Five things to take from Clippers’ 91-89 victory over Indiana

Cole Aldrich, left, of the Clippers goes up for a shot while being defended by Indiana’s Myles Turner (33) and Jordan Hill (27)/AP photo by Michael Conroy

 

– Kudos to the Clippers for this victory. They could have gone into it really bummed out about the news regarding Blake Griffin, who will now miss four to six more weeks with a fractured right hand after punching out the team’s assistant equipment manager on Saturday in Toronto. The Clippers are now 12-3 without Griffin since Christmas.

– The Clippers actually made fewer field goals than Indiana. They made 32, the Pacers 35. But the Clippers won this game at the 3-point line, where they made 15 of 37 for 40.5 percent. Indiana made just 5 of 16 for 31.3 percent.

Jamal Crawford continued his up-and-down shooting season by making just 1 of 9 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Crawford has now shot 2 of 15 over his past two games, 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. Crawford is shooting 38.7 overall, 32.2 percent from long-distance. His career percentages over 15-plus years are 41.0 and 34.9, respectively.

DeAndre Jordan scored only nine points. But he blocked three shots and pulled down a whopping 19 rebounds in a spirited effort. Jordan is now averaging 13.5 rebounds, second in the league to Andre Drummond (15.2) of Detroit.

– After some recent slippage, Doc Rivers and his players were pleased with the defense they played in this one. The Pacers shot 42.2 percent overall and committed 17 turnovers.

Clippers hang on to beat host Pacers 91-89 on emotional night

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Playing on a night when it was revealed Blake Griffin sustained a fractured right hand over the weekend in Toronto when he punched the team’s assistant equipment manager – Matias Testi – the Clippers on Tuesday defeated the host Indiana Pacers 91-89 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Chris Paul led the Clippers (29-16) with 26 points and seven assists, J.J. Redick scored 19, Wesley Johnson had 15 points and DeAndre Jordan had nine points, 19 rebounds and three blocks. Jamal Crawford scored nine point, but he shot just 1 of 9 from the field.

The Clippers shot 41 percent, 40.5 percent (15 of 37) from 3-point range.

The Clippers are now 2-2 on this East Coast swing and finish the trip Wednesday at Atlanta.

Paul George led the Pacers 31 points and 11 rebounds, Myles Turner scored 16 off the bench and had 15 points.

Indiana (23-22), which has lost six of its past seven games, shot 42.2 percent overall, 31.3 percent (5 of 16) from beyond the arc.

The Clippers are now 12-3 without Griffin, who has not played since Christmas because of a partially torn left quad tendon. He actually might have returned in this game had he not broken his hand during the aforementioned altercation. He is now expected to miss four to six more weeks.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 112-94 loss at Toronto

Referee Bennie Adams separates Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (right) and Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. Both players were charged with a technical foul on the play. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) Photo: Frank Gunn, AP / The Canadian Press

Things got a bit heated between the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford, right, and the Raptors’ Patrick Patterson during the first half of Sunday’s game at Toronto, won 112-94 by the Raptors. They are separated by referee Bennie Adams/AP photo by Frank Gunn

 

– This loss makes the Clippers 1-2 on this East Coast swing with games Tuesday at Indiana and Wednesday at Atlanta still to come. The Clippers (28-16) are now 11-3 without Blake Griffin, who could return at Indiana.

– Coach Doc Rivers always talks about this being “a make-miss league.” Well, the Clippers shot a respectable 44.7 percent overall, but just 30.8 (8 of 26) from 3-point range. The Raptors shot 49.4 percent, 54.5 (12 of 22) from beyond the arc. Since both teams made 18 free throws, it was from the field where the Clippers lost this game.

Chris Paul came in averaging 22.4 points, 10.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals over his previous five games. He had 23 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and two steals in this one, staying right in line with those impressive numbers. He did have four of the team’s 13 turnovers. But again, he’s the point guard.

Lance Stephenson shot 4 of 4 and Austin Rivers 4 of 8. Otherwise, the bench struggled from the field. Jamal Crawford shot 1 of 6 and Wesley Johnson was 2 of 7, all of his field-goal attempts coming from 3-point range. That’s not to mention Rivers and Pablo Prigioni had three turnovers apiece; Prigioni only played eight minutes.

DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 13 rebounds. But no one else had more than five, which was Paul Pierce’s total. Consequently, the Clippers were outrebounded 44-34.

Josh Smith’s stormy stay with Clippers over as he’s traded back to the Houston Rockets

Josh Smith traded from Clippers to Rockets

Josh Smith gets a rebound for the Clippers during a Nov. 7 game against the Houston Rockets as the Rockets’ Dwight Howard looks on at Staples Center/AP photo by Jae C. Hong

 

Josh Smith’s short and stormy stay with the L.A. Clippers is over. Smith was traded back to the Houston Rockets on Friday for the draft rights to Maarty Leunen, a 6-foot-9 forward who currently plays for Scandone Avellino of the Italian Serie A.

The Rockets also received the draft rights to forward  Sergei Lishouck and cash considerations. Lishouck currently plays for UCAM Murcia in Spain.

The Clippers acquired Smith – a forward who also played center for the team – during the off-season, signing him to the veterans’ minimum of $1,499,187. But Smith fell into disfavor when he didn’t play the way coach Doc Rivers wanted him to play. Smith also had a shouting match with assistant coach Mike Woodson after a game as well as an in-game verbal row with Rivers.

Through Thursday’s loss at Cleveland, Smith had not played in 10 of the past 14 games. He played 20 minutes in a Jan. 13 win over Miami and 19 in a loss to Sacramento this past Saturday, but that was because DeAndre Jordan missed those two games with pneumonia.

Smith spent the 2014-15 season playing first for Detroit and then with Houston. He scored 14 of his 19 points during the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, helping the Rockets overcome a 19-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Clippers 119-107 on May 14 at Staples Center. That sent the series back to Houston, where the Rockets defeated the Clippers 113-100 in Game 7 to advance to the conference finals, at the same time denying the Clippers their first trip to the conference finals in franchise history.

Smith is 30. He averaged 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in 32 games with the Clippers; he started one. He has career scoring and rebounding averages of 16.2 and 8.3, respectively, but that’s at an average of 32.9 minutes. He averaged only 14.3 minutes with the Clippers.

Clippers will not have a starter in Feb. 14 All-Star game in Toronto

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

The starters for the upcoming All-Star game were announced Thursday and nary a Clipper was among them.

Chris Paul finished third among guards in the Western Conference with 624,334 votes. Blake Griffin, who hasn’t played since Christmas night, and DeAndre Jordan finished sixth and 11th among frontcourt players with 651,860 and 269,427 votes, respectively.

The Western Conference starters for the Feb. 14 in Toronto will be Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Steph Curry of the Warriors, Keven Durant of Oklahoma City, Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

The Eastern Conference starters will be Carmelo Anthony of the  Knicks, Paul George of Indiana, LeBron James of Cleveland, Kyle Lowry of Toronto and Dwyane Wade of Miami.

Bryant had the most votes of any player, tallying 1,891,614. Curry was next with 1,604,325 and then James with 1,089,206. They were only three with at least a million votes.

 

 

 

Five things to take from Clippers’ 140-132 OT win over Rockets

Los Angeles Clipper J.J.  Redick ,4, celebrates his 9th three pointer in overtime against Huston, at the Staples Center.  The Clippers won 140-132.   Los Angeles, Calif., Monday, January,18, 2016.     

 (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

J.J. Redick celebrates one of his nine 3-point baskets in Monday’s 140-132 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets at Staples Center/Staff photo by Stephen Carr

 

– The Clippers made a franchise-record 22 3-pointers in this game, one shy of the NBA record. The Clippers shot 59.5 percent (22 of 27) from beyond the arc. Interestingly, their overall percentage was lower at 51.6.

– What a night for J.J. Redick. He scored a career-high 40 points. He made his first five 3-point attempts and eventually went 9 of 12 from beyond the arc. Redick is now shooting 50 percent (103 of 206) from long-distance, tops in the NBA. He’s shooting 48.9 percent overall.

– Considering he had missed the previous two games with pneumonia, DeAndre Jordan had himself a heck of a game. He scored 16 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked two shots. Jordan played 41 minutes, second only to Chris Paul’s 41 1/2. Jordan also made 50 percent (4 of 8) of his free throws. For someone shooting 41.5 percent on the season, that’s not too shabby.

– Speaking of Chris Paul, he also had a terrific showing. He scored 28 points, doled out 12 assists, grabbed six rebounds and made six steals. He had five turnovers. But again, he played 41 1/2 minutes and he’s the point guard. No one’s perfect. Heck, he even blocked a shot.

– Other than giving up a 14-point lead with 4:17 to play that allowed the game to go into overtime, the only other real negative to this game for the Clippers was that they were outrebounded 51-42. Two things on that – the Clippers hardly ever outrebound an opponent, and Houston’s Dwight Howard had a whopping 26 boards.