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

Warriors’ Draymond Green says game against Clippers was too ‘nice’

Draymond Green

Draymond Green of Golden State said Thursday’s game against the Clippers was too nice/Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors, NBA.com

 

There were a couple of times during the Clippers’ 100-86 Christmas night victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors where the teams engaged in a bit of extracurricular  warfare. For example, Blake Griffin and the Warriors’ David Lee had a brief shoving match. And Chris Paul and Golden State’s Draymond Green talked a bit of trash to each other.

But there wasn’t enough of the mutual hate, according to Green.

“There are some guys on that team I really respect,” Green said. “But as far as that fire, that dog … I mean, it’s no secret that we don’t like them. And it’s no secret that they don’t like us. So I don’t know why the game was that nice. We’re trying to act like we like each other, and we don’t. It was a boring game.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Blake Griffin says Clippers still aren’t quite putting together complete efforts

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 21 points in Tuesday’s loss at Atlanta/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers still aren’t putting together complete games on a regular basis. Tuesday’s 107-104 loss Tuesday night at Atlanta was a good example. The Clippers led by 13 points with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter, but lost their momentum and the game.

Blake Griffin, who scored 21 points, talked about the inconsistency of the team.

“In stretches, we’re doing well and doing some good things, but you have to put it all together,” he said. “I am encouraged. We’re playing here and there. A loss is a loss. They all feel the same way, but it’s disappointing that we were so close. We had the lead in the third. I thought the biggest thing in the third was that we fouled too much. They weren’t hitting shots, but they got to the line and that allowed them to get back into the game and they carried it from there.”

Atlanta made 12 of 16 from the free-throw line in the third quarter, 27 of 35 overall (77.1 percent).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Clippers erase 17-point deficit, but still lose 125-118 at San Antonio

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 25 points and nine assists in Monday’s loss at San Antonio/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Monday trailed by 17 points at San Antonio with 9 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter and came back to be tied at 102-102 with 8:17 to play in the game, but the Spurs emerged with a 125-118 victory at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

The Spurs (18-11), who broke a four-game losing streak, shot 75 percent in the first half and ended up shooting 63.6 percent for the game, 56.5 percent (13 of 23) from 3-point range. Tony Parker led them with 26 points, Boris Diaw scored 23 off the bench and Tim Duncan had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Manu Ginobili contributed 19 points off the bench.

The Clippers (19-9) got 25 points, nine assists, two steals and two blocks from Chris Paul; 22 points, six rebounds and six assists from Blake Griffin; 21 points from J.J. Redick; and 18 points from Jamal Crawford off the bench.

The Clippers shot 50 percent from the field, 41.7 percent (10 of 24) from beyond the arc.

San Antonio had 37 assists, the Clippers 23.

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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.

 

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email