Mason Plumlee was a rebounding, assist machine for Trail Blazers in Game 3 win over Clippers

Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Mason Plumlee of the Portland Trail Blazers is guarded by the Clippers’ Blake Griffin during the first half of the Trail Blazers’ 96-88 victory over the Clippers in Game 3 on Saturday in Portland/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Portland Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee had a combined 15 rebounds and seven assists in the first two games of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Clippers – both Clippers victories at Staples Center.

Then, almost out of the blue, he came through with a whopping 21 rebounds and nine assists in his team’s 96-88 Game 3 victory over the Clippers on Saturday at Moda Center in Portland.

Plumlee was asked post-game to talk about what it was like having more rebounds than Clippers center DeAndre Jordan – he had 16 – and as many assists as Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

“Probably an awkward stat line,” Plumlee said. “The guys on the bench were giving me a hard time for not getting 10 points. The game is different through adjustments and stuff; they leave certain things open and they take other things away. So, really, they (the Clippers) put me in a good position by them trapping the guards; really, I have an advantage every time I touch the ball, so then it’s just making the right play.”

Plumlee, who scored just six points in the game, averaged 7.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists during the regular season.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 96-88 loss to the Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, right, is fouled by Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Portland, Ore.

Chris Paul of the Clippers is fouled by Portland’s Damian Lillard during the first half of the Trail Blazers’ 96-88 victory over the Clippers on Saturday in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series at Moda Center in Portland/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


– One of the biggest reasons why the Trail Blazers won was because their outstanding guard tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum played to their capabilities after struggling in losses to the Clippers in Game 1 and Game 2. Lillard scored 32 points on 10 of 20 shooting and went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. McCollum scored 27 points on 11 of 22 shooting. Each had five rebounds.

– It was more than that. For another thing, the Trail Blazers outrebounded the Clippers 56-44. Leading the way was center Mason Plumlee. He had a whopping 21 rebounds to go along with nine assists and six points. The Clippers got 16 rebounds from their center, DeAndre Jordan. Blake Griffin had only seven.

– The Clippers led 85-81 with 3:52 to play after a 3-point play by sixth-man Jamal Crawford. They scored only three points the rest of the way. During that time, the poor free-throw shooting Jordan went 1 of 6 from the free-throw line, finishing 3 of 10 from there. “Our execution was bad tonight,” coach Doc Rivers said of his team’s play down the stretch.

– This was not a good game for Griffin. The Clippers’ power forward scored 12 points and shot just 5 of 16. At times, his shot was short, hitting the front of the rim. “He just had a tough night,” Rivers said. “Again, you don’t miss three months of basketball and come back and be great.”

– As a team, the Clippers shot 40.9 percent – 16.7 percent (3 of 18) from 3-point range. Rivers gave credit to the Portland defense. “I thought they did a great job,” he said. “I think they were way more physical than us. I thought ball pressure got to us.” Shooting guard J.J. Redick, who is nursing a sore left heel, shot 2 of 10.

BONUS TAKE: The loss notwithstanding, Clippers point guard Chris Paul continued his fine play. He led the Clippers with 26 points on 10 of 21 shooting, doled out nine assists and made three steals.

LASTLY: The Clippers lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Monday night, back at Moda Center in Portland.

Portland guards lead Trail Blazers to 49-40 halftime lead over Clippers

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, who struggled mightily against the Clippers in the first two games of their first-round playoff series, scored a respective 16 and 17 points in the first half Saturday as the Trail Blazers took a lead of 49-40 over the Clippers into halftime in Game 3 at Moda Center in Portland. The Clippers lead the series 2-0.

Lillard shot 5 of 10, McCollum 7 of 12.

Chris Paul led the Clippers with 13 points, Blake Griffin scored eight and DeAndre Jordan had six points and nine rebounds. Sixth-man Jamal Crawford shot 2 of 8 in the half, scoring four points.


Doc Rivers in favor of Hack-a-DJ rule under proper circumstances

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week that a new rule could be instituted this summer to combat the Hack-a-DJ strategy used against the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and some other poor free-throw shooters.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he was in favor of a change, under the proper circumstances.

“Yeah, I just think you’ve gotta give it a lot of thought,” Rivers said at the morning shootaround before Game 3 of his team’s playoff series against Portland; the Clippers lead 2-0. “You have to do it the right way. … I think when it does change, it will change the right way; I don’t think it’ll bail guys out completely. We’ll see.”

Rivers was asked if he had an idea as to what the rule should entail.

“I do, but I’m not going to talk about it today,” he said. “We’re still discussing. There is just a lot of stuff on the plate.”

Rivers is on the league’s competition committee.

Clippers now need to perform same magic on road in Portland

Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, front, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan defends during the first half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in Los Angeles.

C.J. McCollum throws up a shot with DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers defending and Chris Paul looking on during Game 2 on Wednesday at Staples Center/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill


The Clippers on Saturday night at 7:30 will take on Portland in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. The Clippers won Game 1 by 20 points and Game 2 by 21. Both of those games were at Staples Center. Now the Clippers must see if they can perform that same magic on the road at Moda Center in Portland.

The Trail Blazers went 28-13 at home during the regular season.

“It’s been a collective team effort,” Clippers point guard Chris Paul said at the morning shootaround. “I know those guys are going to be a lot more comfortable here at home. And we’ve just gotta continue trying to make it tough for them.”

The Clippers have been especially tough on Portland’s guard duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, who have shot a combined 22 of 67 (32.8 percent).

The Clippers went 24-17 on the road this season.

VIDEO: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers combined for nine blocks in Game 2 win over Trail Blazers

Blocking shots is nothing new to Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. He averaged 2.3 during the regular season, second in the league to Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, who averaged 3.68. Jordan and his teammates combined for nine blocks during their 102-81 victory over Portland on Wednesday in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at Staples Center. Jordan had three blocks and Cole Aldrich and Jeff Green had two apiece. Here is one of Jordan’s that came during the first half Wednesday. Check it out: