Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-92 overtime victory over 76ers

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul (3) goes up for the shot with Philadelphia 76ers' Nerlens Noel (4) defending during overtime of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Clippers won 98-92 in overtime.

Chris Paul goes up for a shot while Nerlens Noel of Philadelphia defends/AP photo by Chris Szagola

 

– This is the second consecutive game in which Chris Paul got off to a horrible start shooting the ball. He began 1 of 7 and finished 5 of 18, 0 of 3 from 3-point range. He did make 9 of 10 from the free-throw line, doled out seven assists and made four steals. In Sunday’s win at Miami, Paul started 0 of 9 before finishing 8 of 23 from the field.

DeAndre Jordan had a dominant performance inside, pulling down 21 rebounds to go along with scoring 12 points and blocking three shots. Jordan is now averaging 14.0 rebounds and he’s inching closer to Andre Drummond of Detroit, who is averaging a league-high 14.9.

J.J. Redick showed good recovery skills in this game. He started by making just 1 of 9 from the field, but made six of his final nine shots to finish 7 of 18 with 23 points. Redick hit a 3-point basket with 10 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

– The Clippers shot a very poor 36.8 percent from the field, a woeful 22.7 percent (5 of 22) from 3-point range. Wesley Johnson was the worst offender, shooting just 3 of 13, 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. Although the Clippers did well to come back from 19 points down in the second quarter, if they had played anyone other than the 76ers (8-44) – the team with the league’s worst record – they don’t win.

– With Austin Rivers (fractured hand) on the shelf, the bench was not at full strength. Jamal Crawford picked up the slack by scoring 23 points on 9 of 21 shooting in 39 minutes. He also had three assists and two steals.

BONUS TAKE: The Clippers (35-17) are now 18-4 without Blake Griffin (fractured hand).

Five things to take from Clippers’ 100-93 victory Sunday at Miami

Los Angeles Clippers forward Lance Stephenson, right, goes to the basket as Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Miami.

Lance Stephenson of the Clippers goes to the basket as Miami’s Hassan Whiteside defends/AP photo by Lynne Sladky

 

Chris Paul began this game 0 of 9 from the floor. He went 2 of 15 in the first half. He finished 8 of 23, meaning he made eight of his final 14 shots. Consecutive 3-pointers by Paul down the stretch helped seal Miami’s fate. The clutch baskets no doubt made it easier for Paul to forget his early shooting woes. Paul made a 5-footer for a 100-88 lead with 53 seconds left, for the final nail in the coffin.

– The Clippers did not shoot particularly well. They made 45.7 percent of their field goals overall, 36 percent (9 of 25) from 3-point range. They were not good at all from the free-throw line, making just 51.5 percent (17 of 33). DeAndre Jordan was 3 of 14. But the Clippers still won because they took care of the ball, committing just six turnovers, and because they helped hold Miami to 39.8 percent shooting; the Heat also had 13 turnovers, with Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic making four apiece.

– The bench had another strong showing, outscoring Miami’s 46-25. Jamal Crawford had 20 points, Wesley Johnson scored 10 and Lance Stephenson nine. Johnson and Stepheson both shot 4 of 5, with Crawford going 7 of 19 from the field, just 2 of 7 from beyond the arc.

– Speaking of the bench, Cole Aldrich pulled down 11 rebounds in just 13 minutes and 18 seconds of action. Too bad he couldn’t make his free throws, going 1 of 5 from the line. He had two baskets and scored five points.

Hassan Whiteside entered this game averaging a league-high 4.0 blocks. But Whiteside played his third consecutive game off the bench after he missed the previous six with a hip injury. He played just under 17 minutes – he averages 28.6 – and did not have a block. When Whiteside is on, he can be a dominant force. It was just Friday when Whiteside had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks for a rare kind of triple double. So for him to have no blocks in this game is kind of a big deal. He did have 10 rebounds to go along with 10 points.

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.