Clippers’ J.J. Redick selected to participate in 3-point contest

J.J. Redick/Staff photo by John McCoy

 

Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick has been selected to participate in the 3-point contest during All-Star weekend in Toronto. The event will take place on Feb. 13 at Air Canada Centre, the day before the game is played there.

Redick leads the NBA in field-goal percentage from beyond the arc at 48.2 percent (120 of 249).

Joining Redick in the eight-man field will be Steph Curry and Klay Thompson of Golden State, Chris Bosh of Miami, James Harden of Houston, Kyle Lowry of Toronto, Devin Booker of Phoenix and Khris Middleton of Milwaukee.

Curry leads the NBA in made 3-pointers with 232. He is the defending champion of this contest.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan among 30 finalists for spots on 2016 U.S. Olympic team

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul on Monday were among 30 players named as finalists for roster spots on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. Only 12 are available.

Paul played in the 2008 and 2012 teams that won gold medals; both went 8-0 in Beijing and London. Paul has averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 16 games.

Griffin made the 2012 team, but was forced to pull out because of an injury.

All three players participated in the 2015 USA National team mini-camp in July in Las Vegas.

The Golden State Warriors have five players as finalists – Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. The only other team with at least three is the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.

Blake Griffin: Warriors showed they are the more together team

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers must have been wondering why there were so many cheers for the Golden State Warriors when they were overtaking the Clippers and defeating them 124-117 on Thursday night at Staples Center.

After all, the Clippers were the home team. Well, Warriors fans have shown in the past they travel well. And, who knows? Perhaps some of the Clippers fans couldn’t help but appreciate what they were seeing – a team that stays united down the stretch.

“They made a statement of just being more together,” Blake Griffin said of the Warriors. “All we can do now is watch the film, correct some mistakes, move on and win a game tomorrow night.

“They were more together down the stretch, in the same sense of how we were early on. But in the end, they trusted their game plan, saw it all the way through and executed.”

The Clippers led by 23 points twice in the second quarter and by 10 points with 5:54 to play before being outscored 25-8 at the finish.

Griffin scored 27 points, only nine in the second half.

The Clippers (6-5) play Friday night at Portland (4-9).

Paul Pierce: ‘We have got to do a better job at playing 48 minutes’

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers have earned their reputation of giving up leads and not being able to close out games in killer-instinct fashion.

On Thursday, the Clippers hosted the undefeated and defending-champion Golden State Warriors. The Clippers twice led by 23 points in the second quarter and led by 10 with 5:54 to play, only to be outscored 25-8 down the stretch as the Warriors came away with a 124-117 victory.

There is no shame in losing to the Warriors, who are now 13-0. It’s the way the Clippers (6-5) lost, totally void of any execution during winning time.

Paul Pierce, who played for coach Doc Rivers in Boston – the two won a title there in 2008 – intimated this has to stop.

“We have to do a better job at playing 48 minutes,” said Pierce, who scored six points in nearly 32 minutes. “That’s two games in a row versus these guys where we have had a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. We gave up our lead, so we have to do a better job on defense.”

The Warrioirs shot 52.1 percent overall, 56.7 percent (17 of 30) from 3-point range. They shot 8 of 9 (88.9 percent) from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter. But it was more than that, Pierce said.

“We have to do a better job on offense and trusting one another,” he said. “You can’t give up 40 points in the fourth quarter versus the best team in basketball. Simple and plain, we have to do a better job at finishing.”

The Warriors outscored the Clippers 39-26 in the fourth.

Two and a half weeks ago, on Nov. 4 in Oakland, the Clippers led the Warriors by 10 in the fourth quarter and lost by four (112-108).

 

Five things to take from Clippers’ 124-117 loss to the Warriors

Josh Smith of the Clippers fouls the Warriors’ Festus Ezeli during Thursday’s game/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht

 

– It’s true the Clippers were playing a great team in the Warriors, so the problem wasn’t so much losing a 23-point second-quarter lead. Rather, it was being outscored 25-8 over the final 5:54. The Clippers were up 109-99 at that point and scored just eight more points. That can’t happen.

– In the amazing statistic department, the Warriors shot 56.7 from 3-point range, making 17 of 30. Moreover, they made 8 of 9 in the decisive fourth quarter. That’s 88.9 percent. Seriously?

– Except for shooting for a better free-throw percentage than usual – he was 5 of 8 – DeAndre Jordan was almost a non-factor in this one. He scored just nine points on four field-goal attempts, pulled down 10 rebounds and had zero blocks. He’s averaging 12.6 rebounds – down from 15.0 a season ago – and 2.7 blocks.

– When you shoot 50 percent from the field overall and 44.8 (13 of 29) like the Clippers did, you expect to win. The Clippers lost, and by now they might be wondering how the heck they are ever going to beat the Warriors. The Clippers led them by 10 in the fourth quarter at their place Nov. 4 and lost by four. The Clippers led them twice by 23 points in the second quarter of this one and, again, by 10 midway through the fourth – and lost both times.

– If we don’t take the time to tip our cap to Golden State’s Steph Curry, we wouldn’t be doing our job. Curry scored 40 points after scoring just three in the first quarter because he took two early fouls. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth. He also had three steals. To top it off, the 6-foot-3 guard led everyone with 11 rebounds. Yes, he had seven turnovers. So he’s not perfect.

Austin Rivers tells it like it is after Clippers’ loss to Warriors

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

One thing about the Clippers, they lack a killer instinct.

They proved that again Thursday when they twice led by 23 points in the second quarter, and by 10 with just under six minutes to play in the game before falling 124-117 to the Warriors, who are now 13-0, at Staples Center.

Austin Rivers, who scored 10 points and made two steals in 26 minutes off the bench, afterward scolded his own team while praising the defending-champion Warriors.

“I think in these games, we need to take something away,” said Rivers, whose team was outscored 25-8 over the final 5:54. “We keep saying, ‘We almost had them.’ I think we need to trust each other better on offense toward the end of the game. We have to execute better. This was one of the most frustrating losses I’ve had besides the Houston series last year.

:”We wanted this game badly and we out-played them the whole game. There’s a reason why they’re champions. They are better than us right now.”