Five things to take from Clippers’ 106-103 Game 6 loss at Portland

APTOPIX Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan reacts after the Clippers’ Game 6 loss at Portland, which ended the Clippers’ season/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Austin Rivers showed about as much heart as a player can show in this loss that eliminated the Clippers from the playoffs, Portland winning the first-round series 4-2. Rivers had his left eye nearly destroyed by an errant elbow from Portland’s Al-Farouq Aminu with 6:46 left in the first quarter. Rivers was a bloody mess. At that point, Rivers had five points. He took 11 stitches, came back at 5:03 of the second quarter and finished with 21 points, six rebounds and eight assists.

– Sixth-man Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 32 points. But he shot just 1 of 9 in the fourth quarter to finish 10 of 25 from the field. Considering he played 38 1/2 minutes, it was still a gutty performance by the 36-year-old Crawford.

– As a team, the Clippers were a tough group. Keep in mind that both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – their two best players – were not on the floor for the second consecutive game. Paul fractured the third metacarpal in his right hand in Game 4 at Portland and Griffin’s partially torn quad tendon began acting up in the same game.

DeAndre Jordan pulled down 20 rebounds. He is the first player to have at least 15 rebounds in five consecutive playoff games since San Antonio’s Tim Duncan did it in 2008 against the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Jordan had 18, 16, 15, 17 and 20 rebounds over the last five games of the six-game series.

– What this loss means is that the Clippers will go another season without advancing to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. That dates back to the 1970-71 season when the team was the Buffalo Braves.

Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan has been a demon on the boards

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Amid the injuries that have taken Chris Paul and Blake Griffin out of the L.A. Clippers’ first-round playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers, has been the rebounding prowess of Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

Jordan on Friday entered Game 6 at Moda Center in Portland with a chance to become the first player since 2008 to grab at least 15 rebounds in five consecutive playoff games. San Antonio’s Tim Duncan did it when he pulled down 18, 16, 21, 17 and 15 in the Spurs’ 4-1 Western Conference finals series loss to the Lakers in ’08. Jordan had 12 rebounds in Game 1 of this series. He since has had 18, 16, 15 and 17.

Coach Doc Rivers has been impressed.

“He’s been great,” said Rivers, whose team was down 3-2 before Friday. “I mean, D.J.’s been great all year, not just this series, so it’s nothing that’s that surprising to me.”

Jordan was the league’s leading rebounder in the playoffs with a 15.6 average.

Jordan was one of three Clippers who were invited to vie for a roster spot on the USA National team that will compete in this summer’s Rio Games. Paul pulled out long before he fractured his right hand in Game 4 on Monday at Moda Center. And now that Griffin’s partially torn left quad tendon has again taken him out of action, chances are Jordan will be the only Clippers player going for a spot on the USA roster.

“That would be a great experience for him,” Rivers said. “I think Chris pulled out already and now Blake’s injury. I think Blake wouldn’t play because of it,
but I actually think he could. But I don’t think he will. But D.J., it would be a great experience for him.”

Five things to take from Clippers’ 108-98 loss to the Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers beat outmanned Clippers 108-98, take 3-2 lead

Injured Clippers point guard Chris Paul winces after bumping his fractured right hand during a timeout Wednesday in the Clippers’ 108-98 Game 5 loss to the visiting Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill


DeAndre Jordan did everything he could to try and lead his depleted Clippers to victory. He scored 16 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, blocked three shots and made 6 of 11 from the free-throw line. He had three assists, for good measure. It all just wasn’t enough.

Jeff Green had his second consecutive solid game in 36 1/2 minutes off the bench. He scored 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting and had six rebounds, two assists and three steals. He had a couple of driving dunks that had the Staples Center crowd buzzing.

– The Clippers helped hold Portland guard Damian Lillard – the team’s best player – to just six points on 1 of 10 shooting through three quarters. But with a Clippers team described by coach Doc Rivers as exhausted from emotion, Lillard went to town in the fourth quarter, during which he scored 16 of his 22 points. Lillard made 6 of 10 from the field in the quarter, 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.

– When Lillard and C.J. McCollum are both on, that’s quite the two-headed monster to try and contain. McCollum had 27 points on 9 of 18 shooting in this one to lead all scorers. McCollum is really smooth and crafty to the basket.

– The Clippers played with plenty of spirit in this game. No one should say otherwise. But when a team is missing its two best players – Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – it’s almost too much to ask for it to emerge victorious. When the Clippers finished the third quarter on a 9-0 run to tie the game 71-71, it looked like they might have a chance to pull off an unlikely win. But Lillard got hot and the Clippers ran out of gas. Game 6 is Friday at Portland. The Trail Blazers lead the series 3-2.

DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick help depleted Clippers to 50-45 halftime lead over Blazers in Game 5

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The depleted Clippers – missing stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – started 1 of 8 from the field on Wednesday in Game 5 of their first-round series with Portland at Staples Center. They trailed by as many as seven points in the first quarter.

By the time halftime rolled around, the Clippers were able to take a 50-45 lead over the Trail Blazers into the break. The Clippers led by as many as eight points in the second quarter.

DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick scored 10 points apiece for the Clippers in the half with Jordan grabbing 11 rebounds. Austin Rivers had nine points, Jamal Crawford eight and Jeff Green seven.

Maurice Harkless led Portland with 17 points and C.J. McCollum and Gerald Henderson each scored eight. Damian Lillard had only three points, however. He was 0 of 5 from the field.

The Clippers shot 44.7 percent, the Trail Blazers just 35.9 percent.

The series is tied 2-2.

VIDEO: DeAndre Jordan air-balls back-to-back free throws in 1st half

DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers had struggled more than usual during the first three games of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against Portland; he was shooting 35.2 percent (12 of 34). He missed all four of his attempts during the first half of Game 4 on Monday at Portland. Included were these back-to-back air balls that got a real charge out of the host Trail Blazers’ fans. Check it out:

Doc Rivers not sure if DeAndre Jordan’s poor free-throw shooting is in the front of Jordan’s mind

DeAndre Jordan/AP file photo by Jae C. Hong


DeAndre Jordan made only 35.2 percent (12 of 34) of his free throws during the first three games of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against Portland, which continues Monday night at Moda Center in Portland; the Clippers lead 2-1.

The poor free-throw shooting Jordan has admitted in the past that sometimes it gets in his head. Considering he shot just 43 percent this season and has shot 42.1 percent over his seven-year career, that’s understandable.

Coach Doc Rivers said at the morning shootaround he isn’t sure if that’s happening now.

“I don’t know if it’s in his head or not,” he said. “But I keep saying for him, every game is individual. You’ve seen games down the stretch he’ll make four in a row, where he’s missed nine straight. I wish I had a crystal ball because I literally don’t know going into the game. One thing I do like, he’s still working on them, he’s watching film of his free throws. I mean, he’s doing all the preparation that a good free-throw shooter would do – actually, a good free-throw shooter wouldn’t do because you wouldn’t have to, you know, when you think about it.

“But he’s doing all the right stuff and for me that’s all I can ask as a coach is that he prepares and (does) the right thing.”

Jordan said this is not in the front of his mind.

“No, I mean, I’m fine. It was only tough because we lost,  you know what I mean?” he said of the Clippers’  96-88 Game 3 loss in which he shot just 3 of 10 from the line. “If we would have won, it wouldn’t have been a problem.”