Clippers hang on to beat host Pacers 91-89 on emotional night

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Playing on a night when it was revealed Blake Griffin sustained a fractured right hand over the weekend in Toronto when he punched the team’s assistant equipment manager – Matias Testi – the Clippers on Tuesday defeated the host Indiana Pacers 91-89 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Chris Paul led the Clippers (29-16) with 26 points and seven assists, J.J. Redick scored 19, Wesley Johnson had 15 points and DeAndre Jordan had nine points, 19 rebounds and three blocks. Jamal Crawford scored nine point, but he shot just 1 of 9 from the field.

The Clippers shot 41 percent, 40.5 percent (15 of 37) from 3-point range.

The Clippers are now 2-2 on this East Coast swing and finish the trip Wednesday at Atlanta.

Paul George led the Pacers 31 points and 11 rebounds, Myles Turner scored 16 off the bench and had 15 points.

Indiana (23-22), which has lost six of its past seven games, shot 42.2 percent overall, 31.3 percent (5 of 16) from beyond the arc.

The Clippers are now 12-3 without Griffin, who has not played since Christmas because of a partially torn left quad tendon. He actually might have returned in this game had he not broken his hand during the aforementioned altercation. He is now expected to miss four to six more weeks.

J.J. Redick scores 13, but Clippers trail Pacers 51-46 at halftime

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers, no doubt reeling from the latest bit of bad news regarding Blake Griffin, still had to go out and play Tuesday evening in Indiana.

The Clippers’ J.J. Redick scored 13 points and made 3 of 6 from 3-point range, but the Clippers trailed the Pacers 51-46 at the halftime break.

Chris Paul contributed seven points and five assists and Wesley Johnson and Jamal Crawford scored nine and seven off the bench, respectively.

The Clippers shot just 39.5 percent from the field in the half.

Myles Turner scored 16 off the bench for Indiana and Paul George had 14 points and eight rebounds.

The Clippers were hopeful Griffin would return on this five-game road trip from a partially torn left quad tendon. But Griffin sustained a fractured right hand Saturday when he punched out the team’s assistant equipment manager – Matias Testi – at a restaurant in Toronto. Griffin will now miss four to six more weeks.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 112-94 loss at Toronto

Referee Bennie Adams separates Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (right) and Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. Both players were charged with a technical foul on the play. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) Photo: Frank Gunn, AP / The Canadian Press

Things got a bit heated between the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford, right, and the Raptors’ Patrick Patterson during the first half of Sunday’s game at Toronto, won 112-94 by the Raptors. They are separated by referee Bennie Adams/AP photo by Frank Gunn

 

– This loss makes the Clippers 1-2 on this East Coast swing with games Tuesday at Indiana and Wednesday at Atlanta still to come. The Clippers (28-16) are now 11-3 without Blake Griffin, who could return at Indiana.

– Coach Doc Rivers always talks about this being “a make-miss league.” Well, the Clippers shot a respectable 44.7 percent overall, but just 30.8 (8 of 26) from 3-point range. The Raptors shot 49.4 percent, 54.5 (12 of 22) from beyond the arc. Since both teams made 18 free throws, it was from the field where the Clippers lost this game.

Chris Paul came in averaging 22.4 points, 10.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals over his previous five games. He had 23 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and two steals in this one, staying right in line with those impressive numbers. He did have four of the team’s 13 turnovers. But again, he’s the point guard.

Lance Stephenson shot 4 of 4 and Austin Rivers 4 of 8. Otherwise, the bench struggled from the field. Jamal Crawford shot 1 of 6 and Wesley Johnson was 2 of 7, all of his field-goal attempts coming from 3-point range. That’s not to mention Rivers and Pablo Prigioni had three turnovers apiece; Prigioni only played eight minutes.

DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 13 rebounds. But no one else had more than five, which was Paul Pierce’s total. Consequently, the Clippers were outrebounded 44-34.

Clippers will not have a starter in Feb. 14 All-Star game in Toronto

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

The starters for the upcoming All-Star game were announced Thursday and nary a Clipper was among them.

Chris Paul finished third among guards in the Western Conference with 624,334 votes. Blake Griffin, who hasn’t played since Christmas night, and DeAndre Jordan finished sixth and 11th among frontcourt players with 651,860 and 269,427 votes, respectively.

The Western Conference starters for the Feb. 14 in Toronto will be Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Steph Curry of the Warriors, Keven Durant of Oklahoma City, Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

The Eastern Conference starters will be Carmelo Anthony of the  Knicks, Paul George of Indiana, LeBron James of Cleveland, Kyle Lowry of Toronto and Dwyane Wade of Miami.

Bryant had the most votes of any player, tallying 1,891,614. Curry was next with 1,604,325 and then James with 1,089,206. They were only three with at least a million votes.

 

 

 

Chris Paul after loss to Cavs: Recent defense unacceptable

Wesley Johnson, left, of the Clippers guards Kevin Love of the Cavaliers/AP photo by Tony Dejak

 

The Clippers allowed only 96.6 points per game during their recent 10-game winning streak. Including Thursday, when the Clippers were defeated 115-102 at Cleveland, the Clippers have given up 357 points over their past three games, two of which were losses.

That’s an average of 119 points. Chris Paul said after Thursday’s loss that has to change.

“No question, our defense has been unacceptable for the past few games,” Paul said. “J.J. (Redick) and I were talking about it. We’re just not being solid, we’re not being disciplined and we’re not doing our principles. It’s nothing on the coaches. It’s just us. The good thing about it is that we know the right things to do. We’ve just got to work on our communication and start talking more.”

The Clippers (27-15) played their 12th consecutive game without Blake Griffin, who is expected to return on this road trip from a partially torn left quad tendon.

Next up for the Clippers, Friday at New York.

 

Blake Griffin apathetic about All-Star voting in his case

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

When injured forward Blake Griffin recently spoke the reporters for the first time since his injury, he was asked if he believes his inactivity was hurting his standing in the All-Star voting.

“I don’t know,” he said.

He was asked if he cares.

“No,” he said. “No, I don’t.”

The most recent voting numbers were shared by the NBA on Jan. 14. They had Griffin in fifth place among frontcourt players in the Western Conference. Chris Paul was third among backcourt players.

The starters will be announced Thursday at 4 p.m. during a one-hour special on TNT.

Griffin has missed the past 11 games with a partially torn left quad tendon. He is expected to return sometime during this upcoming East Coast swing, which begins Thursday at Cleveland.