Jamal Crawford likes harmony he shares with Spencer Hawes

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

We wrote Monday about how newly acquired backup post Spencer Hawes likes playing alongside fellow Seattle native and sixth-man Jamal Crawford.

Safe to say, the feeling is mutual.

“I’ve know Spence since he was 17,” Crawford said. “Every summer, when we play pick-up, we play together. We’ve always been on the same team, even when he was with Philadelphia and I was with New York. For us, we have a great synergy. But we’re just trying to complement the guys that are out there.”

Crawford is 34, Hawes 26.

Crawford is averaging 21.3 points through five exhibition games. Only teammate Blake Griffin and Golden State’s Klay Thompson are averaging more and they are both at 21.6 points per game. Crawford is shooting 60.7 (17 of 28) percent from 3-point range.

 

 

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Spencer Hawes stoked about playing alongside Jamal Crawford

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Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Even though newly acquired backup post Spencer Hawes and sixth-man Jamal Crawford are eight years apart – Hawes is 26, Crawford 34 – they are both from Seattle, so they know each other well.

Hawes believes that is helping him get acclimated to his new team.

“I’m becoming more comfortable with the first unit, more comfortable with the second unit,” Hawes said. “It’s fun playing with Jamal. We’ve been playing every summer for the last decade, and now I’m finally on his actual team. So it’s fun developing that chemistry and actually getting to put it to use in real games.

“It makes you more comfortable all-around coming to a new situation, on the court, off the court. (Jamal) is a guy that’s been one of my mentors and looked out for me since I was in high school. So it definitely makes things easier.”

Hawes is averaging 12 points and 5.6 rebounds off the bench in five exhibition games He has a high point total of 24 and a high in rebounds of eight.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 104-93 loss to Denver Nuggets

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Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes is 2 of 24 from the field/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

- Jamal Crawford started in place of J.J. Redick, who was given the night off by coach Doc Rivers. Crawford has been a real bright spot on the offense thus far, and he was again with 23 points on 6 of 12 shooting. He made 4 of 7 from 3-point range as well as all seven of his free throws in 36 minutes. Crawford has played in four of the five exhibition games (the Clippers are 1-4). He has scored 14, 23, 25 and 23 points while making 27 of 48 (56.2 percent) from the field.

- Rivers started Australian Joe Ingles at small forward like he said he would. With Rivers still trying to confirm the starter there, Ingles did nothing eye-popping. He played 19 minutes, missed both of his field goal attempts and made 3 of 4 from the free-throw line for three points. He also had three rebounds, an assist and four personal fouls.

- What in the heck is going on with Matt Barnes? He missed all nine of his field-goal attempts, and was 0-for-6 from three-point range in 28 minutes off the bench. In playing four of the five games, Barnes is 2-for-24 from the field. Seriously. That is 8.3 percent.

- As a unit, Los Angeles shot just 37 percent (27 of 73), 24 percent (6 of 25) from 3-point range. Much of that damage was done by Barnes. Blake Griffin shot 9 of 19 and had 27 points, Chris Paul shot 5 of 13 for 13 points. Spencer Hawes, who has been real good, had an off night. He made just 1 of 4 from the field for six points. DeAndre Jordan was 4 of 4 from the field, but he missed both of his free-throw attempts.

- The Clippers had their highest free-throw percentage of the exhibition season. They made 33 of 45 for 73.3 percent. Their other percentages were 71, 59.1, 72.7 and 59.3. Besides Crawford’s 7-for-7 night, Griffin made 9 of 13. Ingles, Chris Paul and Hawes all made 3 of 4 and Jared Cunningham 7 of 9 in just eight minutes of action.

 

 

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Utah Jazz lead Clippers 47-46 at halftime

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Utah Jazz led the Clippers 47-46 at halftime Friday at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 11 points in the half and Jamal Crawford and Spencer Hawes had 10 apiece.

Gordon Hayward had 13 points for the Jazz.

Chris Douglas-Roberts made a 3-pointer for the Clippers with three seconds left in the half.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 119-114 loss Sunday at Portland

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

- First and foremost, the Clippers need to defend better – in particular, the 3-point shot. The Trail Blazers shot 53.9 percent overall from the field, an almost-unbelievable 68 percent (17 of 25) from 3-point range.

- Sixth man Jamal Crawford had his second solid performance in as many exhibition games. He scored a game-high 23 points while making 8 of 13 from the field, 6 of 8 from 3-point range. In the team’s first exhibition – a 112-94 loss to Golden State on Oct. 7 – Crawford had 14 points on 5 of 10 shooting, 2 of 6 from 3-point range. Crawford recently tweeted that even at 34, he believes he’s getting better. Perhaps, he’s right.

- The Clippers shot just 59.1 percent (13 of 22) from the free-throw line. Most of the damage to that percentage was done by none other than DeAndre Jordan, who made just 3 of 9. Jordan needs to find his way at the free-throw line. He has a career percentage of just 42.5; he shot 42.8 percent this past season.

- Newly acquired reserve post Spencer Hawes had his second strong game with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. He shot just 5 of 13 from the field, but was 3 of 6 from 3-point range. He also had a really strong drive in traffic for a layup that may have opened some eyes.

- Matt Barnes had his second poor shooting night in succession. He was 1-for-7 from the field after shooting 1 of 4 against Golden State. He was 1 of 5 from 3-point range, meaning he is just 1 of 8 from there in two games. Barnes would rather come off the bench, and he did that Sunday after starting Oct. 7.

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Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford realize defense must improve

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers have not played well on defense in their first two exhibition games – both losses – but they know it. And that’s the first step toward doing something about it.

After his team allowed Portland to shoot 53.9 percent from the field, 68 percent (17 of 25) from 3-point range on Sunday in a 119-114 Trail Blazers victory, Clippers forward Blake Griffin spelled it out.

“Our whole thing is that we need to defend the 3 better,” he said. “They got some good looks. But, really, it was defense. We didn’t play well offensively, but it was really more defense than it was offense.”

The Clippers shot well from 3-point range as well, making 19 of 39 for 48.7 percent. But they shot just 43.6 percent overall.

Jamal Crawford, who scored a game-high 23 points Sunday, agreed with Griffin.

“… We’re still figuring things out,” he said. “It’s our second preseason game. I think offensively, we’re good. Defensively, we have to continue to get better. I think we’ll do that each time and then we’ll really hit our stride.”

The Clippers (0-2) play again tonight (Monday) at 6 at Utah (on Prime Ticket)

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Clippers drop to 0-2 in exhibition play with 119-114 loss at Portland

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers are now 0-2 in exhibition play after losing 119-114 Sunday at Portland.

Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford led everyone with 23  points. He made 8 of 13 from the field, 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

The Clippers shot a respectable 43.6 percent as a team, 48.7 percent (19 of 39) from beyond the 3-point line. But Blake Griffin had an off night. He shot just 4 of 16 (25 percent) and scored only nine points in 25 minutes. He also only grabbed two rebounds.

Chris Paul scored 15 points and doled out six assists, but he was just 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Spencer Hawes had a solid game off the bench, scoring 15 points with six rebounds and three assists. J.J. Redick scored 14 points and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and eight rebounds, but continued to struggle at the free-throw line, where he made just 3 of 9.

Reggie Bullock started at small forward instead of Matt Barnes, who told reporters not long ago he would rather come off the bench. Bullock played 19 minutes and scored six points on 2 of 4 shooting. Barnes was just 1 of 7 from the field and scored just three points in 26 minutes off the bench.

Newly acquired Jordan Farmar had 13 points for the Clippers, on 5 of 10 shooting.

Wesley Matthews led Portand (1-2) with 22 points C.J. McCollum had 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 16.

Portland shot 53.9 percent from the field, 68 percent (17 of 25) from beyond the arc. You can bet Clippers coach Doc Rivers isn’t happy about that.

The Trail Blazers out-rebounded the Clippers 49-35.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was in the crowd.

The Clippers play Monday night at 6 at Utah (on Prime Ticket).

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Clippers to host open scrimmage at USC’s Galen Center

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. will host a scrimmage at USC’s Galen Center that will be open to the public.

The Galen Center is located at 3400 S. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles.

The evening will include player introductions and performances by the Clippers’ spirit squad.

Admission is free.

The Clippers on Tuesday opened their exhibition season with a 112-94 loss to the Golden State Warriors before 13,958 at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Chris Paul had 14 points and nine assists and newly acquired reserve post Spencer Hawes scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds. Also, Jamal Crawford scored 14 points off the bench.

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C.J. Wilcox hopeful Jamal Crawford will take him ‘under his wing’

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Wilcox Part of Crowded Depth Chart

C.J. Wilcox/photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

It’s kind of cool that shooting guard C.J. Wilcox could be competing with Jamal Crawford for playing time next season as the Clippers’ first-round draft choice plays the same position. Of course, Crawford is established and Wilcox is going to be a rookie, so it’s not likely Crawford will have to worry about getting enough minutes of his own.

Interestingly, the two know each other. Wilcox played college ball at University of Washington, and Crawford is from Seattle.

“He’s up in Seattle every summer, so he’s been in a lot of open gyms and a lot of runs,” Wilcox said. “I’ve competed against him and been around guys who are really close with him, so I know we’ll probably be able to mesh a little bit since we’ve spent some summers together up in Seattle and going against each other. Hopefully, he’ll take me under his wing and show me the ropes since I went to school in Seattle and he’s from that area. … I think he’ll help me take some strides.”

 

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Jamal Crawford contributed quite a bit to Clippers, and he’ll be back for more

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Jamal Crawford, Andre Iguodala

Photo by Associated Press

Any time you have a guy coming off the bench who averages more points than three of your starters, that’s a heck of a good thing.

Jamal Crawford was that man for the Clippers this past season. After averaging 16.5 points in 2012-13 in his first season with the club, he came back with an 18.6 scoring average in this just-concluded 2013-14 campaign. Crawford also averaged 3.2 assists, demonstrating he could run the team when Chris Paul was hurt or just not on the floor. Again, a very nice thing to have from a player known mostly as a deadly shooter when he’s hot.

While it’s true that Crawford has never shot for a real high average – he has a career shooting percentage of 41.1 percent – he has the knack for making several 3-pointers in succession from tough angles with players in his face. It’s just the kind of thing that can turn a game around in a hurry.

For example, Blake Griffin told this newspaper toward the end of the season that Crawford is the player teams have to look out for most when he’s hot. Indeed, he is a game-changer.
Crawford shot 41.6 percent (421 of 1,011) overall in 2013-14, 36.1 percent (161 of 446) from 3-point range. For his efforts, he was chosen Sixth Man of the Year for the second time in his career. Oh, and by the way, Crawford also shot 86.6 percent from the free-throw line this past season and has an 85.5-percent percentage over his 14-year career.

Crawford, who battled a calf strain in the latter part of the season, also brings a very strong character to the clubhouse, something of which a team can never have enough.

He’s not perfect, of course. Like all shooters, he gets in slumps and has games where he contributes less than usual. If there is a criticism, it’s that. But you don’t average 18.6 points off the bench by having many poor outings.

Crawford, 34, even seemed to improve his defense, at the behest of coach Doc Rivers.

The best thing of all, Crawford is signed with the Clippers through the 2015-16 season. He is slated to make $5,450,000 in 2014-15.

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