Five things to take from Clippers’ impressive 100-94 victory at Portland

DeAndre Jordan’s double-double helps Clippers beat Portland

DeAndre Jordan had 17 points while shooting 8 of 8 and grabbed 18 rebounds Wednesday night in Portland/Photo by Associated Press

 

- Jamal Crawford’s team-leading 25 points were big. They played a large role in getting the Clippers the victory, but he also once again showed the ability to come back from an off game, such as Sunday’s when he shot just 1 of 9 from the field and scored only four points in the Clippers’ loss to the Miami Heat.

- That the Clippers won this game on the road against a terrific home team – the Trail Blazers were 18-3 at Moda Center going in – makes this one of the best victories of the season for Los Angeles. Portland – now 30-9 – resides in second place in the Western Conference standings, 2 1/2 games behind first-place Golden State (31-5). The Clippers (26-13) are still sixth, but just a half-game behind Dallas (27-13).

- One of the keys in this victory was holding Portland point guard Damian Lillard to below his seasons averages in points and assists. He entered averaging 22.2 points and 6.3 assists. The Clippers held him to 15 points on just 6 of 15 shooting and four assists in 37 minutes.

- The Clippers – known this season for being inconsistent – never had a real bad stretch. Their biggest deficit was six points in the fourth quarter and they overcame that. Portland led 2-0 and then did not take another lead until early in the fourth quarter at 76-74. This is a big deal because again, this was Portland at home.

- What was interesting about this victory is that the Clippers shot just 42 percent from the field with Blake Griffin (7 of 20), J.J. Redick (3 of 12) and Chris Paul (6 of 18) shooting a combined 16 of 50, which equates to 32 percent combined for those three. But the Clippers held the Trail Blazers to just 40.2 percent shooting, 23.1 percent (6 of 26) from 3-point range. Defense wins games, and championships.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Miami Heat have hot-shooting first half and lead Clippers 62-53 at break

Chris Paul

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

 

The Miami Heat shot 55.6 percent in the first half and lead the Clippers 62-53 at the break at Staples Center.

Chris Bosh paced Miami with 17 points in the half while Chris Paul scored 12 for the Clippers and Blake Griffin had 10.

 

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Blake Griffin says Saturday’s win over Dallas a good one, but won’t rank it

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 22 points to lead the Clippers on Saturday afternoon/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin’s Clippers on Saturday afternoon had just routed the Dallas Mavericks 120-100 after leading by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter at Staples Center. Since the Clippers have struggled against winning teams and were just 1-4 in their previous five such games heading in, Griffin was asked where this victory ranks this season.

“It is a good win,” he said. “I’m not really into ranking wins, but this is definitely a good win. Hopefully, we can build on it.”

Griffin scored 22 points to lead the Clippers, who had all five starters and sixth-man Jamal Crawford score in double figures.

Crawford scored 19, Matt Barnes had 18 points, Chris Paul had 17 points with 13 assists, J.J. Redick scored 16 and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 15 rebounds.

The Clippers (25-12) next play host to the Miami Heat (15-21) on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Blake Griffin suggests Lakers, called ‘soft’ by coach Byron Scott, need to be honest with themselves

Blake Griffin

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

 

Doc Rivers referred to his team as being soft after they were routed 121-104 Nov. 5 at Golden State. It was perhaps the most angry Rivers has been since he arrived to coach the Clippers in 2013-14.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said his team was soft several times after the Clippers walloped the Lakers 114-89 on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin on Friday morning at practice was asked to talk about what Scott said as it related to what Rivers said about him and his teammates two months ago.

“I think it’s one of those things, you have to be honest with yourself,” Griffin said. “When Doc said that about us, it was 100 percent true. You can’t hear those words and then go think to yourself, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ You have to be honest with yourself. I think we all kind of looked at ourselves and looked at how we played and  we were like, ‘Yeah, we were, and we need to change that.’ It’s on the players, on the leaders of the team.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Blake Griffin: Chris Paul on bench in third quarter really hurt in loss to Hawks

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 26 points in Monday’s loss to Atlanta/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Monday trailed the Atlanta Hawks by just two points (60-58) when Chris Paul had to leave the game with seven minutes to play in the third quarter because of his fourth foul. In came backup Jordan Farmar, and by the time the quarter ended the Hawks held a 77-69 lead on their way to a 107-98 victory at Staples Center.

Not that Farmar, who went scoreless on 0 of 5 shooting, was the only reason the Clippers lost because there is more blame to pass around. But Blake Griffin said it did hurt not having Paul in there at a time when he usually is in the thick of things.

“When C.P. is not out here, that is a voice that is gone,” Griffin said. “That’s one of our best players and our playmaker. Vocally and even just playing-wise, I have to step up and do a better job. I didn’t do a great job tonight of taking advantage of mismatches and finding open guys and things like that. I need to do a better job there in that third quarter because when he was sitting, that was kind of when we lost it.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Doc Rivers said there has been slippage in Clippers’ overall execution

Chris Paul

Chris Paul is averaging 17.7 points and 9.4 assists this season for the Clippers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and coach Doc Rivers met with reporters Friday ahead of the Clippers’ first practice since Dec. 5. Both Griffin and Paul said they believed that working on defense was most vital. Rivers had a bit of a different thought.

“I think offense, too,” he said. “I think you’ve gotta work on the whole game. I think we’ve slipped in a lot of areas of execution. So the word would be ‘execution.’ And you can go offense and defense.”

The Clippers entered their game Saturday against visiting Philadelphia allowing 100.2 points, which is 19th in the league. They were scoring 105.9 points per game, fifth in the NBA.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Blake Griffin believes Doc Rivers made the right call regarding practices

Blake Griffin

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

 

The Clippers practiced Dec. 5. Their next practice did not materialize until Friday morning at their headquarters in Playa Vista.

The reason? The Clippers beginning Dec. 6 played 15 games in 26 days. There were three back-to-backs and no more than a day between games.

Power forward Blake Griffin was asked ahead of Friday’s practice if coach Doc Rivers handled this the right way.

“Yeah, I mean, I don’t think there is really much else to do,” Griffin said. “You could practice, but I think the biggest thing for all of us was just having legs for games and that’s kind of the way to do it without sitting guys out of games.”

And while San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich sits his veterans from time to time to save them for later in the season, Griffin is not in favor of that. Certainly not for him.

“I don’t really like sitting out games unless you’re hurt, especially for me,” said Griffin, 25. “This is my fifth year and there’s other guys who have a lot more years, more miles on them. So I didn’t want to sit out.”

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Blake Griffin has high praise for J.J. Redick, who had another quick start

Blake Griffin, fighting New York players Cole Aldrich (45) and Andrea Bargnani (77) for the ball New Years Eve, is impressed with the quick starts of teammate J.J. Redick/Photo by Asscoiated Press

 

Point guard Chris Paul post-game praised the quick starts of shooting guard J.J. Redick, who scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter of the Clippers’ 99-78 New Years Eve victory over the struggling New York Knicks, who are now 5-29.

Color Blake Griffin among those echoing Paul’s sentiments.

“The way he shoots, and he just moves so well without the ball when he gets it going like that, makes it tough for teams to stop him,” Griffin said.

Redick averaged 17.8 points during the month of December to improve his season scoring average to 15.2, which ties his career-high of 2013-14 when Redick played in just 35 games because of injuries. He has played in all 33 games this season.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Five things to take from Clippers’ 101-97 victory Monday over Utah Jazz

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick is averaging 17.7 points in December/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- It’s easy to say that Utah came in with a record of just 10-20. But the Jazz had won four of five. Included therein was a victory at Memphis. That meant this tired Clippers team got a hard-earned victory over a young team playing with a lot of confidence of late.

- The 12 blocks the Clippers had showed the defensive intensity with which they played. DeAndre Jordan had four of them, which is no surprise. But Matt Barnes tied his career high with three, Blake Griffin had three and Spencer Hawes – playing for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks – had two.

- Reporters made a big deal post-game about Blake Griffin playing all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter, during which he scored 12 of his 24 points. But it should also be noted that sixth-man Jamal Crawford played all but seven seconds of the fourth. The difference was, whereas Griffin shot 4 of 6 from the field in the quarter, Crawford shot 2 of 7. Even so, Crawford had a total of 17 big points off the bench.

- With his 19 rebounds, DeAndre Jordan has raised his league-leading average to 13.8. He led the league this past season with a 13.6 average. And to think that before 2013-14, his highest rebounding average was 8.3 in 2011-12.

- J.J. Redick scored 17 points in this one. He doesn’t get the publicity of Griffin and Chris Paul, but it should be noted that he has been on quite a roll. During the month of December he has averaged 17.7 points to raise his season scoring average to 15.1. He averaged a career-high 15.2 points for the Clippers in 2013-14, but he only played in 35 games because of injuries. He has played in all 32 games this season. In 16 games this month, he has scored 20 points or more in seven of them.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email