Clippers down by nine points to Detroit Pistons at halftime

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


After trailing by as many as 17 points, the Clippers did well to trail the Detroit Pistons by just nine (60-51) at halftime Saturday at Staples Center.

Playing without starting guards Chris Paul (groin strain) and J.J. Redick (back spasms), the Clippers were led in the half by Jamal Crawford’s 17 points. Blake Griffin scored 11 and DeAndre Jordan scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Reggie Jackson had 12 points for the Pistons, Ersan Ilyasova scored 11 and Andre Drummond had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Mater Dei High produced Stanley Johnson contributed nine points.



Five things to take from Clippers’ 118-104 loss to Phoenix

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


– Nine games in and the Clippers are 5-4. That could not have been expected by anyone. But the Clippers can at least take solace in knowing that they were missing Chris Paul (groin) and J.J. Redick (back) the entire game and Blake Griffin (ejected) for half of it. Those are their three leading scorers.

Griffin already has four technical fouls this season, tying him for the league lead with Paul George of Indiana. Griffin had two in this one. Tell you what, though, this guy gets hammered hard almost every time he gets into the paint and often nothing is called. It happened in Dallas a night earlier, as well.

– It’s difficult to take anything positive from a 14-point loss. But Wesley Johnson did score 14 points, his first double-digit performance for the Clippers. He was 3 of 6 from 3-point range.

– It’s true, the Clippers were severely short-handed. But it’s worth nothing that the Suns shot 53 percent from the field, 46.7 (14 of 30) from 3-point range. “Our defense was awful,” Doc Rivers said. “Back-to-back 118, 53-percent (games).” The Mavericks actually shot 55.3 percent in their 118-108 win over the Clippers on Wednesday.

– Another good thing for the Clippers was the game had by Jamal Crawford. He had a season-high 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He also had three steals. Alas, it wasn’t all gravy as Crawford had five of his team’s 14 turnovers; Lance Stephenson had four.

Clippers, Grizzlies tied 46-46 at halftime at Staples Center

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Two free throws by Jamal Crawford with 7.4 seconds left enabled the Clippers to go into halftime tied 46-46 with the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 13 points five rebounds and DeAndre Jordan had nine points and four rebounds. Crawford contributed seven points off the bench.

Chris Paul, who missed Saturday’s game with a groin strain, started and scored three points while doling out two assists.

The Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph led everyone with 16 points.


Jamal Crawford expects Matt Barnes to have ‘extra juice’

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Memphis Grizzlies


Former Clippers forward Matt Barnes returned to Staples Center on Monday as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said at the morning shootaround he expects Barnes, who played the previous three seasons with the Clippers, to hit the court with a bit more emotion than he usually does, which is saying a lot.

“I think when you go home, it’s like your home city and you want to do well in front of your family and friends,” Crawford said. “And I think when you leave a team, it’s always a little extra juice.”

These Clippers are not into moral victories, that’s for sure

J.J. Redick

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


Considering they were down by 17 points in the second quarter to the defending-champion Golden State Warriors on Wednesday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, where just two nights earlier the Warriors demolished Memphis by 50 points, one would think the L.A. Clippers might look at their eventual four-point loss (112-108) as a moral victory of sorts.

Not necessarily.

“It would have been encouraging if we won,” shooting guard J.J. Redick said post-game. “We are not the ‘Bad News Bears.’ We are a team that has championship aspirations and for us to do that, we have to win.”

Center DeAndre Jordan was asked if he was encouraged by the showing. He shot that down.

“No, we lost,” he said. “It still goes in the loss column. We learned a few things. We know we can get a lot better.”

Then again, sixth-man Jamal Crawford could not deny that there was some good that came out of the team’s first setback of the season.

“The fact that we fought back is encouraging,” said Crawford, whose team next plays host to Houston on Saturday night at Staples Center. “To get down 17 in this environment against the champs and still have resolve and still have the lead in the fourth quarter shows a lot of character on this team.”

Even Jordan had to go along with that.

“Yeah, I think we can compete with not just them, but anyone,” he said. “Like I said before, they are a great team with a lot of great guys who have been together for a while and so have we. They have probably one of the best crowds in the league and I’m proud of the way we came in.

“We have a lot of work to do, but we will be all right.”

The Clippers went up by 10 points at 97-87 on a basket by Crawford with 7:56 to play. They were outscored 25-11 down the stretch.

The Clippers are now 4-1, the Warriors 5-0.

The Clippers play host to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night at Staples Center.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 102-96 win over Phoenix

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a win over the Suns on Nov. 2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht // Daily News)

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a win over the Suns on Nov. 2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht // Daily News)

Blake Griffin led all scorers with 22 points and he pulled down 10 rebounds in 34 minutes of work. He was 11-of-15 from the free throw line and 13-of-22 shooting from the field. In the waning minutes of the game when he was on the free throw line, Griffin was even serenaded with a smattering of “M-V-P” chants.

— After scoring just 15 points in the win against the Kings on Oct. 31, the Clippers bench “won the game” against the Suns, according to head coach Doc Rivers. Jamal Crawford led the team’s reserves with 11 points with Wesley Johnson finishing with nine. Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Austin Rivers each had seven.

— Along with the production from the bench came a good rest for the starting unit. The team had 10 players with at least 14 minutes. It’s still early in the season, yes, but Chris Paul noted the importance of depth for a team with championship aspirations.

“You look at the teams that are most successful in our league, they have that depth,” Paul said. “They sit fourth quarters and stuff like that because the starters start it out and the bench lifts them up. I think our bench was amazing tonight and we need that.”

— This is the first 4-0 start for the Clippers since 2007-08 and only the fourth such start for the team ever.

“It’s good to start out the season like this,” DeAndre Jordan said. “But we have to keep it going and keep improving as the games come.”

— The Clippers go for the 5-0 start Wednesday when they face Golden State on the road. It’s a battle of the last two unbeaten teams in the Western Conference who also happen to have a healthy rivalry between them.

The Warriors pounded the Grizzlies on Monday, winning by 50. A reporter went to ask Jordan about the matchup, starting a question by noting “how well” the Warriors are playing. Before she could finish, Jordan responded, “so are we.”

“They’re the champs,” Rivers said. “They’re a really good basketball team. … That swagger is hard to knock off.”