DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
DeAndre Jordan has been victim to the hack-a-DJ ploy many coaches use on him because he is such a poor free-throw shooter. Foul Jordan on purpose, and chances are he won’t make more than one of two free throws – often times, he misses both ends.
Jordan, who is making just 39.7 percent of his free throws this season, was 4 of 10 (40 percent) from the line in Monday’s 110-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets. But he made both ends of an opportunity with 2:49 left in the game for a 98-97 Clippers lead. It was the only time Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt utilized hack-a-DJ, and it backfired.
“I tip my hat off to DeAndre,” Hunt said. “He’s such a good competitor. He went out there and made his free throws. That could have been a turning point in the game if he misses those. We were trying everything that we could do. We just came up a little short.”
Jordan finished with 20 points, 21 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Jamal Crawford scored 21 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter of Monday’s win over Denver/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
Jamal Crawford had all of two points through three quarters Monday against the Denver Nuggets. He finished with 23 as the Clippers rallied for a 102-98 victory at Staples Center.
Denver coach Brian Shaw afterward talked about his team’s failed attempt to corral Crawford, the two-time Sixth-Man of the Year.
“In the fourth quarter I thought we fell asleep a few times when (Crawford) was off the ball and he was able to get some clean looks coming off of picks shooting the ball,” Shaw said. “We stunted at their lesser shooters a couple of times. We rotated over to Matt Barnes, so instead of making him be the one to shoot the ball and finish, he was able to swing it to Crawford a couple of times. That was one of the points of emphasis for us, to try and control Crawford coming off the bench.”
Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
The Nuggets led the Clippers by as many as 16 points at 31-15 before settling for a 31-20 lead over the Clippers after one quarter.
Hedo Turkoglu hit a 3-point basket with about 20 seconds left in the quarter and then Austin Rivers made a layup with 0.7 seconds left as the Clippers scored the final five points of the quarter.
Chris Paul led the Clippers (30-14) with six points in the quarter, Wilson Chandler had 13 for Denver (18-26).
Blake Griffin scored 32 points Friday night at Denver/Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
The Clippers had three chances to tie the game with the final seconds winding down Friday night at Denver, but missed 3-point basket attempts by Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick and Chris Paul resulted in the Clippers losing 109-106 to the Nuggets at Pepsi Center.
The Clippers (18-8) overcame a 16-point halftime deficit of 59-43 to lead 74-71 after three quarters.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 32 points on 9 of 20 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds. Chris Paul scored 17 points with 15 assists, Crawford scored 20 off the bench, Matt Barnes had 16 points and DeAndre Jordan scored 11 and had 14 rebounds with two blocked shots.
The Clippers shot 45.9 percent from the field, but just 16.7 percent (3 of 18) from 3-point range.
Denver (11-15) received 20 points off the bench from Nate Robinson, 16 from Wilson Chandler and 14 points and seven rebounds from Kenneth Faried. Ty Lawson doled out 14 assists to go with his 10 points.
Here are the probable starting lineups for tonight’s (Saturday) game between the Clippers (1-3) and Denver Nuggets (1-4) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Clippers: PG Chris Paul, SG J.J. Redick, SF Matt Barnes, PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan.
Nuggets: PG Ty Lawson, SG Arron Afflalo, SF Danilo Gallinari, PF Kenneth Faried, C Timofey Mozgov.
Years ago no one cared much about the Clippers, whether it be fans or other NBA teams and players. But the Clippers (48-21) are serious contenders these days, meaning they are under much more scrutiny. They have become a team others like to beat.
Such was the case Monday when the Clippers ventured to Denver to try and extend an 11-game winning streak. But just like last season, when the host Nuggets snapped the Clippers’ 17-game winning streak, they did it again with a 110-100 victory at Pepsi Center.
Ty Lawson, the Nuggets’ point guard, had an interesting thought for an ESPN.com reporter after the game.
“Players like to get up for this team,” said Lawson, who scored 19 points. “The energy in the building gets us going.”
According to ESPN.com, it was the fourth time in NBA history a team has halted the same opponent’s double-digit winning streak in back-to-back campaigns. The most recent before Monday was the Spurs ending 11-game Suns winning streaks in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.