- Thursday’s rally from down double digits in the fourth quarter was the third time the Clippers have done that to the Mavericks this season. Thursday’s final was 109-103. In the other two, Los Angeles emerged by scores of 119-112 and 129-127.
- Superstars like Chris Paul don’t stay down long. He missed all 12 of his field goal attempts in Wednesday’s surprising loss at New Orleans. On Thursday he was 9 of 18 overall, 4 of 8 from 3-point range for a game-high 31 points. Enough said on that.
- Any time a team shows the wherewithal the Clippers showed Thursday, that makes playoff opponents take notice. They know the Clippers have heart, and that can be worrisome to said opponent.
- DeAndre Jordan averages 2.38 blocks as of this writing. He had a rare no-block game against Dallas. But when you score 16 points and grab 15 rebounds, it’s all good. Man, Jordan has been a beast this year. He’s now averaging a league-best 13.7 rebounds.
- Other than Jamal Crawford, who had 14 points, the bench contributed very little. Then again, other than Crawford – who played 28 minutes – no one really played enough minutes to get into a rhythm. Jared Dudley and Danny Granger each played 10 minutes, but the other two players who saw time played a combined 11 minutes. The five starters played 40, 38, 38, 40 and 25 (Darren Collison) minutes.
Next up, Saturday at Houston.
The Clippers on Thursday rallied from an 11-point deficit to outscore the host Dallas Mavericks by 17 points down the stretch to come away with a 109-103 victory. It was a huge win for the Clippers for two reasons: they had just come off a rather stunning loss at New Orleans a night earlier, and Chris Paul scored 31 points after scoring just two at New Orleans and missing all 12 of his field goal attempts.
Paul made 9 of 18 from the field, 4 of 8 from 3-point range. The team made 11 of 26 3-point attempts for 42.3 percent.
Blake Griffin scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, DeAndre Jordan went for 16 points and 15 rebounds and Jamal Crawford had 14 points. Counting 12 points from Matt Barnes and 11 from Darren Collison, the Clippers had six players score in double figures.
Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points for Dallas (43-30), which is a half game behind Phoenix for the No. 8 playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Each time had three players get technical fouls.
The Clippers (51-22) are third in the Western Conference behind front-running San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
Next stop on the five-game road trip is Houston on Saturday.
- For four consecutive games now the Clippers have not looked like a team that can compete for the Western Conference championship once the playoffs begin. It started with a loss at Denver, then continued with close wins over Detroit and league-worst Milwaukee and a loss at New Orleans. It’s doubtful any of those four teams will make the playoffs.
- Chris Paul was 0-for-12 from the field in the loss to New Orleans on Wednesday. That’s something that will likely never happen again in Paul’s career. However, even though he is the team’s point guard, he still needs to score for the Clippers to be at their best. He averages 18.5 points.
- The really good news is that Jamal Crawford appears all the way back from a strained left calf that had him recently missing eight of nine games. He led the Clippers with 31 points at New Orleans.
- Even though the Clippers have struggled over the past four games, perhaps it should have been expected. After all, they had won 11 consecutive games prior to the loss at Denver on March 17. So often when a team goes on a long winning streak, it immediately goes into a mild slump once it’s snapped.
- In case you haven’t noticed, center DeAndre Jordan is averaging a league-high 13.7 rebounds. His previous best was when he averaged 8.3 in the 2011-12 season. That’s 5.4 more rebounds per game. Not too shabby.
Clippers play Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Dallas on Prime Ticket.
Jamal Crawford’s long 3-point shot attempt as time was running out hit the front of the rim and fell off and the Clippers were defeated by the New Orleans Pelicans 98-96 at New Orleans on Wednesday.
It was a stunning loss for the Clippers (50-22) on the first leg of a five-game road trip because they had previously defeated the Pelicans (31-40) three times – twice by 13 points and once by 32.
Equally stunning was that point guard Chris Paul missed all 12 of his field goal attempts. He finished with two points and 12 assists.
Crawford led the Clippers with 31 points. Blake Griffin scored 21 points and Matt Barnes had 14. DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 16 rebounds.
Anthony Morrow scored 27 points for New Orleans.
Next stop for the Clippers is Thursday at Dallas.
The 50-21 Clippers trail the 30-40 New Orleans Pelicans 55-52 at halftime in New Orleans.
Jamal Crawford has 19 points and Matt Barnes has 11 Los Angeles. But Blake Griffin has scored only eight and Chris Paul is scoreless after missing all six of his shots; Paul does have seven assists.
The game is being televised on Prime Ticket
This is the first game of a five-game road trip.
- The Clippers had 13 turnovers against the worst team in the league, leading to this reaction from coach Doc Rivers: “I wasn’t really happy with us offensively tonight. I didn’t think we moved the ball a lot. And then I thought we were careless with the ball at times as well. But you know, I’ll take the win.” To be fair, the Clippers average 13.9 turnovers per game, so they came in under that. But again, this was against a Bucks team that came in 44 games under .500 at 13-57.
- It was the second game in succession where the Clippers had trouble putting away a far inferior team. It was the same way Saturday when the Pistons hung around until they were defeated 112-103 after trailing by just a point at halftime. Perhaps this is not a good thing. Then again, Chris Paul realizes not every can be wonderful: “I mean, you always want to play well, but you want to win well. It’s not going to be pretty every night. Tonight it was, do whatever you have to do to win.”
- The victory was the Clippers’ 50th of the season. It’s the second consecutive year in which they have reached that plateau. But it won’t mean a thing if they don’t get a chance to play for that ring, said Matt Barnes: “It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t advance in the playoffs. This team has come a long way, but we’re not into moral victories, we’re not taking winning-streak victories, we want to advance and we know we have a good enough team to win a championship.”
- Darren Collison, in his second game back after missing back-to-back games with a stomach virus, had a terrific overall game. He scored 15 points, made 5 of 9 from the field, 3 of 4 from 3-point range. In addition, he had six assists and zero turnovers and even blocked a shot.
- As uncool as it might have been for the Clippers to have struggled so mightily to beat the lowly Bucks, it could have been much worse. Had they lost that game, and that was a real possibility as they led by just four points with 3:24 to play, that could have been disastrous heading out for a five-game road trip. The psyche is a delicate thing. At least they won.
Chris Paul had 15 assists in Saturday’s 112-103 victory over the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center. The 6,000th of his career went to Blake Griffin late in the first quarter.
Afterward, there was a lot of talk about Paul’s milestone, including some from Griffin.
“It says a lot about him,” Griffin said. “That’s a great accomplishment and, obviously, he still has a lot more left to do. But it’s fun playing with a guy that makes the game easier for you like that.”
One of the topics of discussion at Thursday’s practice was the two days off the team received from coach Doc Rivers. In other words, no mandatory practice Tuesday and Wednesday.
Chris Paul told reporters he liked having the time to spend with his family. Rivers agreed that’s a big deal.
“I think it’s important,” Rivers said.
That doesn’t mean the players stay completely away, however, and Rivers likes that.
“I think every team’s different,” he said. “I mean, I think in most cases even on the days off most guys work out anyway; they’re going to do something. This group has been very good at that. … I would say 95 percent of them come in and get work in. We have one of those groups. It’s a working group.
“We don’t really have any slackers, other than some of you guys.”
He got a laugh out of reporters..
“No, no, really, it’s a good group,” he said. “And it’s a little surprising for me because they’re young and sometimes the young guys, you’ve gotta tell them. This is not one of those groups, and that’s nice.”
Point guard Chris Paul is averaging a league-high 10.9 assists this season. That is absolutely terrific, and there is no question he is headed toward an eventual date with the Hall of Fame.
But the 28-year-old out of Wake Forest has a long way to go to catch those in front of him on the all-time leader board. He has 5,996 assists overall, which puts him in 27th place. The leader is John Stockton, who had 15,806 over 19 seasons. He is well ahead of second-place Jason Kidd’s 12,091. Paul will climb much higher on that ladder before he’s done, but it will be all but impossible to catch Stockton.
Average-wise, Paul is in much better position. He is averaging 9.9. That is third all-time behind Magic Johnson (11.1) and Stockton (10.5). Johnson, by the way, is fifth in total assists with 10,141 in 13 seasons.
Paul is currently in his ninth season.
By now Clippers fans might rather refer to them as the “Dastardly” Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets on Monday defeated the visiting Clippers 110-100 to snap an 11-game Clippers winning streak. On New Years Day 2013, the Nuggets halted the Clippers’ 17-game winning streak with a 92-78 victory.
This time it was a 14-2 run down the stretch that fueled Denver to victory. Chris Paul led the Clippers (48-21) with 29 points, Blake Griffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets (30-37) with 19 points.