Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul scored 18 of his 23 first-half points in the first quarter and the Clippers took a 68-54 lead over the Golden State Warriors into the locker room at halftime.
The Clippers twice led by as many as 23 points.
Paul made his first seven shots from the field, including three 3-pointers.
Blake Griffin contributed 18 points and Austin Rivers scored seven.
Klay Thompson had 18 points for Golden State and Steph Curry scored 17 after having just three points in the first quarter.
Blake Griffin has become a multi-dimensional player. It’s always amazing to see a 6-foot-10 power forward handle the ball the way he does. Here is a good example. On this play Griffin appeared to be in danger of losing the ball as he got trapped by a couple of Detroit Pistons in the Clippers’ 101-96 victory over them Saturday at Staples Center.
Watch what Griffin does:
Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers on Saturday afternoon trailed the Detroit Pistons by 17 points midway through the second quarter at Staples Center. The Clippers were again without injured starting guards Chris Paul (groin strain) and J.J. Redick (back spasms), so things did not look good.
But the Clippers – behind the offense of Jamal Crawford (37 points) and Blake Griffin (34 points) and a vastly improved second-half defense – came back to defeat the Pistons 101-96.
Griffin liked the way his team hung in there.
“I was really proud of the way we talked to each other out there,” he said. “We stayed focused, our talk was positive and we executed down the stretch.”
Jamal Crawford pulls up for a jump-shot in Saturday’s victory/AP photo by Christine Cotter
– Jamal Crawford came in averaging just 11 points, and his overall shooting numbers were down – especially from 3-point range, where he entered shooting just 23 percent. Crawford scored a game-high 37 points in this one, making 12 of 27 overall from the field – 3 of 7 from beyond the arc. He also had eight assists, six rebounds and a block. Not too shabby for a 35-year-old. Oh, and he played nearly 41 minutes. Crawford has now made 1,825 3-pointers and is five away from tying Chauncey Billups (1,830), who is seventh all-time.
– Crawford and Austin Rivers started at the guard spots because J.J. Redick (back spasms) and Chris Paul (groin strain) were again out. Rivers had 13 points and was 3 of 6 from long distance.
– Another fine game by Blake Griffin, who scored 34 points on 14 of 25 from the field. Griffin is now shooting 55.8 percent from the field. He also had nine assists, eight rebounds, two steals and a block.
– It was interesting to see Lance Stephenson play just under two minutes after having started the first nine games. When Stephenson came off the bench early in the second quarter, he played less than two minutes and was removed not long after having the ball stolen from him by Mater Dei High product Stanley Johnson. After the game, coach Doc Rivers said Stephenson wasn’t ready to play and that he couldn’t wait for him to be ready because the Clippers were already losing (28-25).
– As early season victories go, this one was rather big. The Clippers had lost four of five after starting 4-0 and even though they were missing Paul and Redick and were up against a good team, another loss would have made them 5-5 ahead of their game Thursday against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Now, they take a record of 6-4 into that game and perhaps the added confidence that they can pull together when two of their top players are on the shelf.
Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
After trailing by as many as 17 points, the Clippers did well to trail the Detroit Pistons by just nine (60-51) at halftime Saturday at Staples Center.
Playing without starting guards Chris Paul (groin strain) and J.J. Redick (back spasms), the Clippers were led in the half by Jamal Crawford’s 17 points. Blake Griffin scored 11 and DeAndre Jordan scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Reggie Jackson had 12 points for the Pistons, Ersan Ilyasova scored 11 and Andre Drummond had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Mater Dei High produced Stanley Johnson contributed nine points.
Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
– Nine games in and the Clippers are 5-4. That could not have been expected by anyone. But the Clippers can at least take solace in knowing that they were missing Chris Paul (groin) and J.J. Redick (back) the entire game and Blake Griffin (ejected) for half of it. Those are their three leading scorers.
– Griffin already has four technical fouls this season, tying him for the league lead with Paul George of Indiana. Griffin had two in this one. Tell you what, though, this guy gets hammered hard almost every time he gets into the paint and often nothing is called. It happened in Dallas a night earlier, as well.
– It’s difficult to take anything positive from a 14-point loss. But Wesley Johnson did score 14 points, his first double-digit performance for the Clippers. He was 3 of 6 from 3-point range.
– It’s true, the Clippers were severely short-handed. But it’s worth nothing that the Suns shot 53 percent from the field, 46.7 (14 of 30) from 3-point range. “Our defense was awful,” Doc Rivers said. “Back-to-back 118, 53-percent (games).” The Mavericks actually shot 55.3 percent in their 118-108 win over the Clippers on Wednesday.
– Another good thing for the Clippers was the game had by Jamal Crawford. He had a season-high 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He also had three steals. Alas, it wasn’t all gravy as Crawford had five of his team’s 14 turnovers; Lance Stephenson had four.