Chris Paul scores 13 as Clippers lead Lakers 52-44 at halftime

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Chris Paul scored 13 points and Jeff Green scored 11 as the Clippers on Tuesday night took a lead of 52-44 over the Lakers into the halftime break at Staples Center.

This is the first of a back-to-back with the Lakers, meaning it’s the final two times the Clippers will play against the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who is retiring after this season.

Bryant began the game shooting 0 of 8, but made his final two shots of the half. He has six points. D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 12 points and Metta World Peace scored 10.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 99-79 victory over Timberwolves

The Clippers' Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, middle, splits the defense of Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins, left, and Ricky Rubio during Wednesday's game. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Luc Mbah a Moute of the Clippers, center, tries to drive through Andrew Wiggins (22) and Ricky Rubio of the Timberwolves during Wednesday’s game in Minnesota/AP photo by Ann Heisenfelt


– The Clippers continued their stingy ways on defense in this one. Not only did they hold the Timberwolves to 79 points, the Clippers held them to just 34.8-percent shooting. The Clippers have now given up an average of just 88.2 points over their past four games – all victories. They also helped harass Minnesota into 16 turnovers while committing just eight of their own.

– Speaking of defensive ferocity, the Clippers blocked nine shots. DeAndre Jordan had three blocks and Wes Johnson, Jeff Green and Cole Aldrich had two apiece. By contrast, the T’Wolves had one measly block. As for Aldrich, he is from Bloomington, Minn., so he was playing at home and he had family in the stands.

– This was the third game of Blake Griffin’s four-game suspension. He will sit out Thursday night’s game at Oklahoma City and will then be eligible to play Sunday when the Clippers host the Washington Wizards at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center. The Clippers (47-27) are 30-14 without Griffin, who has not played since Christmas because of two injuries and now this suspension for punching a team equipment staffer in January.

– Johnson shot 3 of 6 for the Clippers, which means he has shot 13 of 20 (65 percent) over his past four games. For someone who has been so up and down with his shot this season, that’s a very good sign.

– The hard-playing Chris Paul didn’t shoot particularly well – he was 6 of 16 overall, 1 of 4 from 3-point range – but he still scored a game-high 20 points. More importantly, he doled out 16 assists and also tied DeAndre Jordan for team-high honors in rebounds with eight.

Defense was the key to Clippers’ fourth consecutive victory

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad, center, tries to get to the basket under pressure from Los Angeles Clippers forward Jeff Green, left, and guard Austin Rivers during the first half. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Jeff Green, left, of the Clippers and teammate Austin Rivers guard Shabazz Muhammad of the Minnesota Timbervolves during Wednesday’s game in Minnesota/AP photo by Ann Heisenfelt


Chris Paul knew only too well his Clippers had a rather mediocre game offensively Wednesday night when they played at Minnesota. But another fine defensive showing helped overcome that in the Clippers’ 99-79 victory, their fourth in a row.

“Yeah, if you think about it, we didn’t even have one of our great offensive nights,” Paul said. “Me and J.J. (Redick) missed a lot of great looks and we still were able to get the separation that we did because our defense was so consistent and just kept us in the game.”

The Clippers blocked nine shots with DeAndre Jordan getting three and Cole Aldrich, Wes Johnson and Jeff Green two apiece.

The Clippers (47-27) held Minnesota to 34.5 percent shooting, 34.8 (8 of 23) from 3-point range. The T’Wolves also failed at the free-throw line, making just 64.7 percent (11 of 17).

The Clippers shot 44 percent overall, just 29 percent (9 of 31) from deep. They shot 88.9 percent from the free-throw line, though, with Jordan (1 of 3) the only one who missed; Paul was 7 of 7.

Paul shot just 6 of 16 from the field, 1 of 4 from distance. Redick was 6 of 15 and 4 of 12.



Five things to take from Clippers’ 114-90 victory over Celtics

DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers scores two of his 15 points on this dunk during the first half of the Clippers’ 114-90 victory over the Boston Celtics/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill


Doc Rivers and his players talked quite a bit about the defense the team played in this victory. The Celtics shot just 34.8 percent from the field and much of that was because of that defense. Boston’s Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 24 points, but he shot just 5 of 14 as 12 of his points came from the free-throw line.

– The starters did not have to play in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game, thanks to a 22-point lead (92-70) after three quarters that quickly grew to 25 at the outset of the fourth. Rivers liked that. “It’s huge, it’s huge,” he said.

Paul Pierce was off to a fine start, scoring eight points on 4 of 6 shooting, when he went down with w right ankle sprain in the second quarter. Rivers said Pierce will be out for “a little bit. We don’t know how long yet.” Pierce also had three rebounds, two assists and a steal.

– The Clippers’ bench had a solid outing, scoring 67 of the team’s 114 points – more than half. Austin Rivers led the reserves – and the entire team – with 16 points. Jamal Crawford scored 15, Wes Johnson 11 and Jeff Green 10. That’s not to mention that Cole Aldrich had six points on 3 of 3 shooting and also pulled down seven rebounds in just under 14 minutes.

– By the time this night was over, it became apparent that there is a chance the Clippers will not be playing Memphis in the first round, as most are expecting. That’s because the Grizzlies lost at home to San Antonio and Portland defeated Sacramento. Memphis is in fifth-place in the Western Conference standings and would place the fourth-place Clippers if the standings don’t change. But the sixth-place Trail Blazers are now just 2 1/2 games behind the Grizzlies. Memphis has eight games remaining, Portland seven. If those two teams switch spots, the Clippers would play the Trail Blazers in the first round. There is little chance the Clippers won’t finish fourth.

Clippers hold 52-48 lead over Denver Nuggets at halftime

J.J. Redick

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


The Clippers led by as many as 14 points over the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter Sunday. By the time halftime rolled around, the Clippers led by just four (52-48) at Staples Center.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 10 points, Chris Paul and Jeff Green each scored nine and DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 11 rebounds.

The Clippers (44-27) shot 43.5 percent in the half.

D.J. Augustin led the Nuggets (31-42) with 16 points off the bench and Gary Harris scored 11. Denver shot 39.1 percent.

Clippers trail Warriors 51-49 at halftime at Oracle Arena in Oakland

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Jamal Crawford scored 10 points, Jeff Green had nine and DeAndre Jordan scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Clippers (43-26) trailed the host Golden State warriors by just 51-49 at halftime at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors have won 50 regular-season home games in a row.

Steph Curry led the Warriors (63-7) with 14 points, but he shot just 2 of 7 from distance. Harrison Barnes scored 11.