Five things to take from Clippers’ 102-100 victory over Indiana Pacers

DeAndre Jordan had 23 rebounds and two blocks in Wednesday’s 102-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers/Photo by Associated Press

 

- The Clippers out-rebounded the Pacers 51-43. It’s interesting to note that DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin combined for 39 of those 51 rebounds. Jordan had 23 and Griffin 16. What’s really  key here is that Griffin went into the game averaging only 7.3 rebounds this season, well below his career average of 9.9. He needs to get more rebounds. The 16 is a good start. He had just two rebounds in 37 minutes of a loss last week at Washington. Two measly rebounds. That should never happen. His average is now up to 7.7 after Wednesday.

- Jordan is having another poor season at the free-throw line. Before Wednesday, he was shooting 44.2 percent. He held true to that by making 7 of 15 from the line in this one. But it should also be pointed out that Jordan made two very clutch free throws with 3:34 to play that gave the Clippers a 1-point lead (93-93) after they had fallen behind 89-83 with 7 1/2 minutes to play. Oh, by the way, Jordan’s average is now 44.5.

- Coach Doc Rivers said post-game that the team is missing not having the services of backup post Spencer Hawes, who sat out his third consecutive game with a bruised left knee sustained Dec. 12 at Washington. Hawes’ knee is apparently progressing, Rivers said, but there is no timetable for his return.

- It’s a bit worrisome that the Clippers at times have difficulty putting away inferior teams. We’ve talked about them having a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. At times they look great, at times they don’t. But the Pacers are playing hard for coach Frank Vogel and this is the NBA, where anything can happen on a given night. Vogel talked before the game about how his players are staying engaged and believing in one another. Afterward, Rivers complimented the Pacers on how hard they played.

- The Clippers did not have a good night at the free-throw line, and Jordan was largely responsible. They shot just 62.2 percent (28 of 45), and that is not something they are going to be able to get away with very often. However, it fairness, the Clippers are actually shooting better from the line this season than they did a season ago. In 2013-14 they were 26th in the league with a percentage of 73.1. This season they are shooting 76.0 percent, 14th in the NBA.

 

 

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Washington Wizards hold 15-point halftime lead on the visiting Clippers

The Clippers shot just 41 percent from the field – 10 percent (1 of 10) from 3-point range – in the first half at Washington and the Wizards hold a 57-42 lead at halftime.

DeAndre Jordan has nine points and seven rebounds for the Clippers (16-5), who have won nine games in a row. Chris Paul scored eight points and doled out three assists, but he also committed four turnovers.

The Wizards (15-6) got 11 points apiece from Kris Humphries and Bradley Beal in the half and John Wall scored 10 points and had six assists.

Washington shot 51.2 percent from the field, a whopping 75 percent (6 of 8) from beyond the arc.

Clippers backup post Spencer Hawes sustained what appeared to be a left knee injury.

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Chris Paul says team just needs to keep foot on the gas when it has a lead

Chris Paul

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

 

Although the Clippers are getting better at holding leads, they’re still vulnerable in that department. On Wednesday, they held a 20-point lead at Indiana with 1:07 left in the third quarter. The Pacers nearly came all the way back, pulling within two points with two minutes left in the game before the Clippers emerged with a 103-96 victory for their ninth win in succession.

Part of the problem has been the inconsistent play of the second unit. But Chris Paul didn’t single out the reserves after Wednesday’s victory.

“We just need to play with more consistency and keep our foot on the gas,” Paul said. “Our core group has been together a little while and we’ve been through some stuff. Me, Blake (Griffin), D.J. (DeAndre Jordan), (we) know what it takes.”

The Clippers (16-5) next play Friday at Washington (15-6).

 

 

We just need to play with more consistency and keep our foot on the gas.  Our core group has been together a little while and we’ve been through some stuff.  Me, Blake (Griffin), DJ (DeAndre Jordan) know what it takes.”

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Clippers hold off Pacers, thanks to two big baskets by Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford hit two big shots down the stretch Wednesday night at Indiana/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

It wasn’t easy, but the Clippers on Wednesday night staved off the Indiana Pacers and came away with a 103-96 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Clippers (16-5) have now won nine consecutive games and 11 of 12.

The Clippers led by 17 points at 82-65 after three quarters.

Two big baskets down the stretch by Jamal Crawford played a big hand in the victory. With the Pacers having closed within three points at 95-92, Crawford buried a 3-pointer with 2:46 left to play for a 98-92 Los Angeles lead.

Indiana (7-15) scored the next four points to cut its deficit to just 98-96 and Crawford made a 20-footer for a 100-96 cushion with 1:50 left.

Crawford led the Clippers with 18 points off the bench. Chris Paul scored 17 points and also doled out 15 assists, grabbed eight rebounds and made three steals. Blake Griffin contributed 17 points, J.J. Redick had 16 and DeAndre Jordan came through with 12 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks. Matt Barnes scored 11 points.

C.J. Miles of Indiana led everyone with 30 points; he was 7 of 14 from 3-point range. The Pacers have lost six in a row.

The Clippers next play Friday at Washington.

 

 

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Clippers lead 54-49 at halftime at Indiana after leading by 15 in first quarter

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick had 12 points in the first half at Indiana/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Wednesday night at Indiana led by as many as 15 points (28-13) with 3:36 left in the first quarter, but the Pacers rallied and the Clippers settled for a 54-49 halftime lead.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers (15-5) in scoring with 12 points. Jamal Crawford scored 11 off the bench; DeAndre Jordan had 10 points, nine rebounds and a block; and Blake Griffin had 10 points.

The Clippers have won eight  consecutive games and 10 of 11.

Indiana (7-14) was led in the first half by 16 points off the bench from C.J. Miles.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-100 victory over New Orleans

Chris Paul

Chris Paul is shooting a career-high 53.4 percent from the field/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- It was good to see sixth-man Jamal Crawford rebound from two off games offensively. He scored just four points in Monday’s 127-101 victory over Minnesota and just five in a 114-86 victory over Orlando on Wednesday. He was a combined 2-for-11 from the field in those two games, 0 of 8 from 3-point range. Crawford on Saturday scored 20 points on 6 of 11 from the field, 2 of 4 from beyond the arc. He also made all six of his free-throw attempts.

- The Clippers, in particular power forward Blake Griffin, did a good job of holding the Pelicans’ young superstar power forward Anthony Davis to 26 rather quiet points. Quiet because 10 of them came during a fourth quarter when the Clippers played mostly the second unit with the game pretty much in hand. Davis also had only three rebounds and one block. He entered averaging 11.5 rebounds and a league-leading 3.06 blocks.

- Chris Paul continued on his path to the best shooting season of his career. By making 7 of 13 from the field – 4 of 6 from 3-point range – he is now shooting a career-best 53.4 percent overall. He’s also shooting 44.8 (30 of 67) from 3-point range, easily his best. Paul is a career 47.4-percent shooter. His career percentage from beyond the arc is 36.1.

- The Clippers made 17 of 32 from 3-point range. That’s a percentage of 53.1. They now lead the NBA with a team 3-point shooting percentage of 39.1. Golden State is second at 38.4 with the Atlanta Hawks third at 37.8.

- DeAndre Jordan is continually improving his statistics after getting off to just a bit of a slow start in the rebounding and blocked shots departments. In going for 18 rebounds and five blocks in this victory, he is now averaging 12.2 rebounds (second in the league) and 2.53 blocks (third). He led the league in rebounding a season ago with a 13.6 average and was third in blocks with a 2.48 average.

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Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford combine for 51 points in victory at Houston

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin scored 30 points in the Clippers’ win Friday at Houston/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Jamal Crawford scored 21 off the bench to lead the Clippers to their fifth win in six tries on this seven-game road trip, 102-85 over the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Houston.

The Rockets (12-4) were without center Dwight Howard, power forward Terrence Jones and point guard Patrick Beverly, all sidelined with various minor injuries; Jones has played in only four games this season, Beverly in just seven. Howard leads the team in rebounding with an 11.3 average and also averages 18.8 points and 2.3 blocks.
The Clippers (10-5) shot 46.9 percent from the field, 36.0 percent (9 of 25) from 3-point range. J.J. Redick contributed 15 points, Chris Paul had 10 points, seven assists and five steals; DeAndre Jordan had seven points and 13 rebounds; and Spencer Hawes came through with seven points and eight rebounds.

Defensively, the Clippers excelled. They held the Rockets to 39.0 percent shooting, 27 percent (10 of 37) from beyond the arc. James Harden led Houston with 16 points, which was well below his team-leading 25.3 average heading into the game.

 

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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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