Doc Rivers says his bigs were not entirely to blame for loss at Memphis

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Zach Randolph of Memphis goes up for a shot during the Grizzlies’ 107-91 victory Sunday over the Clippers/Photo by Associated Press

 

Do the math. Memphis got 30 points and 12 rebounds from post Marc Gasol and 10 points and eight rebounds from power forward Zach Randolph in the Grizzlies’ 107-91 victory over the Clippers on Sunday in Memphis. That’s a combined 40 points and 20 rebounds; Gasol shot 13 of 18, Randolph 5 of 11.

The Clippers got 12 points and just four rebounds from power forward Blake Griffin; he shot just 5 of 17. They got a meager two points and three rebounds from post DeAndre Jordan, who took just two shots and made one. That’s a combined 14 points and seven rebounds.

Suffice to say, the Clippers were thrashed in the battle of the bigs. But coach Doc Rivers wouldn’t put it all on Griffin and Jordan.

“I don’t think it was their entire fault,” Rivers said afterward. “We had great looks that we didn’t make. I thought our guards had trouble in the paint. I thought our bigs had to help a lot tonight. When they have to help  that much, it is not good. I felt bad. It looked like the bigs had a breakdown, but it was really a team breakdown. I thought we got great looks and missed them. We never bounced back.

“Blake Griffin is fine. He has played great the last few games. I think Marc Gasol played great and our team was off. Maybe they took us out of it.”

The Grizzlies at 12-2 have the NBA’s best record.

“I told the guys at the beginning of the year, when you look at the Grizzlies’ record when they are healthy, they are a great team,” Rivers said.

Memphis is 8-0 at home, which is FedExForum.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-91 loss Sunday at Memphis

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin had just four rebounds in Sunday’s loss at Memphis/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- Blake Griffin pulled down just four rebounds in 33 minutes. For a 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward with a career rebounding average 10.0, that is not good. Griffin is averaging just 6.8 rebounds through 12 games this season. That is easily the lowest output of his career. He averaged 9.5 a season ago, 8.3 in 2012-13, 10.9 in 2011-12 and 12.1 in his rookie season in 2010-11.

- The Clippers were out-rebounded by a whopping 52-32. Aside from Griffin’s poor output on the boards, post DeAndre Jordan pulled down just three measly rebounds in 20 minutes, and he went into the game leading the league at 12.2 per game; he’s now fifth at 11.4. Jordan had four fouls. Still, the Clippers (7-5) will have a hard time beating good teams when they are out-rebounded by 20. Spencer Hawes had 10 rebounds off the bench. Other than that, Chris Paul – a 6-foot guard – was next with five.

- The loss notwithstanding, the aforementioned Paul did his part. Besides the five rebounds, Paul scored a team-high 22 points on 7 of 13 shooting. He made all seven of his free throws, doled out five assists and made four steals with just two turnovers in 34 minutes.

- The Clippers had won the first two games of the road trip – over Orlando and Miami – and looked good doing it. But after getting 31 assists in a 110-93 victory at Miami on Thursday, the Clippers managed only 14 against the high-flying Grizzlies (12-2). Paul’s team-leading five were well under his 9.5 average.

- The Clippers were out-played in many areas. But the biggest item of note is that they were simply dominated by Memphis big-man Marc Gasol, who owned the Clippers by scoring 30 points on 13 of 18 shooting. He also pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked two shots. For the Clippers, Jordan had two points and those three rebounds. And no blocks.

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Doc Rivers just loves having a guy like DeAndre Jordan on his team

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DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

DeAndre Jordan started out a bit slowly this season, but he once again leads the league in rebounding with a 12.2 average. He’s also averaging 2.45 blocks, fourth in the NBA.

Coach Doc Rivers can’t say enough about his 6-foot-11 post

“He’s just a great player to have on your team,” Rivers said following his team’s 110-93 victory at Miami on Thursday. “He’s won games without scoring. He’s the perfect guy to have on a winning basketball team. He doesn’t complain about the ball and all he wants to do is go get it, meaning blocked shots and rebounds. Every team would love a guy like that.”

Jordan led the NBA in rebounding a season ago with a 13.6 average. He also averaged 2.48 blocks, which was third in the league.

Jordan is averaging 8.7 points this season after averaging 10.4 in 2013-14.

The Clippers (7-4) are 2-0 on the current seven-game road trip. They next play Sunday at Memphis at 3 p.m. (on Prime Ticket).

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 105-89 loss Monday to Chicago Bulls

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DeAndre Jordan goes against Chicago’s Taj Gibson/Staff photo by Andy Holzman

- Did the Clippers drink some kind of potion before the season began? If not, why have they taken on such a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona? They were up 46-32 on the Bulls with just under four minutes to play in the second quarter. They were looking good enough. Then they were out-scored 73-43 the rest of the way. Unbelievable. Then again, the way they’ve played this season – they have been ultra-inconsistent – very believable.

- Blake Griffin at times is trying too hard to get a shot off in the paint. When it’s not there, he needs to pass it back out. He admitted afterward he is sometimes forcing things, so that’s a good sign.

- Chris Paul afterward said his team needs to take care of the ball better. As a team, the Clippers had 12 turnovers, which is not horrible. But Griffin had five of those, and that’s not good coming from your best player.

- OK, so we all know the Clippers are not a great free-throw shooting team. On the season, they are shooting 76.4 percent in that department, which is 15th in the NBA. But, seriously, 45.5 percent? That’s what they shot in this one, making just 10 of 22. That is just terrible. That shouldn’t happen even once during the season. Griffin was the worst offender, going just 5-for-10.

- On a positive note, DeAndre Jordan had his second monster rebounding game in succession. He had 18 in Saturday’s 120-107 victory over Phoenix. He came back with 17 on Monday. He’s also starting to block shots the way he did in 2013-14. He had seven blocks Saturday, three more Monday. Jordan is now leading the league in rebounding at 12.4 per game; he averaged 13.6 this past season. Jordan is also averaging 2.78 blocks, third in the league. He averaged 2.48 in ’13-’14.

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Doc Rivers: DeAndre Jordan was ‘a one-man wrecking crew’

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The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan #6 is fouled by the Suns’ Markieff Morris #11 during their game at the Staples Center Saturday, November 15, 2014.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

DeAndre Jordan is fouled by the Suns’ Markieff Morris on Saturday night/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht

 

Coach Doc Rivers late Saturday night gave DeAndre Jordan the ultimate compliment when he referred to him as the “star of the game.” Jordan had 12 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks in a 120-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. He helped the Clippers hold the Suns to a 38.4 shooting percentage for the game.

“He was everywhere,” Rivers said. “His energy tonight was amazing. He was a one-man wrecking crew. It felt like he had 30 blocked shots. Even the shots that he didn’t block, he changed.”

The Clippers (5-3) host the Chicago Bulls (7-3) on Monday at 7:30 p.m. (on Prime Ticket).

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Chris Paul says team can fix things that are currently not working well

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Chris Paul

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

 

The Clippers are a shaky 4-3 heading into their game Saturday against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. They have been very inconsistent in many areas – rebounding, defense, offense and retaining focus throughout 48 minutes of play.

Point guard Chris Paul on Thursday  morning at practice was asked if these things can be repaired.

“Yeah, they definitely can be fixed,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a collective effort. It obviously starts with us – me, Blake (Griffin) and DJ (DeAndre Jordan).”

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 89-85 loss to San Antonio Spurs

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Chris Paul

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

 

- The Spurs are the defending NBA champions, but the Clippers were leading the entire game until a 12-0 run that began with 5:18 left in the game and culminated with 32.8 seconds remaining sealed their fate. San Antonio took its first lead at 83-82 with 1:44 left in the game, and by then it was obvious the Clippers were deflated. This is not the makings of a Clippers team picked by many experts to get to at least the Western Conference Finals.

- The 15 turnovers the Clippers had were their most so far this season. Previously they had committed 11, 14, 8, 10, 14, 7 turnovers, respectively. It didn’t help that their two best players – Chris Paul and Blake Griffin – combined for seven of those turnovers. Paul had four, Griffin three. Each had a pivotal turnover in the waning moments, though the one Griffin had was perpetuated by a pass into the paint from Jamal Crawford that seemed to surprise Griffin.

- Perhaps lost in the defeat was a fine defensive game from DeAndre Jordan. He blocked five shots and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Jordan had 14 rebounds in Saturday’s victory over Portland, and his season average is up to 11.0; he led the league at 13.6 a season ago.

- Even though Paul had the ball stolen from him by Kawhi Leonard with under a minute to play, Paul nearly had his second triple-double of the young campaign. He scored 13 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and doled out nine assists.

- One thing is certain, this game tells us that the Clippers have a lot of work to do. Sure, the Spurs are the defending champions, but they did not play well all night and then somehow emerged victorious over a Clippers team that couldn’t get out of its own way in the second half of the fourth quarter. The Clippers got a layup from Paul with 5:49 to play, then got only three more points on free throws from Jamal Crawford the rest of the way.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-101 victory over Utah Jazz

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DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

- DeAndre Jordan played 38 minutes in this game, and he had five measly rebounds. How does that happen? He is 6-foot-11 and this past season he led the league in rebounding with a 13.6 average. He is averaging 9.3 this season through four games. Only one of Jordan’s five rebounds came on the defensive boards.

- If Reggie Bullock can come in and continue to hit bit 3-point baskets off the bench, that will be quite a coup for the Clippers. He scored 12 points – all on 3-pointers – and two of the baskets were in crucial moments.

- Not that anyone ever doubted the toughness of Chris Paul, but to have a triple-double with a mildly sprained left foot is truly amazing. That a 6-foot guard would get 10 rebounds under those circumstances, is even more so.

- It was good to see Blake Griffin follow a poor game against Sacramento with another stellar game. He had 31 points on 14 of 21 shooting. He also had nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

- The Clippers are still allowing their opponents too many open looks, but they seemed to cut down on them in this one. The Jazz shot 46.8 percent from the field, 37 percent (10 of 27) from 3-point range. One Jazz player not guarded closely enough was Gordon Hayward, who scored 27 points on 10 of 19 shooting, 5 of 12 from 3-point range.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-92 loss to Sacramento

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Blake Griffin has little for which to be happy Sunday/Staff photo by David Crane

 

- Blake Griffin got frustrated at the officiating and it might have affected his game. Griffin did get hammered a few times when fouls were not called. Griffin scored 17 points, but he shot just 6 of 20. This came two nights after he scored 39 points on 13 of 23 from the field in a 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday night.

- DeAndre Jordan needs to quit chirping so much at the referees. It doesn’t seem like he’s doing himself or his team any good by getting a technical foul late in the game that cost the Clippers a point.

- The Clippers were outrebounded 46-35, so that issue continues. They were outrebounded by Oklahoma City 47-33 in the season-opener, by the Lakers 40-36. In three games, the Clippers have been outrebounded by a combined 133-104. That’s a negative differential of 29. That won’t cut the mustard.
- The Clippers went 0-for-12 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter. But Rivers afterward told reporters that he was fine with the shots his team took. Still, one has to wonder why the Clippers didn’t try to work the ball inside more once the basket started shrinking. Perhaps the Clippers figured that since they were 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range after three quarters, they’d have to start falling again. If so, they were wrong. The Clippers shot just 37.5 percent from the field overall.

- Nothing against Sacramento, it has some good players. Heck, DeMarcus Cousins was a beast in scoring 34 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. But the more-talented Clippers were at home, and took a 13-6 lead. Again, the Clippers look so good early, kind of like they did when they opened a 15-point lead over the Lakers in the first quarter of that game Friday. Then, poof, just like that the Kings go on a 15-0 run. Not long after, the Clippers embark on a 17-2 run. How does this happen? It just seems like the Clippers are checking in and out of the game mentally. Or, as Spencer Hawes intimated, maybe they are becoming “complacent” after starting quickly.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 93-90 victory over Oklahoma City

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DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan had a big block down the stretch Thursday/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

- This may have been just the first game of the 2014-15 season, but the idea that the Clippers had difficulty putting away OKC when the Thunder were missing reigning MVP Kevin Durant and guard Reggie Jackson, is kind of scary going forward; that’s not to mention that guard Russell Westbrook played only eight minutes because he fractured a finger in the second quarter.

- The Clippers had a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and nearly lost it when the Thunder’s Sebastian Telfair hit a 3-pointer to pull OKC within 89-88. Again, that this would happen when the Clippers are basically at full strength and the Thunder were at about two-thirds of that, is head-shaking.

- One of the things the Clippers were so poor at during the preseason – rebounding – was again at work in this one. The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 47-33.

- The Clippers shot 72 percent (18 of 25) from the free-throw line. That’s not terrific. But Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick were 4-for-4 in the waning moments, and the Clippers will need that kind of clutch free-throw shooting all season because they figure to be in a lot of close games with the league’s better teams.

- The Clippers also were clutch down the stretch defensively. DeAndre Jordan blocked Telfair’s driving shot attempt with under 10 seconds to play. Not long before that, Jamal Crawford stole the ball away from the Thunder, preventing them a chance to take the lead just seconds after Telfair hit that 3-pointer to get his team within a point.

 

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