Clippers again fall apart down the stretch, fall 102-91 at Portland

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 21 points in Friday’s loss at Portland/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Perhaps still hurting from Thursday’s  collapse against the Golden State Warriors, the Clippers on Friday again fell apart down the stretch, this time at Portland.

Down by just a point with 4:13 to play, the Trail Blazers outscored the Clippers 16-6 to emerge with a 102-91 victory at Portland.

The Clippers are now 6-6 after starting 4-0.

The Trail Blazers led 86-85 after a basket by the Clippers’ Blake Griffin. Portland embarked on a 14-2 run for a 100-87 lead with 1:46 to go.

The Clippers had turnovers by J.J. Redick and Griffin during that stretch. It was Redick’s first game after missing the previous three with back spasms. Redick scored seven points on 3 of 12 shooting.

Paul Pierce was rested and did not play. That gave the start to Lance Stephenson, who rode the pine against Golden State and the game before that played less than two minutes against the Detroit Pistons. Stephenson scored two points in 18 minutes.

Griffin led the Clippers with 21 points and Jamal Crawford scored 20 off the bench. DeAndre Jordan scored 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Chris Paul had 11 points on 4 of 12 shooting, and eight assists.

Also off the bench, Josh Smith had eight rebounds and two blocks and Austin Rivers scored 10.

Damian Lillard scored a game-high 27 points, 11 in the fourth quarter – nine of those on 3-pointers.

Portland (5-9) entered having lost seven consecutive games.


Chris Paul scores 23 in first half as Clippers lead Warriors 68-54

Chris Paul

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.


Doc Rivers lists Chris Paul and J.J. Redick as ’50-50′ for Warriors

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


If Chris Paul and J.J. Redick don’t play Thursday when the Clippers host the defending-champion Golden State Warriors, the Clippers will have little chance of winning.

Prior to practice Wednesday, coach Doc Rivers was asked for an update. It wasn’t great news for Clippers fans. Not the worst, either.

“We’re going to put them both out there (to practice) and if we like what we see … but my guess right now is 50-50,” Rivers said.

Paul and Redick both have missed the past two games – Paul with a groin strain, Redick with back spasms.

The Clippers are 6-4. The Warriors are 12-0, with their smallest margin of victory coming Nov. 4 when they beat the Clippers 112-108 at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Paul scored 24 points in that one and first tweaked his groin there in the final seconds.

There is a chance Chris Paul and J.J. Redick will play Thursday when Warriors visit Staples Center

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


There is some good news for Clippers fans: Chris Paul and J.J. Redick might play Thursday when the Golden State Warriors come to town to take on the Clippers at Staples Center.

Tuesday, at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista, there was Paul, moving well while shooting around before practice. At another basket, Redick was working on his shot.

The two have missed the past two games – Paul with a strained groin, Redick with back spasms.

Paul spoke in optimistic tones about his return.

“Yeah, definitely getting better,” he said. “First time getting to move around a little bit, so hopefully I’ll get to do something in practice today.”

Will he play against the Warriors?

“I want to, no question,” he said.

Paul sustained the injury in the final moments of the Clippers’ Nov. 4 loss at Golden State. Paul sat out the next game against Nov. 7 against Houston, then played 33 minutes Nov. 9 against Memphis and 35 more Nov. 11 at Dallas.

“I pushed it a little bit in the Dallas game; I chased down a play right before the first half,” said Paul, who did not play Thursday at Phoenix nor Saturday against Detroit at Staples Center.

Paul admitted it has been very difficult sitting and watching.

“It’s been tough, you know what I mean?” he said. “But the one thing we always talk about is the bigger picture.”

Coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t have to argue with the tenacious Paul about sitting out to get healthy.

“No, I think he’s smart,” Rivers said. “He’s gotten older. It’s a sign of maturity, maybe.”

Rivers couldn’t say for sure whether Paul will play Thursday.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I think we’re just going to see what he can do (in practice).”

The Clippers will practice Wednesday as well.

Redick has had back issues in the past, and played only 35 games in 2013-14 because of a bulging disk. That’s why he said he quit playing golf over the summer.

“A back can take a day, and you feel great the next day,” Rivers said. “Or it can take three days, or it can take a month and the thing with the back, you always have it; it can always come back.

“When J.J. comes back and he’s healthy, it’s still around the corner. You always know what. That’s just the back. Once you hurt it, you have it. And that’s the bad part about being a guy with back injuries.”

That said, Rivers is hopeful Redick can play against Golden State.

“He’s possibly going to play Thursday,” Rivers said. “I don’t think he’s going to do much today. He’s feeling a lot better and he got some shooting in, but again, with the back you’ve just gotta be careful.”

Rivers said Redick would have to virtually be 100 percent to play.

“If he’s close, he’s not playing, I can tell you that,” Rivers said.

The Clippers are 6-4 after starting 4-0. Golden State is 11-0, but the Clippers only lost to them by four points (112-108) at Oracle Arena.

Chris Paul doubtful, J.J. Redick out for Golden State on Thursday

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


A Clippers spokesman on Monday said there is on change on the statuses of starting guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, neither of whom has played the past two games because of injuries.

Paul is suffering from a groin strain and is listed as doubtful for Thursday’s game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Redick has been having back spasms and is listed as out.

The spokesman said there could be further updates Tuesday, when the team gets back to practice. The Clippers did not practice Sunday or Monday. They are coming off a 101-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday and won’t play again until Thursday.


DeAndre Jordan a fan of scoring machine that is Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Craword/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Count DeAndre Jordan among those who love to watch Jamal Crawford when he’s on a scoring tear. Crawford started Saturday’s game because starting guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick were again out with injuries.

Crawford came through with 37 points in the Clippers’ 101-96 come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center.

“It was fun – I’m a fan,” Jordan said post-game. “He (Crawford) had almost 40 points tonight. We ask so much of Jamal in that he starts some games and comes off the bench other games. I really commend him for being as old as he is and still being ready to play at all times and giving guys fits.”

Still explosive, still cat-like quick, the 35-year-old Crawford indeed did that. He also had six rebounds, eight assists and made all 10 of his free throws. The cherry on top, a blocked shot.