Five things to take from Clippers’ crushing 102-100 loss at Brooklyn

DeAndre Jordan could not block this game-winning shot by Brooklyn’s Jarrett Jack/Photo by Associated Press

 

- Blake Griffin admitted he was not aggressive enough in this game. He took only 10 shots and made six for 13 points, well under his season-scoring average of 22.6. Two days earlier, in a win at San Antonio, Griffin took 21 shots and made 12 for 31 points. That’s not to mention Griffin had just six rebounds in this one compared to 13 at San Antonio.

- Did the Clippers quit playing defense as coach Doc Rivers suggested after they earned a nine-point lead with 1:46 to play in the game? Well, the Nets scored 15 points during that final 1:46 and did not miss a field-goal attempt. What do you think? Fifteen points in a minute and 46 seconds? Wow!

- It’s interesting to see what DeAndre Jordan had 22 points and a whopping 20 rebounds. Yet, he did not block even one shot for the first time since Nov. 23 at Memphis.

- J.J. Redick played just four minutes and had to leave the game with back spasms. Redick missed the first game of this road trip at Utah because of back spasms, so now this has become a concern. Redick played just 35 games in 2013-14 because of injuries, one of which was a bulging disk in his back.

- Jamal Crawford scored 18 points, but shot just 7 of 22 from the field – 2 of 7 from 3-point range. The first 3-point basket he made allowed him to move into eighth-place all-time with 1,789 made 3-pointers. Next up for Crawford to pass at No. 7 is Chauncey Billups, who has 1,830.

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Blake Griffin has big first quarter at San Antonio, scoring 13 points on 5 of 11

Blake Griffin

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

 

Blake Griffin scored 13 points in the first quarter at San Antonio on Saturday and the Clippers led the Spurs 29-25 after 12 minutes of action at AT&T Center.

Griffin made 5 of 11 shots from the field. He also grabbed four rebounds a night after grabbing just four all game in a loss at New Orleans.

The Clippers (32-15) shot 52.2 percent from the field in the quarter.

Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio (30-17) with five first-quarter points.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 108-103 loss Friday at New Orleans

Eric Gordon, guarded by J.J. Redick, puts up a shot. He scored 28 points in New Orleans’ victory over the Clippers on Friday/Photo by Associated Press

 

- The Clippers have been playing well, so it’s hard to take a shot at them. But to lose this one when New Orleans did not have forward Anthony Davis (groin injury) – one of the top players in the league – has to be tough for them to take. That was Davis cheering from the bench as his team was securing the victory. The Pelicans are 2 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, so they are very hungry.

- The setback cost the Clippers (32-15) in the Western Conference standings. They went from being tied for third with Houston and Portland to tied for fourth with Portland, now a game behind third-place Houston, 2 1/2 games behind second-place Memphis and 5 1/2 behind frontrunning Golden State.

- The Clippers did not guard the 3-point line as well as they could have. The Pelicans shot 52 percent (13 of 25) from beyond the arc and that is not going to cut it. Forward Ryan Anderson and guard Eric Gordon, in particular, torched the Clippers from there. Anderson made 5 of 11 from 3-point range and Gordon was 5 of 7 as he went for a game-high 28 points. The Clippers, on the other hand, made just 25 percent (7 of 28) from long-distance.

- One could also say the Pelicans won this game from the free-throw line. They shot 26 free throws and made 23 for a whopping 88.5 percent. The Clippers, one of the more inferior free-throw shooting teams in tne league, made 12 of 17 for 70.6 percent. DeAndre Jordan was 0 of 2.

- It’s difficult to take a lot of positives from a road loss against a middle-of-the-road team missing its best player. But Chris Paul had a terrific game. He scored a team-high 24 points with seven assists, eight rebounds and three steals while shooting 10 of 20.

BONUS TAKE: The Clippers were outrebouned 51-38 by a team that, again, was sans Davis, who averages a team-high 10.4 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 15, Blake Griffin only four. Remember, Paul had eight and at 6-foot he’s 10 inches shorter than Griffin.

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Clippers have 1-point halftime lead at New Orleans, which is sans Davis

J.J. Redick

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

 

Even though the New Orleans Pelicans are without superstar forward Anthony Davis (groin injury), the Clippers led them by just one point (54-53) at halftime Friday at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers (32-14) with 11 first-half points. J.J. Redick, who did not play Wednesday at Utah because of back spasms, scored 10.

New Orleans (24-22) got 15 points from Eric Gordon.

 

 

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Blake Griffin praises the energy Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis brings to the team

Glen “Big Baby” Davis doesn’t play a lot of minutes as a reserve – he’s averaging 10.6 this season – but the minutes he does play are often inspiring.

Take the beginning of the fourth quarter of Monday’s 102-98 victory over Denver. The Clippers began the quarter down by eight points. Jamal Crawford made a 3-pointer to get his team within five points. The Clippers’ next time down the court, Davis kept a ball alive that was headed out of bounds and would have been awarded to Denver. Davis, all 290 pounds of him, hustled like nobody’s business and his effort allowed the Clippers to keep possession. Davis was so jacked, he began to scream at fans as if to pump some life into them as well as into his teammates.

The Clippers did not score out of that, but the tone had been set for their comeback victory. Blake Griffin praised his teammate.

“He has great energy and we want him to keep it going,” Griffin said. “He was huge. He only played 10 minutes, but those minutes go way beyond his stat line, which was good for those 10 minutes.”

Davis had eight points and five rebounds in 10:10 of playing time. He made both of his shots from the field and all four of his free throws.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 23 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists in Sunday’s win at Phoenix/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- In a game where things got chippy, the Clippers held their ground and won going away on the road against a playoff contender. That shows the kind of heart a team needs in the post-season.

- DeAndre Jordan had yet another dominant performance, scoring 18 points with 14 rebounds and four blocks. He was 8 of 15 from the free-throw line, too, which for a guy who entered shooting 39.3 percent from the free-throw line, isn’t too shabby. More importantly, Jordan made four consecutive free throws during the fourth quarter when the Clippers were putting the finishing touches on their victory.

- The Clippers (30-14) are now alone in fifth-place in the Western Conference standings. They are a half-game behind fourth-place Houston (31-14). Finishing the regular season in the top four means homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which begin mid-April.

- The Clippers got a combined 66 points from Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. It’s tough to beat the Clippers when that happens. Add to that seven rebounds and seven assists from Griffin and eight rebounds and 12 assists from Paul and, well, you get the idea.

- The Clippers outrebounded the Suns 50-31, which of course is terrific. The Clippers also had 28 assists, which coach Doc Rivers always likes to hear.

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Clippers come away with impressive 120-100 victory at Phoenix

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 23 points and 12 assists in Sunday’s win at Phoenix/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Sunday afternoon took a 12-point lead over the host Phoenix Suns into the fourth quarter and then the Clippers outscored Phoenix by eight points in the final stanza to come away with an impressive 120-100 victory at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The Clippers (30-14) got 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds from Chris Paul; 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Blake Griffin; 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks from DeAndre Jordan; 20 points from J.J. Redick; Spencer Hawes scored 11; and Jamal Crawford had 10 points.

The Clippers shot 49.4 percent from the field, 43.5 (10 of 23) from 3-point range. Matt Barnes had an off-night, shooting just 1 of 9 from the field for four points.

Isaiah Thomas led the Suns (26-20) with 25 points off the bench. Eric Bledsoe had 17 points, Alex Len scored 15 and Goran Dragic just 10 on 3 of 11 shooting.

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Blake Griffin: Potent Phoenix Suns are never out of any game

Blake Griffin

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

 

The Clippers (29-14) will play at Phoenix on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Suns (26-19) are a guard-oriented team can get hot and do some damage in a hurry. Point guard Eric Bledsoe leads in scoring and assists with respective averages of 16.9 and 6.0. Shooting guard Goran Dragic averages 16.7 points, backup point guard Isaiah Thomas averages 15.1 points and 3.8 assists and backup shooting guard/small forward Gerald Green scores 13.7 points per game.
“They’re a great team, especially at home,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said Saturday at practice at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. “They’re one of those teams that’s never out of a game.”
Phoenix averages 107.5 points, third in the league. The Clippers are fourth at 107.1.

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Blake Griffin believes Chris Paul deserves to be on eighth All-Star team

Chris Paul

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

 

Chris Paul has made seven consecutive Western Conference All-Star teams. He’ll have to be selected by coaches as a reserve if he is to make it eight because when the results of fan balloting were released Thursday, Paul was fourth among backcourt players and will not start. Teammate Blake Griffin, who was selected as a starter in the frontcourt, believes Paul should get the nod when reserves are announced Jan. 29.

“I think he deserves (a spot) and that’s not just being biased,” Griffin said. “I keep saying that a lot of guys deserve it. With the 12-man roster, a lot of guys don’t get to play that should. But I know (Paul) would say the same thing – our season isn’t won or lost by All-Star ballots. It’s an honor and I think CP deserves it.”

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Clippers lead Brooklyn Nets by 33 points at halftime; Blake Griffin has 22

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin had 22 points in the first half Thursday/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers shot 65.9 percent from the field in the first half and lead the Brooklyn Nets 70-37 at the break.

Blake Griffin scored 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting and DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford each scored 12; Jordan also had 11 rebounds.

Chris Paul had just four points, but he doled out 12 assists in the half.

Mason Plumlee led Brooklyn (18-24) with 13 points. The Nets shot just 38.1 percent.

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