Jamal Crawford sustains contusion of right calf Monday in Minnesota

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Sixth-man Jamal Crawford has sustained a right calf contusion Monday at Minnesota and will not be available for the rest of the game. He scored nine points in the first half, after which the Clippers trailed 60-58.

The Clippers (39-21) were already without Blake Griffin (elbow) Matt Barnes (hamstring).

The Timberwolves (13-45) were leading the Clippers 80-73 with 5:28 left in the third quarter.

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After leading by 18, Clippers down by two points at halftime at Minnesota

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 19 points and nine assists in the first half Monday at Minnesota/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Monday night at Minnesota led by 18 points (36-18) with 50 seconds left in the first quarter. They trailed by two (60-58) at halftime. That’s a 20-point turnaround against the worst team in the Western Conference as Minnesota entered play with a record of 13-45.

The Clippers (39-21) – 6-3 without the injured Blake Griffin (elbow) – got 19 points and nine assists from Chris Paul in the half. Jamal Crawford scored nine points, J.J. Redick eight and DeAndre Jordan had six points and nine rebounds.

Recently signed Jordan Hamilton started for Matt Barnes at small forward because Barnes is out with a hamstring injury. Hamilton scored five points in the first quarter and did not score in the second.

Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine scored 12 points apiece for the Timberwolves in the half.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ big 97-79 victory over Grizzlies in Memphis

Glen “Big Baby” Davis reacts during the Clippers’ 97-79 victory at Memphis on Friday/Photo by Brandon Dill, Associated Press

 

- The importance of this victory should not be minimized. The Clippers (38-21) were coming off consecutive losses for the first time since losing Blake Griffin to an elbow injury. Four days after not playing well down the stretch and losing by three points at home to Memphis, the Clippers dominated the Grizzlies on their home court. Without Griffin. They did it with terrific defense, too, holding Memphis to just 37.9 percent shooting.

- Speaking of Griffin, he has now missed the past eight games because of the staph infection that was surgically removed from his right elbow. Four of those victories were against Dallas (5th, Western Conference), Houston (3rd, West), San Antonio (7th, West) and now Memphis (2nd, West). How many people would have thought the Clippers would have that many quality victories without Griffin? Not many.

- Safe to say, Chris Paul wasn’t tripping off his turnover at the end of Monday’s loss to Memphis that was responsible for the Clippers not getting off a shot that could have won the game. All Paul did in this one was score 19 points with 13 assists, four rebounds, two steals and just one turnover in 40 minutes.

- Man, DeAndre Jordan is not messing around out there, is he? He scored 15 points. But that’s just the start of it. He also grabbed a whopping 22 rebounds with three assists, two steals and three blocks. Other than that, he didn’t do a thing. Jordan is averaging 17.1 points and 18.5 rebounds in the eight games Griffin has missed. He’s averaging 16.0 points and 17.2 rebounds in 11 games in February. In four games, he had at least 20 rebounds with a high of 27 in a Feb. 9 win at Dallas. He entered play Friday averaging 11.2 points and 14.0 rebounds.

- The shooting guard tandem of J.J. Redick and sixth-man Jamal Crawford continues to be one of the best around. Redick scored 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting – 2 of 5 from 3-point range – and Crawford scored 19 points on 8 of 16 shooting, also 2 of 5 from beyond the arc. Crawford has averaged 21.2 points in the eight games missed by Griffin, Redick has averaged 15.0. Teams either have to worry about being out-dazzlied by Crawford or out-worked by runaround Redick.

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Jamal Crawford just loves taking shots that others might not even attempt

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

One thing about sixth-man Jamal Crawford, not only does he have the ability to get scalding hot and carry a team with a grip of points in rapid fashion, some of the shots he takes and makes are extremely difficult. He sinks 28-foot 3-pointers with defenders in his face, he makes them falling down and out of bounds, and so on.

Crawford tries to explain.

“I have just always, ever since I was young, made those shots that (to) other people are difficult,” he said. “I’m not trying to brag about it, but they’re really not that difficult for me, honestly.

“Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t, but I’m really comfortable taking them.”

Crawford scored a game-high 24 points in Wednesday’s 110-105 loss at Houston.

The Clippers (37-21) on Friday night at 5 will play at Memphis (41-15). The Clippers are sixth in the Western Conference standings, the Grizzlies are second.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 110-105 loss Wednesday at Houston

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan had another big game for the Clippers on Wednesday at Houston/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- The Clippers received another fine overall effort from DeAndre Jordan, who came through with 22 points and a whopping 19 rebounds. Jordan is averaging 17.4 points and 18.0 rebounds in the past seven games, all missed by the injured Blake Griffin. Jordan’s season scoring average is up to 11.2 and his league-leading rebounding average is up to 14.0.

- OK, so the Clippers have now lost two in a row since winning four of their first five without Griffin. But there is no shame in losing to Memphis by three points and by just five on the road at Houston. The Grizzlies and Rockets are second and third in the Western Conference standings, respectively. The problem is, every one of these games is so vital at this point. The Clippers (37-21) are sixth in the West and would love to be in the top four entering the playoffs for homecourt advantage in the first round. As tough as the West is, playing a Game 7 at home could be the difference between advancing and going home.

- Jamal Crawford has been on a roll. He scored 24 points in this one on 10 of 17 shooting and is averaging 21.3 points over his past eight games. His season scoring average is up to 16.5, the same average he held in 2012-13 in his first season with the Clippers. Crawford averaged 18.6 points in ’13-’14. Crawford made three 3-pointers Wednesday and now has 1,808 for his career. He is eighth all-time and is now only 22 behind Chauncey Billups (1,830).

- It’s tough to win close games against good teams – especially on the road – when you have 15 turnovers and 18 assists. By contrast, Houston had 27 assists and just nine turnovers.

- The Rockets also blocked nine shots – five by Terrence Jones. The Clippers – even with the shot-blocking machine Jordan – had only four blocks. Jordan had two of them.

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Clippers stand pat as NBA trading deadline comes and goes without move

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford survived Thursday’s trading deadline/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The NBA trading deadline came and went Thursday and the Clippers did not make a move. For fans of sixth-man Jamal Crawford, that is good news as, for some reason, he was rumored to be on the trading block..

Other Western Conference teams did, however, make moves. For example, guard Arron Afflalo went from Denver to Portland and center Enes Kanter went from Utah to Oklahoma City in a three-team deal that also sent Thunder backup point guard Reggie Jackson to the Detroit Pistons and Thunder backup post Kendrick Perkins to Utah, as per YahooSports.

Also, Phoenix traded away guards Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas to Miami and Boston in separate deals.

The Clippers can still sign players who have been bought out by March 1 and they would be eligible for the post-season.

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Jamal Crawford says he can’t worry about trade rumors containing his name

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Sixth-man Jamal Crawford told reporters earlier this season that he’s gotten used to hearing his name mentioned in trade rumors, and he was hearing them again this week. Ever the professional, Crawford said he is not concerned.

“At the end of the day, I can’t worry about stuff I can’t control,” Crawford said Wednesday at practice. “I just have to do my job and be as professional as possible, whether something changes or nothing changes.”
Crawford previously said that while he would love to continue playing for the Clippers, he would have no problem playing elsewhere.

Again, he’s a pro.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 110-95 victory over the Houston Rockets

DeAndre Jordan plays defense on Josh Smith of the Rockets/Photo by Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

- DeAndre Jordan had 20 rebounds, his sixth game of the season with at least 20 and third in the past week and a half. Yet, when New Orleans’ Anthony Davis on Wednesday declared himself out of the All-Star game, NBA commissioner Adam Silver selected Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki to replace Davis instead of Jordan. Coach Doc Rivers was upset about this after the game, and for good reason. It’s about time Silver realized how valuable Jordan is to his team as the beastly rebounder and defensive wizard he has become.

- It’s true that Houston was without post Dwight Howard (knee). But the Clippers were without Blake Griffin (elbow), and Griffin is probably more valuable to the Clippers than Howard is to the Rockets. That said, this was a very good victory for the Clippers, who never trailed by more than four points and led by as many as the final margin – 15 points.

- Jamal Crawford can be having an off-night shooting the ball and be Mr. Clutch on that same night, like he was in this one when he banked in a 30-foot 3-pointer to give the Clippers an 89-81 lead. The Rockets never got closer than five points after that. Crawford scored 20 points, but shot just 6 of 15 from the field, 1 of 4 from 3-point range.

- Griffin has missed the past three games with his elbow injury, and the Clippers have won two of them, including the past two. For a team coming off a tough 3-5 Grammy trip, taking two victories into the All-Star break figures to give it a lift.

- They say things can become contagious in a sporting event. Such as poor shooting. The teams combined to shoot 19.4 percent (13 of 67) from 3-point range. The Rockets were 9 of 45 (20 percent), the Clippers were 4 of 22 (18.2 percent). Just awful. But it feels worse for Houston because it lost.

 

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VIDEO: Check out this long 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford in win over Rockets

Jamal Crawford is not shy launching long shots on the basketball court. He banked in this 30-foot 3-pointer that gave the Clippers an 89-81 lead over the Houston Rockets early in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s 110-95 Clippers victory at Staples Center. Crawford scored 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting. But he was just 1 of 4 from 3-point range. Here is the one long shot he made:

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Jamal Crawford says everyone has to find what he can do better to help team

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The pressure is on the Clippers (34-19). They are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings and would love to move into the top four so they can play a first-round playoff series with homecourt advantage and so they can avoid playing either first-place Golden State or second-place Memphis in the first round, which would happen if they fall to seventh or eighth in the West.

With Blake Griffin (elbow) out at least a month, and with a brutal stretch of 14 games coming up against mostly playoff teams, none of this is going to be easy. The key, sixth-man Jamal Crawford suggested, us unity.

Soul-searching. You’ve got to look deep,” Crawford said after his team won Monday at Dallas to complete a 3-5 Grammy road trip. “You have to look in the mirror, take a step back and see what you can do better. Collectively, you have to have each others’ backs.”

 

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