Five things to take from Clippers’ 87-81 loss to the Nuggets

Clippers guard Chris Paul, left, reaches in for the ball against Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay on Wednesday night at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Chris Paul guards Emmanuel Mudiay of Denver during the Nuggets’ stunning 87-81 victory over the Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center/AP photo by Alex Gallardo


– The Clippers shot 28.3 percent from 3-point range. That was not good. The worst part of it is that they took 46 3-point shots. That was more than half of the 85 shots taken overall by the Clippers, and a franchise high. Tough to win like that. Tough to score like that. Just think, the Clippers average 104.8 points on offense – seventh in the league. They scored 81 in this one. Bottom line is, losing to a team that is now just 23-35 on your home court is a bad loss for the Clippers (37-20), who are battling for position in the playoffs with just 25 regular-season games left. The Clippers are currently fourth in the West. They’d like to get to third so they wouldn’t have to face Golden State in the second round.

– Speaking of those long shots, Doc Rivers said he had the right guys shooting the 3s. They just didn’t fall, he said. J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford shot 6 of 12 and 3 of 7, respectively. Redick is shooting a league-best 48.1 percent from beyond the arc, but Crawford is shooting just 32.5 percent. Chris Paul was 3 of 8 and he’s shooting a very respectable 38.2 percent from distance. Wesley Johnson, however, was 1 of 7 and he’s one of the last ones who should continue shooting the bombs on an off night as he is shooting only 33.6 percent from 3-point range. Pablo Prigioni was 0 of 4 and Jeff Green and Paul Pierce were both 0 of 3 and Luc Mbah a Moute coming in at 0 of 2.

Chris Paul got a bit more banged up in this one. He had a tight calf and he took an elbow to his left foreman. “I’ll be all right,” he said, afterward, like he always does. He scored 17 points, doled out 10 assists, made four steals and committed two turnovers in just more than 35 minutes.

– Nice game by Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried. He had 21 points on 10 of 15 shooting – there was a memorable monster dunk in there – in under 23 minutes. He had an assist and a steal, for good measure.

– The Clippers got within two points late. But they couldn’t get a stop. Trailing 80-78, Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay missed a layup with 3:23 to play. The Nuggets got one of their 14 offensive rebounds, as Nikola Jokic put it back in for an 82-78 lead. The Clippers got back within two on a 6-footer by Green. But Gary Harris buried a 30-foot 3-pointer for an 85-80 lead with 1:58 to go, and the Clippers could not recover, getting no closer than four points at 85-81 on a free throw by DeAndre Jordan with 59.7 seconds left. That was the Clippers’ only point in the last 2:26, when the aforementioned shot by Green was made.

Clippers go cold and trail Nuggets 53-39 at the halftime break

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


After getting off to a quick start and leading the Denver Nuggets 11-4, the Clippers went cold and trail the Nuggets 53-39 at the halftime break.

The Clippers (37-19) shot just 34.1 percent overall, 27.3 (6 of 22) from 3-point range. The Nuggets (22-35) shot 43.1 percent, just 18.2 (2 of 11) from beyond the arc.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 11 points and Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford each scored 10.

Kenneth Faried led Denver with 17 points.

REPORT: Clippers offered Blake Griffin, Lance Stephenson to Denver for four players

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


With the trade deadline coming up Thursday, rumors have swirled about which players might be changing uniforms. According to a story on the that cited ESPN, the Clippers recently offered up Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson to the Denver Nuggets for forward Kenneth Faried, center Nikola Jokic, forward Danilo Gallinari and guard-forward Will Barton.

Faried, Jokic and Gallinari are starters, Barton comes off the bench.

Gallinari leads Denver in scoring with a 19.7 average, Faried leads the Nuggets in rebounding with an 8.9 average.

Doc Rivers, head coach and president of basketball operations, has denied that Griffin is on the block.

Griffin has not played since Dec. 25 against the Lakers. It was revealed the next day that Griffin had a partially torn left quad tendon. Just as he was about to get back on the court, Griffin sustained a fractured right hand when he punched team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Jan. 23 at a restaurant in Toronto.

Griffin was eventually suspended four games without pay and lost an additional game without pay for injuries he sustained in the altercation.

Clippers snap 3-game losing streak with 111-94 win at Denver

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers on Tuesday night snapped their three-game losing streak with a 111-94 victory at Denver.

All five Clippers starters scored in double figures with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan leading the way with 18 points apiece. Jordan added 11 rebounds, four blocks and three assists and Griffin had 10 rebounds and four assists.

J.J. Redick scored 16, Chris Paul 15 and Wesley Johnson 11. It was Johnson’s first start of the season. Paul also had 10 assists and three steals.

Jamal Crawford scored 15 off the bench and Josh Smith scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds, doled out two assists, blocked a shot and made a steal in 18 minutes.

The Clippers (7-7), who have struggled from 3-point range this season, shot 40 percent (8 of 20).

Danilo Gallinari led Denver (6-9) with 20 points and 18 rebounds, Nikola Jokic scored 16 and Gary Harris had 14 points.

The Clippers helped hold the Nuggets to 39.7 percent shooting.

The Clippers, once again, were outrebounded – this time 48-43.

The Clippers had only seven turnovers.

J.J. Redick scores 12, Clippers lead 51-45 at halftime at Denver

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


J.J. Redick scored 12 points in the first half and the Clippers took a 51-45 lead into the halftime break at Denver.

Chris Paul contributed 10 points and five assists for the Clippers, Blake Griffin had seven points and five rebounds and Josh Smith scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds off the bench.

Wesley Johnson started at small forward and scored six points.

Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt praises DeAndre Jordan for two clutch free throws

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


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.