Five things to take from Clippers’ 119-106 victory over the Boston Celtics

J.J. Redick

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

 

– We just can’t say enough about J.J. Redick. He had another terrific game, with 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting – 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Redick is averaging 21.1 points in 15 games this month. He’s shooting 50.9 percent from the field in March, a ridiculous 44.3 from 3-point range.

Blake Griffin has now played eight games since missing the previous 15 with a staph infection in his right elbow. He was outstanding in this one, going for 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He made 7 of 9 from the free-throw line, pulled down nine rebounds and doled out four assists. He also had a block and a steal and did not have a turnover. Other than that, he didn’t do a thing. He apparently hit his elbow on the floor in this one, but he told the Orange County Register that although it was a bit sore, he’d be OK.

– There was a down part to this game. The Clippers held a 35-point lead (96-61) with 4:20 left in the third quarter, only to see the Celtics get it all the way down to 11 (111-100) with 4:01 left in the game. When the lead was down to 14 (111-97) with 4:16 left, Doc Rivers had to bring the starters back into the game. Afterward, Rivers said he was not happy with the bench play, which shot a combined 5 of 20 and did not play well on defense.

– As poorly as the bench performed, the starting five was darn good. Besides Redick’s 27 points and Griffin’s 21, Chris Paul had 21 points and 10 assists; Matt Barnes scored 18 and DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 14 rebounds. But to be perfectly clear, everything was not terrific. Barnes was just 4 of 13 from 3-point range and Jordan made just 3 of 15 from the free-throw line.

– We can’t forget the defense. Yes, it slacked off when the Celtics made their belated run. But on the whole, it was very good. The Celtics shot just 41.9 percent from the field, only 25.8 (8 of 31) from beyond the arc. Those are numbers that Rivers would take every time.

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J.J. Redick scores 27 points as Clippers win seventh straight, 119-106 at Boston

J.J. Redick

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

 

J.J. Redick scored 27 points and the Clippers on Sunday won their seventh consecutive game with a 119-106 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden in Boston. Interestingly, the Clippers held a 35-point lead (96-61) with 4:20 left in the third quarter and the Celtics were able to whittle that gigantic deficit down to 14 (111-97) with 4:16 to play in the game.

The Clippers’ starters came back in and then Boston’s Luigi Datome buried a 3-pointer to bring the Celtics within 11 points at 111-100 with 4:01 left before Matt Barnes made a huge put-back after the second of two missed free throws by DeAndre Jordan, who again fell victim to the hack-a-DJ ploy by making just 3 of 15 from the free-throw line.

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin contributed 21 points apiece with Paul also doling out 10 assists and Griffin grabbing nine rebounds. Barnes had 18 points and seven rebounds and Jordan scored 15 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics (32-41) with 19 points off the bench and Tyler Zeller scored 16.

The Clippers (49-25) now return home to take on the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday at Staples Center. The Warriors have the league’s best record at 60-13.

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Philadelphia coach Brett Brown praises Clippers after they rout his team 119-98

Blake Griffin battles with several 76ers for the ball in Friday night’s 119-98 Clippers victory at Philadelphia/Photo by Matt Slocum, Associated Press

 

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown came away from his team’s 119-98 loss to the Clippers on Friday at Philadelphia very impressed by the Clippers, who also routed his team 127-91 on Jan. 3 at Staples Center.

“They’re one of those teams that are rare,” Brown said. “They can post Blake (Griffin), throw lobs to DeAndre (Jordan), they can bring (J.J.) Redick off the pin-down and they have the killer in pick-and-rolls with Chris Paul.

“So tonight was a great lesson and a great experience to play against a real team that is a few weeks away from going into the playoffs.”

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Clippers clinch playoff berth with 119-98 victory over Philadelphia 76ers

Chris Paul

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

 

Chris Paul scored 25 points, J.J. Redick scored 19 and DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 20 rebounds as the Clippers (48-25)  clinched a playoff berth with a 119-98 victory at Philadelphia on Friday night. The Clippers have won six consecutive games.

Matt Barnes contributed 15 points and Austin Rivers had 13 off the bench. Blake Griffin scored just 10 points but had eight assists and five rebounds.

Nerlens Noel led the 76ers (18-55) with 30 points and 14 rebounds.

The Clippers complete this three-game road trip Sunday at Boston.

 

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Chris Paul scores 19 points in first half as Clippers lead 62-54 at Philadelphia

Chris Paul

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

Chris Paul scored 19 points in the first half Friday at Philadelphia and the Clippers led the 76ers 62-54 at the break.

The 76ers went to the awful hack-a-DJ tactic in the final minutes and DeAndre Jordan ended up making just 3 of 12 from the free-throw line.

J.J. Redick contributed 14 points for the Clippers (47-25), Matt Barnes scored 10 and Jordan had nine points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Blake Griffin had just two points on 1 of 3 shooting.

Nerlens Noel led Philadelphia (18-54) with 18 points and nine rebounds.

 

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Blake Griffin, Chris Paul say defense was key to Wednesday’s rout at New York

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin says players are trusting one another more on defense/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers played splendidly on offense Wednesday when they routed the New York Knicks 111-80 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. They shot 56.4 percent from the field, 39.3 (11 of 28) from 3-point range. The only area in which they didn’t really excel was the free-throw line, where they made just 66.7 percent (12 of 18).

But the Clippers wanted to talk defense afterward. They held the Knicks to 35.4 percent shooting from the field – 21.7 (5 of 23) from beyond the arc.

I think we’re just playing a little bit more consistently,” Blake Griffin said. “Guys are trusting each other and having each others’ backs, which is imperative on the defensive end.”

Said Chris Paul, to a reporter: “I actually called everybody in the huddle and said, ‘What’s making this fun is that we’re getting stops.’ It’s not even about the dunks and the lobs – that’s all good and everything. It’s funny that you didn’t notice that we were getting stops and that was the key to getting the lead.”

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 111-80 victory over the New York Knicks

DeAndre Jordan throws down a dunk for Clippers in their rout of New York on Wednesday. Jordan had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks/Photo by Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

 

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul said ahead of this three-game roadie that this was a “business trip.” In other words, they’re playing two lousy teams and one mediocre team, so just go out and take care of business. They did that with the Knicks in this one, bolting to a 63-33 halftime lead and never looking back. The Knicks are now 14-58. Up next are the Philadelphia 76ers (18-54) on Friday and then the Boston Celtics (31-40) on Sunday.

– It was nice to see the play of the bench in this one. Austin Rivers led the team with 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting. That was big because Rivers had scored a grand total of 14 points in his previous five games. Spencer Hawes, who has really struggled, even got into the act with seven points on 3 of 6 shooting.

– It sounds like a broken record, but J.J. Redick had yet another fine game. He scored 17 points while making 7 of 11 from the field – 2 of 4 from 3-point range in just 22 minutes; the starters played fewer minutes than usual because of the lopsided nature of the game. Redick’s season scoring average is at a career-high 15.9. He is averaging 20.8 points in 13 games this month while shooting 48.8 percent overall, 41.9 from beyond the arc.

– It was kind of a weird game for point guard Paul. In 28 minutes he scored 11 points with 16 assists and four steals. But he committed five turnovers. Paul is averaging 3.1 turnovers this month, the highest of any month this season. His best month was December, when he averaged just 1.6. He’s averaging 2.4 on the season.

– After taking 19 of 21 shots, respectively, in his past two games, Griffin took just eight shots in this one. He made three for 14 points. He also had six rebounds, three assists and a steal. He’s now averaging 18 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in six games since his return from an elbow injury. He’s averaging 22.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 rebounds on the season.

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New York coach Derek Fisher praises Clippers after they rout his Knicks

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers scored a game-high 21 points in the Clippers’ victory Wednesday at New York/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Derek Fisher’s New York Knicks had just been thrashed 111-80 by the Clippers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, when he doled out quite a compliment.

They are a good team,” said Fisher, in his first year at the New York helm. “They are athletic, fast and strong. You don’t understand the speed and force that these guys play with unless you are out there.”

Austin Rivers scored 21 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles (47-25); he shot 9 of 10 from the field. J.J. Redick contributed 17 points, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had 14 apiece and Chris Paul and Matt Barnes each scored 11. Paul also had 16 assists. Jordan also blocked five shots and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Cleanthony Early led the Knicks (14-58) with 18 points off the bench.

The Clippers next play Friday at Philadelphia (18-54).

 

 

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Chris Paul: Clippers won’t know exactly who they are until Jamal Crawford returns

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Chris Paul was asked Monday if the team is starting to find the consistency it would like to have. The Clippers have won four in a row and own a record of 46-25.

Paul quickly brought the injured Jamal Crawford into the conversation. Crawford, the sixth-man averaging 16.4 points, has missed the past 10 games with a calf injury.

“We’re still trying to find it,” Paul said. “And like I’ve said, we can play as well as we want to right now. But ‘Mal is a huge piece of this team. So I don’t care what anybody says, we’re not going to see who we really are until ‘Mal comes back.”

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-100 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans

Blake Griffin

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

 

Blake Griffin called this “a big win for us.” He’s right in as much as every victory is big this time of season because the Clippers are trying to get as high in the standings as they can for playoff-seeding purposes. The Clippers improved, in a way, with this win because record-wise, they now have the fourth-best in the Western Conference at 46-25. But Portland, which has the fifth-best record of 44-24, is still technically in fourth because it leads the Northwest Division. Check the conference standings right here and you’ll see that their better record notwithstanding, the Clippers are still listed in the No. 5 spot. That said, I was told today that if the Clippers played the Trail Blazers as the No. 5 seed to Portland’s No. 4 – and the Clippers had the better record – they would still get homecourt advantage. Confused?

– Griffin scored 23 points on 10 of 21 shooting. Those were the most shots he’s taken in five games since returning after missing 15 games with a staph infection in his right elbow. He has taken more shots in each game along the way, going from 10 to 12 to 16 to 19 to 21.

– What a terrific all-around game by Chris Paul. He scored 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting with 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. He had just two turnovers in 37 1/2 minutes and made 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. His only real blemish was his 0-for-4 shooting performance from 3-point range. Can’t have everything.

J.J. Redick scored 20 points on 7 of 16 shooting – 3 of 6 from 3-point range. That was Redick’s fourth consecutive game of scoring 20 points or more. He has scored at least 20 points in seven of the 12 games this month, during which he’s averaging 21.2 points.

– It would be unfair if we didn’t mention that New Orleans was missing several key players in this game. Yes, the Clippers were without sixth-man Jamal Crawford and his 16.4 scoring average for the 10th consecutive game. But the Pelicans were minus guards Tyreke Evans (16.5 points per game) and Jrue Holiday (15.2), forward Ryan Anderson (14.6) and center Omer Asik (10.0 rebounds per game). All were injured.

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