Griffin and 1-2 without both Griffin (elbow) and Crawford (calf). Coach Doc Rivers said he expects Griffin will be back before Crawford. Rivers did not have an exact timetable, but he did say Griffin could be back in a week. That said, Rivers
said Griffin might travel with the team on the upcoming trip that includes games Wednesday at Oklahoma City and Friday at Dallas. Crawford will not travel. We should also note that while Griffin was on the bench in a suit Monday, Crawford was nowhere to be seen. Keep in mind that he missed 13 games last season with a strained left calf.

- Nate Robinson played in his second game with the Clippers since signing a 10-day contract. He played nearly 17 rather unproductive minutes. Robinson scored four points on just 1 of 9 shooting, but the 5-foot-9 guard did grab five rebounds.

- Reserve guard Austin Rivers had another good game off the bench. He came through with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting – 2 of 4 from 3-point range – with four rebounds, six assists and two steals. Rivers had 22 points in Sunday’s loss at Golden State.

- The Timberwolves outrebounded the Clippers 50-42, but DeAndre Jordan led all players with 17 rebounds. He also scored 20 points on 10 of 11 shooting and caught no less than three perfectly thrown lobs from Paul for monster dunks that made the crowd roar. No one else on the team had more than five rebounds. Interestingly, 7-foot-1 Spencer Hawes was of little help in this regard as he had one lousy rebound in nearly 23 minutes.

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J.J. Redick scores 14 points in first half, Clippers lead T’Wolves 48-39 at break

J.J. Redick

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

J.J. Redick scored 14 points in the first half and DeAndre Jordan scored 10 and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Clippers (40-23) took a 48-39 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves into halftime Monday night at Staples Center.

Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota (14-47) with 10 points.

 

 

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Longtime Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler to be honored Monday night

Ralph Lawler/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers and Fox Prime Ticket tonight (Monday) will honor long-time announcer Ralph Lawler on “Ralph Lawler Night” at Staples Center when the Clippers play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Lawler is in his 36th season broadcasting games for the Clippers. The three-time L.A. Emmy Award winner had called 2,838 Clippers games before Monday. He is known for phrases such as “Bingo” and “Oh me, oh my.”

It is a privilege to honor and celebrate the voice of the Clippers,” said Doc Rivers, head coach and president of basketball operations. “Ralph is a true professional and an inspiration to all Clippers fans. His love for the game and this team are on display every night, and I believe he has earned a future place in the Basketball Hall of Fame. I look forward to him broadcasting Clippers games for many years to come.”

 

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Steph Curry eyes next game against Clippers on March 31 at Staples Center

Stephen Curry

Steph Curry/Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors, NBA.com

 

The Clippers are now 1-2 this season against the Golden State Warriors after losing 106-98 Sunday at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Afterward, Golden State’s Steph Curry talked about what has become a rivalry of sorts, even though he downplayed that element a bit.

“Yeah, we never called it a rivalry,” said Curry, who had an off-game Sunday with just 12 points on 3 of 9 shooting; he averages 23.6. “It’s usually a competitive game and usually a spirited game. We’ll probably see them down the road in maybe the playoffs. But we’re enjoying sitting on top of the division and having some great success this year.

“We play them one more time down in L.A., so we’ve got to be ready for that game. They’ve been playing well and offensively have been doing a lot of great things, even with Blake (Griffin) out of the lineup. For us, having the defensive effort we had tonight was good.”

The Warriors (49-12) are first in the West and have the best overall record in the league. They will play the Clippers (40-23) for the final time in this regular season March 31 at Staples Center.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 106-98 loss to Golden State at Oracle Arena

DeAndre Jordan sits on the bench in the second half as Clippers are about to lose to the Golden State Warriors. Jordan had with 14 rebounds, meaning his streak of 10 consecutive games with at least 15 rebounds was halted/Photo by Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

 

- Let’s face it, trying to beat Golden State anywhere is tough. Trying to beat Golden State without Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford is almost unthinkable. When you add into the equation that this game was played at Oracle Arena in Oakland, well, all you can do is tip your cap to the Clippers for getting this close. They fared better without Griffin and Crawford than they did in November when they lost by 17 points at Oracle. The Clippers once again showed the mettle that should help them in the post-season.

- Although newest Clippers guard Nate Robinson did not have a good first game for Doc Rivers – he scored five points on 1 of 6 shooting in 20 minutes – he did have three assists and zero turnovers. The bench, on the whole, played well with Austin Rivers leading the way with 22 points – a team-high. Glen “Big Baby” Davis had eight points and seven rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu scored 12 points while making 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

- It was nice to see the retun of small forward Matt Barnes, who had missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury. He played well enough, going for nine points on 4 of 7 shooting – he was 0 of 3 from 3-point range – while doling out two assists and blocking a shot. He had nary a rebound, however, in his 23 minutes.

- The Clippers had 18 turnovers in this game. That makes it very difficult to beat any team, let alone the team with the best record in the Western Conference. Five of those turnovers were point guard Chris Paul’s and four of them belonged to reserve guard Austin Rivers. That’s not going to cut it.

- DeAndre Jordan had a mere 14 rebounds. He needed one more to extend his streak of at least 15 rebounds. But it was stopped at 10. During the run he had games of 27, 20, 22 and 26 rebounds. Jordan is averaging a league-high 14.5 rebounds with 19 regular-season games left. In second is Andre Drummond of Detroit. He’s averaging 13.0 rebounds.

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