Chris Paul didn’t like the way the Clippers played during their loss Monday to the New Orleans Hornets. The All-Star point guard didn’t hold back in his feelings, showing the sort of passion that was absent from his team’s game.
“Our defense was terrible,” Paul said. “It’s almost embarrassing. Teams feel like they can come down and score on us every night. We can’t play like that because we won’t win. Regardless if we’re scoring or not, collectively, we have to defend.”
Paul referred to the almost unguarded shots the Hornets got again and again from the perimeter. The Hornets took 25 shots from beyond the 3-point arc, sinking 15 (60 percent). They made 36 of 71 shots overall (50.7 percent).
The Clippers, as has been their method of operation against teams with sub-.500 records so far this season, didn’t play with anything resembling a sense of urgency until it was too late in the game to rally for a victory.
Paul, who scored 20 points, and Caron Butler, who had a team-leading 33 points on a franchise-record nine 3-pointers, tried but failed to keep them competitive in the second half. The Clippers’ loss was their fourth in a row after a six-game winning streak.
The Hornets ended a seven-game losing streak with Monday’s victory.
“We have to take more pride in our play whether we’re at home or on the road,” said Paul, who spent his first six seasons with the Hornets before he was traded to the Clippers last December. “Guys can’t look in our eyes and feel like they can get by. We’ve got to play with a better sense of urgency and understand that when teams that are supposedly not that great come into our city, we’ve got a target on our back.”