Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-93 victory over Chicago

Wesley Johnson plays tough defense on Jimmy Butler of the Bulls in the Clippers’ 120-93 victory on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht


– Once again the bench sparkled. Jamal Crawford scored 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting, Austin Rivers scored 16 and was 5 of 6 from 3-point range and Wesley Johnson scored 11 on 4 of 8 shooting – 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. The bench outscored the Bulls bench 58-18. The Clippers shot 53.1 percent (17 of 32) from long-distance.

J.J. Redick had a very poor shooting game on Friday against the Lakers, making just 2 of 10 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range. He rebounded nicely in this one, scoring 21 points 7 of 11 from the field – 4 of 4 from deep, where Redick is shooting a league-leading 48.6 percent.

DeAndre Jordan continued his rebounding tear, pulling down 20. He has had 19, 19, 17 and 20 rebounds his past four games and has raised his season average to 13.8, second to Andre Drummond (15.0) of Detroit. Jordan also had 17 points, four assists, four blocks and a steal

Paul Pierce’s struggles continued. He played just under 16 minutes and missed all six of his field-goal attempts, five of them coming from 3-point range. The 38-year-old Pierce is shooting 33.6 percent from the field overall, by far the worst percentage of his career, which is in its 18th season. He’s shooting 30.6 percent from beyond the arc, third-worst of his career. He shot 30.2 percent from there in 2002-03 and 29.9 percent in 2003-04.

– Considering the Clippers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, it’s always news when they outrebound an opponent. They did that in this one, taking 46 to Chicago’s 42. Besides Jordan’s 20, Lance Stephenson grabbed six boards in less than 10 minutes off the bench. Cole Aldrich and Redick had four apiece.

Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan help Clippers to 51-47 halftime lead over Chicago Bulls

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Jamal Crawford scored 12 points and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds as the Clippers took a 51-47 lead over the Chicago Bulls into the halftime break Sunday at Staples Center.

Wesley Johnson and Chris Paul contributed eight points apiece for the Clippers (31-16).

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls (26-19) with 12 points and Derrick Rose scored eight.

Doc Rivers likes wherewithal shown by team in loss at Chicago

Clippers Bulls Basketball

Blake Griffin commits a Flagrant 2 foul on the Bulls’ Taj Gibson on Thursday night in Chicago/Photo by Associated Press


Doc Rivers, like pretty much any NBA head coach, is not into moral victories. But he did like the way his team fought back Thursday at Chicago before losing 83-80 to the Bulls.

The Clippers were down by 14 points (57-43) when Blake Griffin was ejected from the game with 5:58 left in the third quarter because of a Flagrant 2 foul on the Bulls’ Taj Gibson.

The Clippers came all the way back to tie the game 66-66 with 7:18 left in the game before falling short.

Rivers liked his team’s mettle, even in defeat.

“I liked the way we fought back,” he said. “It was an ugly game. The last two minutes, we just didn’t play smart. The happy part of the end was we made a run. … I don’t like to lose.  We just didn’t close it out. The last two minutes, I want to be great.  Tonight, turnovers and fouls stopped us. We had a great shot to steal the game at the end.”

The Clippers had four of their 13 turnovers in the final 7:18. Three came on offensive fouls.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 83-80 loss to Chicago Bulls

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


– The Clippers did well to stay in this road game after Blake Griffin was ejected midway through the third quarter following a Flagrant 2 foul on the Bulls’ Taj Gibson. They trailed by 14 at the time and came all the way back to tie the game 66-66 on a Josh Smith 3-pointer with 7:18 left in the game. However, once the Bulls went back on front 68-66 on a basket by Jimmy Butler, they were never caught again. Griffin had 18 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

– The Clippers’ four guards – starters Chris Paul (5 of 16) and J.J. Redick (2 of 11) and reserves Jamal Crawford (1 of 5) and Austin Rivers (1 of 6) – shot a combined 9 of 38. The Clippers will lose on most nights this happens. As a team, they shot just 34.1 percent. Chicago wasn’t much better at just 35.6 percent.

– It seems Doc Rivers’ patience with Paul Pierce is finally growing thin. Pierce, who hasn’t been able to hit the broad side of a barn, played just five minutes and shot 0 of 2. On the season, the 38-year-old Pierce is shooting a miserable 29 percent from the floor – 23.8 from 3-point range. Over his 17-plus-year career, Pierce is shooting 44.6 percent overall, 37 percent from beyond the arc.

DeAndre Jordan is shooting just 38.9 percent from the free-throw line. But after making 2 of 3 in this one, he has gone 11 of 21 from there over his past three games. That’s 52.3 percent. For Jordan, that’s something to write home about.

– By shooting 1 of 6, Austin Rivers has shot 15 of 43 over the past seven games. That’s a not-so-good percentage of 34.8. He’s shooting 41.6 percent on the season, just 22 percent from 3-point range. That percentage from long-distance is the lowest of anyone on the team in the regular rotation, not counting Jordan, who has not shot a 3-pointer.

Blake Griffin, Doc Rivers talk about Griffin’s ejection Thursday

Blake Griffin wasn’t happy about being ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul on Chicago’s Taj Gibson midway through the third quarter of the Clippers’ 83-80 loss to the Bulls in Chicago on Thursday. But coach Doc Rivers seemed to understand why it was ruled as such..

On a pump-fake by Gibson, Griffin took a swat at the ball and smacked Gibson hard across the face.

“He got me up in the air on a pump-fake,” said Griffin, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds at the time of his ejection; the Clippers were losing by 14 (57-43) at the time. “I tried the swat the ball. Obviously, I missed. It was disappointing on their ruling because I didn’t want to leave the game. I wasn’t trying to hit him in the face. There was no intent to hit him, only the ball.”

Speaking immediately after the game, Rivers spoke is if he wasn’t too surprised at the Flagrant 2 call.

“I couldn’t see the foul play,” he said. “It looked bad. If so, he would get the Flagrant 2. He (Griffin) was playing great. He was rebounding, playing physical and tough. He wound up to knock the ball, but if you miss and hit the player, you can get the Flagrant 2.  You have to protect the player.”

The Clippers are 13-10, the Bulls 12-8.


Doc Rivers applauds another fine game by DeAndre Jordan in win over Bulls

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


Every time you turn around, DeAndre Jordan is having another fine game. The 6-foot-11 post who again was not selected to the Western Conference All-Star team, on Sunday scored only nine points but he pulled down a whopping 26 rebounds, blocked two shots and made two steals in the Clippers’ 96-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls at United Center in Chicago.

Not only that, Jordan played solid defense on Chicago’s Pau Gasol, who was reportedly sick and made just 2 of 13 from the field for four points; he averages 18.4 points. Gasol did have 15 rebounds and four assists, so he apparently wasn’t too sick to rebound and pass well.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers applauded yet another in a long line of games Jordan has dominated with his rebounding and defense. Jordan averaged 17.2 rebounds in the month of February and had five games with at least 20 rebounds with a high of 27 on on Feb. 9 in a win at Dallas.

“Our defense was good all day,” Rivers said. “DJ was great.  When you have a big who can guard another big one on one and you don’t have to double team, it takes other things they can do away because there is no double team.  DJ was huge on Gasol all day.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau gave credit to Jordan, but not without telling everyone how under the weather Gasol was during the game.

“I want to give Pau a lot of credit,” Thibodeau said. “Pau is sick, very sick. He knows we are shorthanded and he got out there and gave us everything he had. DeAndre Jordan has had an unbelievable year and an incredible run, particularly with Blake Griffin being out for them. He is playing at an unbelievable high level. When you look at their team and scoring margin, it tells you how good they are.”

Blake Griffin (elbow) missed his ninth consecutive game, but the Clippers (39-21) have won six of them. Five of them have come against playoff-bound teams.

This game was tied 69-69 after three quarters.

Chicago is now 37-23 and in third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Clippers began the day in sixth in the Western Conference, but leapfrogged Dallas into fifth place, a half-game ahead of the now-sixth Mavericks and a game behind fourth-place Portland (39-19).

Chris Paul led the Clippers in scoring with 28 points; he also had 12 assists. Jamal Crawford scored 16 and Spencer Hawes had 14 points and nine rebounds. J.J. Redick had 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Bulls were without point guard Derrick Rose (knee) and power forward Taj Gibson (ankle).