Five things to take from Clippers’ 108-102 loss to Timberwolves

J.J. Redick of the Clippers guards Tayshaun Prince of the Timberwolves on Wednesday at Staples Center/Staff photo by David Crane

 

– Although this loss was a very unlikely one for the Clippers, as the Timberwolves have one of the worst records (15-36) in the league, it’s also understandable because there is a law of averages to consider. The Clippers had gone an almost-unbelievable 15-3 without Blake Griffin before this game and sometimes a team on a run like that will lose to an vastly inferior team. That’s not to mention that with young talent like Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine, the Timberwolves are going to beat good teams on a given night. They scored 31, 17 and 17 points, respectively.

– Technical fouls hurt the Clippers in this one. Austin Rivers took two for arguing a non-call in the second quarter and was ejected. Chris Paul took one with 20.6 seconds to play for arguing an “overt clap” when J.J. Redick was called for a foul on Ricky Rubio as Redick and Paul were double-teaming him. Paul said he knows he can’t be getting fourth-quarter technical fouls and that he apologized to his team after the game. The technical assessed him came from referee Lauren Holtkamp. It was in February 2015 that Paul was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his criticism of Holtkamp after a loss at Cleveland.

– Coach Doc Rivers was honest after the game. He said he thought his team lacked focus from the opening tip. “I didn’t think we had any intensity into the game,” he said. That showed defensively, several  players said. The Timberwolves shot 50.6 from the field, 47.1 (8 of 17) from 3-point range.

– It’s tough to win when one of your best shooters – Redick – goes 1 of 9 from the field. He wasn’t the only one, though. Paul Pierce shot 1 of 5 and Jamal Crawford was 5 of 15. Overall, the Clippers shot 44 percent from the field, which is not horrible. But 32 of their 75 field-goal attempts were from 3-point range, and they made only 11 of them for 34.4 percent.

DeAndre Jordan pulled down 15 rebounds, but the team as a whole only had 35, well under its season average of 42.1, which is only 24th-best in the league. Minnesota had 42 rebounds.

Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford lead Clippers to narrow halftime lead over Timberwolves

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul scored 12 points and Jamal Crawford had 10 as the Clippers took a 55-53 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves into the halftime break Wednesday at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in the half, during which Clippers reserve guard Austin Rivers was ejected after getting two technical fouls because he barked at officials for not calling a foul after he made a tough layup.

The T’Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins led everyone with 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting.

The Clippers (32-16) shot 52.8 percent in the half, the T’Wolves 53.5. Minnesota is 14-36.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 120-93 victory over Chicago

Wesley Johnson plays tough defense on Jimmy Butler of the Bulls in the Clippers’ 120-93 victory on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht

 

– Once again the bench sparkled. Jamal Crawford scored 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting, Austin Rivers scored 16 and was 5 of 6 from 3-point range and Wesley Johnson scored 11 on 4 of 8 shooting – 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. The bench outscored the Bulls bench 58-18. The Clippers shot 53.1 percent (17 of 32) from long-distance.

J.J. Redick had a very poor shooting game on Friday against the Lakers, making just 2 of 10 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range. He rebounded nicely in this one, scoring 21 points 7 of 11 from the field – 4 of 4 from deep, where Redick is shooting a league-leading 48.6 percent.

DeAndre Jordan continued his rebounding tear, pulling down 20. He has had 19, 19, 17 and 20 rebounds his past four games and has raised his season average to 13.8, second to Andre Drummond (15.0) of Detroit. Jordan also had 17 points, four assists, four blocks and a steal

Paul Pierce’s struggles continued. He played just under 16 minutes and missed all six of his field-goal attempts, five of them coming from 3-point range. The 38-year-old Pierce is shooting 33.6 percent from the field overall, by far the worst percentage of his career, which is in its 18th season. He’s shooting 30.6 percent from beyond the arc, third-worst of his career. He shot 30.2 percent from there in 2002-03 and 29.9 percent in 2003-04.

– Considering the Clippers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, it’s always news when they outrebound an opponent. They did that in this one, taking 46 to Chicago’s 42. Besides Jordan’s 20, Lance Stephenson grabbed six boards in less than 10 minutes off the bench. Cole Aldrich and Redick had four apiece.

Wesley Johnson: Jamal Crawford has found fountain of youth

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Wesley Johnson  marveled at teammate Jamal Crawford after Crawford scored 26 points Sunday afternoon to lead the Clippers to a 120-93 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Crawford shot 11 of 15 and also had three assists and a steal. All at age 35.

“He’s found the fountain of youth somewhere,” Johnson said. “So everybody is trying to get how he feels so young and looks so young still. But it’s not like he’s surprising us by what he does on the court.”

The Clippers are now 15-3 without Blake Griffin.

Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan help Clippers to 51-47 halftime lead over Chicago Bulls

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Jamal Crawford scored 12 points and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds as the Clippers took a 51-47 lead over the Chicago Bulls into the halftime break Sunday at Staples Center.

Wesley Johnson and Chris Paul contributed eight points apiece for the Clippers (31-16).

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls (26-19) with 12 points and Derrick Rose scored eight.

Austin Rivers, after latest win: ‘Shout out to the second unit’

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

There was a lot of talk about what the second unit did for the Clippers (31-16)  in their 105-93 victory over the Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center.

Austin Rivers scored 17 points in 26-plus minutes on 8 of 14 shooting, Lance Stephenson scored 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting in 22 1/2 minutes. Jamal Crawford’s line was not quite as impressive, but he still scored 15 points on 5 of 13 from the field in 28 1/2 minutes. Stephenson also had five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block; Crawford had four assists.

Afterward, Rivers spoke in prideful tones about the reserves.

“Shout out to the second-unit,” he said. “The first unit has been pushing us and what we have done is not worry about our offense. We just focus on getting stops and when you do that, you just play free as a unit. Jamal (Crawford) and I are being aggressive and scoring. We are also playing defense – Pablo (Prigioni) and Cole (Aldrich) are doing a great job of that. Lance (Stephenson) did an unbelievable job tonight, so our second unit just has to keep it up and get better.”