Blake Griffin says Friday’s blowout loss ‘cannot dictate’ what happens in Game 4

Blake Griffin

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

 

The Clippers have now lost two games in a row they would rather forget – the 111-107 overtime loss in Game 2 on Wednesday at Staples Center and the 100-73 shellacking they absorbed Friday in Game 3 at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Blake Griffin said putting Friday’s loss behind them is a must. Game 4 is Sunday.

“You just have to get rid of that memory and forget about it,” said Griffin, who scored a team-high 14 points and shot just 6 of 15 from the field. “Tonight’s game cannot dictate how we play in Game 4. We just have to forget about it and move on.”

The Clippers shot just 29.5 percent through three quarters, 34.1 percent for the game.

 

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Blake Griffin has 10 points in 1st half for Clippers, who trail Spurs 46-38

 

Blake Griffin

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

 

The Clippers shot just 34.1 percent from the field in the first half, but a jump-shot by Blake Griffin at the halftime buzzer meant the Clippers would trail by only eight points (46-38) at the break in Game 3 at AT&T Center in San Antonio on Friday.

Griffin led the Clippers with 10 points in the half.

Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio with 16 points, but Tim Duncan had just two points.

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Doc Rivers, Chris Paul respond to Magic Johnson’s negative tweet after Game 2

Chris Paul

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

 

Magic Johnson sent out two tweets following the Clippers’ heartbreaking 111-107 overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at Staples Center. One praised the Spurs: “The Spurs showed great mental toughness tonight in the win over the Clippers. That’s why they are the defending NBA champs.”

The other ripped the Clippers:  “The Clippers lack of mental toughness and costly turnovers are the reasons they lost the game tonight.”

The latter had to be in reference to Blake Griffin’s turnover with 11.9 seconds left in regulation and the Clippers ahead by two points. Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Friday responded.

“Well, they won,” Rivers said. “To the victors goes the spoils. I’m never going to argue with Magic Johnson. They won the game. I thought we showed great  mental toughness because we were the team down. I think people forget that. We were down 10 points in the fourth Quarter.

“I mean, we were actually the team that came back. And then we gave it up at the end. But we came back in that game. So I think if anybody showed mental toughness, it was us. And them; they’re going to have it. They, again, are champions. They’re not going anywhere. They’re not going to be shaken.”

Chris Paul looked perplexed when told of Johnson’s negative tweet.

“No, I didn’t know that,” Paul said at the morning shootaround ahead of Game 3 at AT&T Center in San Antonio. “I haven’t been on Twitter. I mean, that’s his opinion. I saw Magic at Sunday brunch last week, you know what I mean? So …”

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Blake Griffin scores 19 points, but Tim Duncan and Spurs lead 52-47 at break

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin had 19 points in the first half Wednesday/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Tim Duncan showed his Hall of Fame talent in the first half Wednesday when he scored 16 points on 8 of 9 shooting to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 52-47 lead over the Clippers at the break in Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Blake Griffin of the Clippers was nearly as good, scoring 19 points on 9 of 13 from the field.

The Clippers lead the series 1-0.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-92 Game 1 victory over San Antonio

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Jamal Crawford had shot just 10 of 36 (27.7 percent) from the field in four games since returning from a calf injury that caused him to miss 17 consecutive games. To see him shoot 7 of 10 – 3 of 4 from 3-point range – and score 17 points in this game was nothing more than a really terrific thing for the Clippers. They need all they can get from a bench not nearly as deep as San Antonio’s.

– You could see it by the look of determination Chris Paul had on his face. There was just no way the Clippers were going to lose this game if he had anything to say about it. He scored 32 points on 13 of 20 from the field – 3 of 5 from beyond the arc – and also pulled down seven rebounds while doling out six assists. Doesn’t get much stronger than that. Will this be the year Paul and the Clippers get past the second round? Stay tuned.

– As good as Paul was, Blake Griffin was almost as good. He scored 26 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, had six assists and three blocked shots in an overall fine performance. He also showed some of the ferocity we don’t see quite as much since he added the outside game to his repertoire by throwing down a mean tomahawk dunk in the third quarter for a 77-61 lead. Griffin also wore that winning look.

– Even though the Clippers emerged victorious, one has to wonder if San Antonio’s deeper bench will eventually play a larger role in determining the outcome of these games. The Spurs got 43 points from six reserves, the Clippers got the 17 points from Crawford and only five more from two other players combined. The Clippers’ starters played many more minutes than their San Antonio counterparts. Griffin played nearly 43 minutes, DeAndre Jordan played over 38 minutes and Paul nearly 38. Kawhi Leonard played the most minutes for the Spurs at 33. Will the Clippers starters tire out if this continues?

– We can’t leave out the fans. They were as good as they have been all year, with the Spurs getting only a few cheers from a few people. The Clippers notice when fans at their Staples Center root for the opponent, and it was a good thing that almost all the love was for the Clippers in this one. When Griffin threw down that aforementioned monster slam, the Clippers faithful went absolutely wild.

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VIDEO: Check out this monster slam dunk by Blake Griffin in win over Spurs

Chris Paul scored 32 points and Blake Griffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers in their 107-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night at Staples Center in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Although Griffin’s dunk total was down this season, you won’t find too many more vicious than this one he threw down over the Spurs’ Aron Baynes. Check it out:

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Clippers lead Spurs 49-43 at halftime in Game 1 at Staples Center

Blake Griffin scored 13 points, Jamal Crawford had nine and Chris Paul and J.J. Redick seven apiece and the Clippers led the San Antonio Spurs 49-43 at halftime of Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series Sunday at Staples Center.

The Clippers shot 47.2 percent from the field.

Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with nine points. San Antonio shot just 35.6 percent.

DeAndre Jordan scored five points for the Clippers, all on free throws as the Spurs went to the Hack-a-DJ late in the half. Jordan was 5 of 12 from the free-throw line.

 

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Doc Rivers loves hard-working players like J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin

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

 

The Clippers appear to be a team of hard-working players, the type who work and work on their game to make it better. But one would be hard-pressed to find two players who work harder than forward Blake Griffin and guard J.J. Redick, attests coach Doc Rivers.

“I have a gym full of talented players, but the special ones stand out,” said Rivers, whose team took on the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.. “And it’s usually not their athleticism. Everybody’s an athlete in the NBA. It’s all the other intangibles that makes them great. Mental toughness, their basketball IQ, their work habits, which I think gets overlooked by all of them.

“It’s no coincidence that when you walk in the gym, you look over there every day and there’s Blake. What I’m always amazed at, personally, is why the whole team doesn’t do that, you know? I think J.J. takes more shots than anybody on our team per day and so if your best shooter is doing that, it would just make sense that the guys who are under him would say, ‘Well, I think I need to take more shots than them to be a better shooter, or as good.’ ”

Redick is having his best season, averaging 16.4 points per game while shooting 47.7 percent from the field overall, 43.7 from 3-point range. All of those numbers are personal-bests.

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Clippers vs. Spurs: Game 1 reading material

Here’s a few links about today’s game while we wait for tip-off.

Let us know in the comments section who will win the series, and in how many games.

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Chris Paul says Clippers definitely more prepared for this go-round with Spurs

Chris Paul

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

 

Chris Paul’s first season with the Clippers was 2011-12. Paul helped the Clippers to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, where they were swept by in four games by the San Antonio Spurs.

The Clippers will play the Spurs in the first round beginning Sunday night at 7:30 at Staples Center. Paul was queried at practice this week as to whether his team is more prepared for this go-round with San Antonio. Paul answered sharply.

“If we’re not better prepared now than we were three years ago,” Paul said, “then we probably shouldn’t even play.”

The team in ’11-’12 had Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin but not Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick or Jamal Crawford.

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