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.”

Five things to take from Clippers’ 105-93 victory over the Lakers

DeAndre Jordan dunks during the Clippers’ 105-93 victory over the Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht

 

– Reserves Austin Rivers, Lance Stephenson and Jamal Crawford scored 17, 16 and 15 points, respectively. When a team’s bench plays like that, it’s tough to beat. Although Crawford shot just 5 of 13, Rivers shot 8 of 14, Stephenson 6 of 7.

– The highlight-reel play of the game was Stephenson’s high-flying dunk over Lakers power forward Julius Randle in the fourth quarter. Stephenson is 6-foot-5, Randle is 6-9. Staples Center went crazy as this was a Clippers home game.

DeAndre Jordan pulled down 17 rebounds. That means he has 19, 19 and 17 in his past three games. He has raised his average to 13.7, second to Detroit’s Andre Drummond, whose average is 15.1.

– It was a rare off night for J.J. Redick, who is having his best shooting season in his career, which is in its 10th season. Redick shot just 2 of 10 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range.

– The Clippers won this game by 12 points, but they were outrebounded by 10 (48-38). The Clippers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. At 42.2 per game, they are 24th out of 30 teams. They allow opponents 46.5. That’s a negative differential of 4.3. Only Atlanta’s (minus-5.1) is worse.

BONUS TAKE – The Clippers are now 14-3 without Blake Griffin.

Jamal Crawford talks about getting through latest adversity

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Friday defeated the Lakers 105-93 at Staples Center. That means the Clippers have gone 14-3 without Blake Griffin, who will now be out at least another month after fracturing his right hand when he punched out team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi this past Saturday in Toronto.

Jamal Crawford scored 15 points for the Clippers (31-16) on Friday. Afterward, he spoke about getting through this controversy in one piece.

“I think it would be difficult if we were a younger team,” he said. “Since we have veterans and high-IQ guys, we are able to adjust on the fly. At the end of the day, we play for each other.

“It can be somebody’s night one night and not somebody’s night the next. But that is just part of being a team.”

Five things to take from Clippers’ 85-83 victory at Atlanta

Jeff Teague, left, of Atlanta and Wesley Johnson of the Clippers battle for a loose ball during the Clippers’ 85-83 victory Wednesday at Atlanta/AP photo by John Bazemore

 

– Under the circumstances, this was one of the best victories of the season for the Clippers. Not only were they still reeling from the Blake Griffin incident, they somehow won this game even though they shot just 38.8 percent from the field, 18.5 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. The Clippers (30-16) are now 13-3 sans Griffin, who likely won’t be back until the beginning of March because of his fractured hand.

– Like Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson has been up and down with his shot this season. He shot 3 of 12 in this one, just 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Then again, even though coach Doc Rivers has at times referred to Johnson as “a great shooter,” he has never been that. Johnson is shooting just 41.1 percent overall for his 5-plus years career, a more respectable 34.7 from beyond the arc. Those numbers this season are 42.6 and 34.5, respectively.

– Speaking of Crawford, he was hot in this one, scoring a team-high 21 points on 9 of 16 shooting. Crawford attempted just two 3-point field goals and made one.

– The Clippers did play solid defense. The Hawks shot 43.5 percent (10 of 23) from 3-point range, but just 41.8 overall. Also, the Clippers had a hand in Atlanta committing a whopping 22 turnovers. The Clippers had 11 turnovers.

– Speaking of defense, the Clippers came through with 16 steals, a rather massive amount for one game. Johnson had six of them, Chris Paul had three and Luc Mbah a Moute and Austin Rivers each had two. The Clippers average 7.9 steals per game.

BONUS TAKE: DeAndre Jordan grabbed 19 rebounds for the second consecutive game.

Jamal Crawford: ‘Adversity not only builds character, it reveals it’

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers had a really lousy night shooting the ball Wednesday at Atlanta. They made only 38.8 percent of their shots overall, just 18.5 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. Yet they found a win to beat the Hawks 85-83.

The victory sealed a 3-2 record on the East Coast swing. The victory Tuesday at Indiana and Wednesday’s were played with the Clippers (30-16) knowing the world had found out about Blake Griffin punching out assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Saturday in Toronto, the day before the Clippers were beaten by the Raptors there.

A victory like Wednesday’s told a lot about the team, Jamal Crawford said.

“I think adversity not only builds character, it reveals it,” said Crawford, who rebounded from two very poor shooting games by making 9 of 16 from the field to lead the team with 21 points. “For us, we’ll not only continue to grow and have each other’s back, we’ll continue to move forward.”

 

Five things to take from Clippers’ 91-89 victory over Indiana

Cole Aldrich, left, of the Clippers goes up for a shot while being defended by Indiana’s Myles Turner (33) and Jordan Hill (27)/AP photo by Michael Conroy

 

– Kudos to the Clippers for this victory. They could have gone into it really bummed out about the news regarding Blake Griffin, who will now miss four to six more weeks with a fractured right hand after punching out the team’s assistant equipment manager on Saturday in Toronto. The Clippers are now 12-3 without Griffin since Christmas.

– The Clippers actually made fewer field goals than Indiana. They made 32, the Pacers 35. But the Clippers won this game at the 3-point line, where they made 15 of 37 for 40.5 percent. Indiana made just 5 of 16 for 31.3 percent.

Jamal Crawford continued his up-and-down shooting season by making just 1 of 9 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Crawford has now shot 2 of 15 over his past two games, 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. Crawford is shooting 38.7 overall, 32.2 percent from long-distance. His career percentages over 15-plus years are 41.0 and 34.9, respectively.

DeAndre Jordan scored only nine points. But he blocked three shots and pulled down a whopping 19 rebounds in a spirited effort. Jordan is now averaging 13.5 rebounds, second in the league to Andre Drummond (15.2) of Detroit.

– After some recent slippage, Doc Rivers and his players were pleased with the defense they played in this one. The Pacers shot 42.2 percent overall and committed 17 turnovers.