Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-93 victory at Orlando

 

 

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Lance Stephenson continued his recent surge by scoring 13 points on 6 of 6 shooting. He hit a buzzer-beating basket at the end of the third quarter after the Magic had cut a nine-point deficit to just two, then scored the Clippers’ first seven points of the fourth to regain that nine-point cushion.

Austin Rivers didn’t play because of a hand injury, so sixth-man Jamal Crawford played 35 minutes. He came through with 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting. However, Crawford was 0 of 4 from 3-point range. He did have three steals.

– Speaking of the 3-point line, the Clippers shot just 29.6 percent (8 of 27) from there. But they shot 54.1 percent overall, so no problem there.

DeAndre Jordan had another monster rebounding game, coming through with 18 to help the Clippers out-rebound the Magic 44-39. Jordan has 19, 19, 17, 20, 15 and 18 rebounds his past six games.

– The down side to this victory was that the Clippers – including one team turnover – committed a whopping 21 turnovers. Point guard Chris Paul had six of them.

DeAndre Jordan says Clippers were a step slow ‘on everything’ in loss to Timberwolves

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

It just wasn’t the Clippers’ night Wednesday in their 108-102 loss to the visiting – and lowly – Minnesota Timberwolves.

Austin Rivers was ejected in the second quarter after getting two technical fouls called on him for arguing a non-call, Chris Paul took a technical with 20.6 seconds left in the game and his team trailing by two points. They were factors in the setback, but DeAndre Jordan said it was a lot more than that.

“We don’t want to get fourth-quarter technicals, Chris knows that,” Jordan said post-game. “But we made so many mistakes prior to that. Our defense was terrible tonight. I thought we were a step slow on everything. The starting five, that is on us to come out ready to play. And also, the second unit, we got in a weird situation with Austin (being ejected), but that is no excuse. We have to come out and compete and we cannot take teams lightly.”

The Clippers (32-17) had beaten the Timberwolves 14 consecutive times. Moreover, the Timberwolves (15-36) entered having lost five consecutive games, seven of eight and 16 of 18.

But like they say, on any given night …

Five things to take from Clippers’ 108-102 loss to Timberwolves

J.J. Redick of the Clippers guards Tayshaun Prince of the Timberwolves on Wednesday at Staples Center/Staff photo by David Crane

 

– Although this loss was a very unlikely one for the Clippers, as the Timberwolves have one of the worst records (15-36) in the league, it’s also understandable because there is a law of averages to consider. The Clippers had gone an almost-unbelievable 15-3 without Blake Griffin before this game and sometimes a team on a run like that will lose to an vastly inferior team. That’s not to mention that with young talent like Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine, the Timberwolves are going to beat good teams on a given night. They scored 31, 17 and 17 points, respectively.

– Technical fouls hurt the Clippers in this one. Austin Rivers took two for arguing a non-call in the second quarter and was ejected. Chris Paul took one with 20.6 seconds to play for arguing an “overt clap” when J.J. Redick was called for a foul on Ricky Rubio as Redick and Paul were double-teaming him. Paul said he knows he can’t be getting fourth-quarter technical fouls and that he apologized to his team after the game. The technical assessed him came from referee Lauren Holtkamp. It was in February 2015 that Paul was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his criticism of Holtkamp after a loss at Cleveland.

– Coach Doc Rivers was honest after the game. He said he thought his team lacked focus from the opening tip. “I didn’t think we had any intensity into the game,” he said. That showed defensively, several  players said. The Timberwolves shot 50.6 from the field, 47.1 (8 of 17) from 3-point range.

– It’s tough to win when one of your best shooters – Redick – goes 1 of 9 from the field. He wasn’t the only one, though. Paul Pierce shot 1 of 5 and Jamal Crawford was 5 of 15. Overall, the Clippers shot 44 percent from the field, which is not horrible. But 32 of their 75 field-goal attempts were from 3-point range, and they made only 11 of them for 34.4 percent.

DeAndre Jordan pulled down 15 rebounds, but the team as a whole only had 35, well under its season average of 42.1, which is only 24th-best in the league. Minnesota had 42 rebounds.

Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford lead Clippers to narrow halftime lead over Timberwolves

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul scored 12 points and Jamal Crawford had 10 as the Clippers took a 55-53 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves into the halftime break Wednesday at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in the half, during which Clippers reserve guard Austin Rivers was ejected after getting two technical fouls because he barked at officials for not calling a foul after he made a tough layup.

The T’Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins led everyone with 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting.

The Clippers (32-16) shot 52.8 percent in the half, the T’Wolves 53.5. Minnesota is 14-36.

DeAndre Jordan had himself a heck of a January for Clippers

Bulls Clippers Basketball

DeAndre Jordan, left, puts up a shot against Chicago’s Pau Gasol during Sunday’s game at Staples Center, won 120-93 by the Clippers/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill

 

Center DeAndre Jordan averaged 13.8 points and 15.1 rebounds in the 12 games he play in January; the Clippers played 14, but Jordan missed two with pneumonia.

Jordan scored 17 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, doled out four assists, blocked four shots and made a steal Sunday in the Clippers’ 120-93 victory over Chicago at Staples Center. Afterward, coach Doc Rivers was asked if this is one of Jordan’s most consistent stretches he’s had this season.

“Yeah, definitely this year,” Rivers said. “But I just like how he’s playing the whole game. He’s been good.”

Jordan also made 5 of 8 from the free-throw line Sunday. He shot 48.5 percent from the there in January, his best month so far this season. For most, this would be nothing to brag about. For Jordan, it is because he’s shooting  just 42.5 percent from the line this season and just 41.9 during his career, which is now in its eighth season.

“I’m getting more comfortable with them,” Jordan said of his free throws. “I know every night it (Hack-a-DJ) is probably going to happen since it works on some nights and doesn’t work on others. I’ve got to be ready for it whenever, whether it be the second or fourth quarter, so it’s becoming routine for me.”

 

Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-93 victory over Chicago

Wesley Johnson plays tough defense on Jimmy Butler of the Bulls in the Clippers’ 120-93 victory on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht

 

– Once again the bench sparkled. Jamal Crawford scored 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting, Austin Rivers scored 16 and was 5 of 6 from 3-point range and Wesley Johnson scored 11 on 4 of 8 shooting – 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. The bench outscored the Bulls bench 58-18. The Clippers shot 53.1 percent (17 of 32) from long-distance.

J.J. Redick had a very poor shooting game on Friday against the Lakers, making just 2 of 10 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range. He rebounded nicely in this one, scoring 21 points 7 of 11 from the field – 4 of 4 from deep, where Redick is shooting a league-leading 48.6 percent.

DeAndre Jordan continued his rebounding tear, pulling down 20. He has had 19, 19, 17 and 20 rebounds his past four games and has raised his season average to 13.8, second to Andre Drummond (15.0) of Detroit. Jordan also had 17 points, four assists, four blocks and a steal

Paul Pierce’s struggles continued. He played just under 16 minutes and missed all six of his field-goal attempts, five of them coming from 3-point range. The 38-year-old Pierce is shooting 33.6 percent from the field overall, by far the worst percentage of his career, which is in its 18th season. He’s shooting 30.6 percent from beyond the arc, third-worst of his career. He shot 30.2 percent from there in 2002-03 and 29.9 percent in 2003-04.

– Considering the Clippers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, it’s always news when they outrebound an opponent. They did that in this one, taking 46 to Chicago’s 42. Besides Jordan’s 20, Lance Stephenson grabbed six boards in less than 10 minutes off the bench. Cole Aldrich and Redick had four apiece.