Blake Griffin liked his team’s ‘fight’ down the stretch in Saturday’s victory

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 24 points in Clippers’ 106-102 victory Saturday over Milwaukee/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Saturday night trailed an improving Milwaukee Bucks team by four points (99-95) after a 3-point basket by former Clippers forward Jared Dudley with 4:26 to play in a game eventually won 106-102 by the Clippers. Until those last four-plus minutes, the Bucks seemed destined to win the game. That eight-point turnaround during winning time impressed Blake Griffin.

“Even coming out and playing the way we did, we felt like we did not play that well tonight,” said Griffin, who scored 24 points. “These games are all about coming out with a ‘W’, especially coming off a tough loss last night (Friday at Denver) and traveling (back to Los Angeles).

“Now we are about to go out on the road, so we will take it (the win). But I loved the fight that we had tonight coming down the stretch.”

The Clippers (19-8) play Monday night at 5:30 at San Antonio (17-11). They play Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Atlanta (19-7).

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Clippers can’t get a 3-pointer to fall late, lose 109-106 to Nuggets at Pepsi Center

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 32 points Friday night at Denver/Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers had three chances to tie the game with the final seconds winding down Friday night at Denver, but missed 3-point basket attempts by Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick and Chris Paul resulted in the Clippers losing 109-106 to the Nuggets at Pepsi Center.

The Clippers (18-8) overcame a 16-point halftime deficit of 59-43 to lead 74-71 after three quarters.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 32 points on 9 of 20 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds. Chris Paul scored 17 points with 15 assists, Crawford scored 20 off the bench, Matt Barnes had 16 points and DeAndre Jordan scored 11 and had 14 rebounds with two blocked shots.

The Clippers shot 45.9 percent from the field, but just 16.7 percent (3 of 18) from 3-point range.

Denver (11-15) received 20 points off the bench from Nate Robinson, 16 from Wilson Chandler and 14 points and seven rebounds from Kenneth Faried. Ty Lawson doled out 14 assists to go with his 10 points.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 102-100 victory over Indiana Pacers

DeAndre Jordan had 23 rebounds and two blocks in Wednesday’s 102-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers/Photo by Associated Press

 

- The Clippers out-rebounded the Pacers 51-43. It’s interesting to note that DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin combined for 39 of those 51 rebounds. Jordan had 23 and Griffin 16. What’s really  key here is that Griffin went into the game averaging only 7.3 rebounds this season, well below his career average of 9.9. He needs to get more rebounds. The 16 is a good start. He had just two rebounds in 37 minutes of a loss last week at Washington. Two measly rebounds. That should never happen. His average is now up to 7.7 after Wednesday.

- Jordan is having another poor season at the free-throw line. Before Wednesday, he was shooting 44.2 percent. He held true to that by making 7 of 15 from the line in this one. But it should also be pointed out that Jordan made two very clutch free throws with 3:34 to play that gave the Clippers a 1-point lead (93-93) after they had fallen behind 89-83 with 7 1/2 minutes to play. Oh, by the way, Jordan’s average is now 44.5.

- Coach Doc Rivers said post-game that the team is missing not having the services of backup post Spencer Hawes, who sat out his third consecutive game with a bruised left knee sustained Dec. 12 at Washington. Hawes’ knee is apparently progressing, Rivers said, but there is no timetable for his return.

- It’s a bit worrisome that the Clippers at times have difficulty putting away inferior teams. We’ve talked about them having a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. At times they look great, at times they don’t. But the Pacers are playing hard for coach Frank Vogel and this is the NBA, where anything can happen on a given night. Vogel talked before the game about how his players are staying engaged and believing in one another. Afterward, Rivers complimented the Pacers on how hard they played.

- The Clippers did not have a good night at the free-throw line, and Jordan was largely responsible. They shot just 62.2 percent (28 of 45), and that is not something they are going to be able to get away with very often. However, it fairness, the Clippers are actually shooting better from the line this season than they did a season ago. In 2013-14 they were 26th in the league with a percentage of 73.1. This season they are shooting 76.0 percent, 14th in the NBA.

 

 

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Clippers lose second consecutive game, this time 111-106 at Milwaukee

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had six turnovers for the second consecutive game/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin (4 of 12) and Chris Paul (5 of 15) shot a combined 9 of 27 and it cost the Clippers, who lost 111-106 at BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Saturday night.

Griffin scored just 10 points – well below his season average of 23.2. Paul also had 10 points – he came in averaging 18.0 – and committed six turnovers for the second night in a row.

The Clippers (16-7) have lost two consecutive games after winning nine in succession. They return home Monday night to host the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 at Staples Center.

Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick did have fine games for the Clippers. Barnes scored 26 points and made 6 of 8 from 3-point range and Redick scored 25 and was 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Jamal Crawford scored 17 points, but he shot just 6 of 15, 2 of 7 from 3-point range.

The Clippers shot just 42.9 percent overall, but shot 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from 3-point range.

The Clippers led by four points at 76-72 with 10:45 left in the game. However, the Bucks (12-12) outscored them 18-5 to lead 90-79 with 6:52 to play. The Clippers went down by 12 points with 5:03 to play and then pulled within 109-106 on a running 3-pointer by Crawford with just under three seconds left. That was the best the Clippers could do.

The Bucks shot 56.6 percent from the field, a whopping 63.6 percent (7 of 11) from beyond the arc. Brandon Knight led Milwaukee with 22 points and Giannis Antekokounmpo had 20.

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Chris Paul says team just needs to keep foot on the gas when it has a lead

Chris Paul

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

 

Although the Clippers are getting better at holding leads, they’re still vulnerable in that department. On Wednesday, they held a 20-point lead at Indiana with 1:07 left in the third quarter. The Pacers nearly came all the way back, pulling within two points with two minutes left in the game before the Clippers emerged with a 103-96 victory for their ninth win in succession.

Part of the problem has been the inconsistent play of the second unit. But Chris Paul didn’t single out the reserves after Wednesday’s victory.

“We just need to play with more consistency and keep our foot on the gas,” Paul said. “Our core group has been together a little while and we’ve been through some stuff. Me, Blake (Griffin), D.J. (DeAndre Jordan), (we) know what it takes.”

The Clippers (16-5) next play Friday at Washington (15-6).

 

 

We just need to play with more consistency and keep our foot on the gas.  Our core group has been together a little while and we’ve been through some stuff.  Me, Blake (Griffin), DJ (DeAndre Jordan) know what it takes.”

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Blake Griffin stoked about playing against Anthony Davis of the Pelicans

 

Blake Griffin of the Clippers is guarded by Anthony Davis of the Pelicans during the first half of the Clippers’ 120-100 victory on Saturday at Staples Center/Photo by Associated Press

 

 

Blake Griffin is like any superstar – he loves a challenge.

He had a big one Saturday when he guarded fellow power forward Anthony Davis – and vice-versa – when the Clippers hosted the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center. The Clippers won the game 120-100.

Davis came in averaging 25.2 points and scored a rather uneventful 26 as 10 of them came during a fourth quarter in  which the Clippers played mostly reserves. He also grabbed only three rebounds and blocked just one shot; he came in averaging 11.5 rebounds and a league-best 3.06 blocks.

Griffin scored 30 points and had seven rebounds and five assists. Afterward, he said he was jazzed about the opportunity to go against Davis, a 21-year-old in just his third season.

“It is exciting any time you get to go up against a player of that type of caliber,” Griffin said. “He is an amazing player.”

 

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-100 victory over New Orleans

Chris Paul

Chris Paul is shooting a career-high 53.4 percent from the field/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- It was good to see sixth-man Jamal Crawford rebound from two off games offensively. He scored just four points in Monday’s 127-101 victory over Minnesota and just five in a 114-86 victory over Orlando on Wednesday. He was a combined 2-for-11 from the field in those two games, 0 of 8 from 3-point range. Crawford on Saturday scored 20 points on 6 of 11 from the field, 2 of 4 from beyond the arc. He also made all six of his free-throw attempts.

- The Clippers, in particular power forward Blake Griffin, did a good job of holding the Pelicans’ young superstar power forward Anthony Davis to 26 rather quiet points. Quiet because 10 of them came during a fourth quarter when the Clippers played mostly the second unit with the game pretty much in hand. Davis also had only three rebounds and one block. He entered averaging 11.5 rebounds and a league-leading 3.06 blocks.

- Chris Paul continued on his path to the best shooting season of his career. By making 7 of 13 from the field – 4 of 6 from 3-point range – he is now shooting a career-best 53.4 percent overall. He’s also shooting 44.8 (30 of 67) from 3-point range, easily his best. Paul is a career 47.4-percent shooter. His career percentage from beyond the arc is 36.1.

- The Clippers made 17 of 32 from 3-point range. That’s a percentage of 53.1. They now lead the NBA with a team 3-point shooting percentage of 39.1. Golden State is second at 38.4 with the Atlanta Hawks third at 37.8.

- DeAndre Jordan is continually improving his statistics after getting off to just a bit of a slow start in the rebounding and blocked shots departments. In going for 18 rebounds and five blocks in this victory, he is now averaging 12.2 rebounds (second in the league) and 2.53 blocks (third). He led the league in rebounding a season ago with a 13.6 average and was third in blocks with a 2.48 average.

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Clippers make dream come true for leukemia-stricken Robbie Stanford

Robbie Stanford, left, chats with Blake Griffin and then Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Robbie Stanford has been battling leukemia for 15 years. He is in the final stages of his fight with the cancer, and one of his final wishes was to be able to attend a Clippers game with his son. He will do that Saturday when the Clippers host the New Orleans Pelicans at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center.

Stanford did not know that he was also going to be offered the chance to have a practice experience with the Clippers. Stanford, 54, did that Friday at the Clippers’ practice facility in Playa Vista. He met and laughed with players, he spoke with coach Doc Rivers and he wore some practice gear while taking some  shots from the floor. Afterward, he was all smiles.

“Big fan of the Clippers and it was a dream of mine to take my son to one of the games, and I never knew I was going to get invited to come to the practice and actually meet the guys,” said Stanford, who was accompanied by his 14-year-old son Nile and 16-year-old daughter Sydney. “So this has been an amazing experience to be here and put on some gear and go out and shoot a few air balls.”

Stanford, originally from Chicago and a Bulls fan, said he has been a Clippers fan for about five or six years. He was asked which of the players he most enjoying talking to Friday.

“It was all really exciting, so it’s hard to choose,” he said. “But meeting Blake (Griffin), meeting Chris (Paul) … I mean, come on, they’re all amazing.”

Stanford laughed when talking about his time with J.J. Redick.

“Redick told me he was going to give me some pointers because he said my shooting percentage was pretty low,” Stanford said.

Stanford has been in this fight for a long time, and he said that has given him the time to deal with all the emotions of his plight. Along the way, he and wife Jade started a preschool in Culver City that is geared toward helping others in similar situations find affordable day care.

“About 10 years ago my wife and I looked for a preschool for our children and we were basically broke because we had some new medical bills,” he said. “So my wife started a preschool to help families with chronic or terminal illnesses.”

Stanford began to cry. He gathered himself and continued.

“And today, it’s one of the leading schools in the Culver City area,” he said. “And it’s just an amazing, amazing experience, what my wife created. And I can help her. And every day we can help families, is a gift.”

A story done by CBS in 2013 indicates that if a family can’t afford to pay for the cost of the preschool because of a chronic or terminal illness, the school – named Village Tree Preschool – pays it for the family.

Jamal Crawford, one of the players with whom Stanford spent a few minutes, said Stanford’s situation puts things in perspective.

“This is a game,” Crawford said. “Obviously, you care about wins and losses and everything, but there is so muuch more to life than basketball.”

For Stanford, at this point it’s all about family.

“Now I focus on my family and every day is a holiday, so we just love each other,” he said.

As Stanford spoke, his children were in the background, looking lovingly at their father.

 

 

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Orlando’s Kyle O’Quinn fined $15,000 for flagrant 2 foul on Blake Griffin

Kyle O'Quinn

Orlando’s Kyle O’Quinn/Photo courtesy of the Orlando Magic, NBA.com

 

Kyle O’Quinn of the Orlando Magic has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for his flagrant 2 foul on the Clippers’ Blake Griffin midway through the second quarter of Wednesday’s 114-86 Clippers victory over the Magic at Staples Center.

With the Clippers leading 38-35 at the time, Griffin drove the paint and as he was going up he was raked hard across the face by O’Quinn. Griffin went down.

In a statement, the NBA wrote that O’Quinn received the fine “for making excessive contact above the shoulders” with Griffin. The punishment was meted out by Rod Thorn, president of basketball operations for the NBA.

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Flagrant 2 foul by Orlando’s Kyle O’Quinn on Blake Griffin is debated

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin (top) was sent to the deck via a hard flagrant 2 foul by Kyle O’Quinn (below) of the Orlando Magic on Wednesday/Photos courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and NBA.com

Kyle O'Quinn

 

Although it appeared that Kyle O’Quinn got what he deserved when he was called for a flagrant 2 foul on Blake Griffin in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s 114-86 Clippers victory over Orlando, Griffin was somewhat surprised by it.

“I didn’t really see much, I closed my eyes,” Griffin said, drawing laughter from reporters in the post-game news conference. “I got hit in the face. But, honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be a flagrant 2. I didn’t think there was anything vicious or anything like that.”

With the Clippers leading 38-35 at the time, Griffin drove the paint and as he was going up he was raked hard across the face by O’Quinn. Griffin went down. To Clippers coach Doc Rivers, the flagrant 2 was warranted.

“That’s a flagrant 2 in this generation,” Rivers said. “I don’t think he was trying to hurt Blake or
anything like that. It was a hard foul and the way the game’s called now, it has to be a flagrant 2.”

With Nikola Vucevic not playing because of back spasms, the flagrant 2 and mandatory ejection of O’Quinn put the Magic down two bigs. After it happened, the Clippers went on an 8-2 run and the rest was history.

“We know Kyle and we know that there was not anything malicious about that,” Orlando power forward Channing Frye said. “They (O’Quinn and Griffin) are 250-pound men. These are two gigantic oxen going up. But that’s the way it went, and I think emotionally we just felt kind of let down from that and they took advantage of us.”

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