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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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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