Those Wednesday home games against poor teams killing Clippers

Chris Paul of the Clippers works hard for a shot as Denver’s Kenneth Faried defends against him during Wednesday night’s game at Staples Center, won 87-81 by the Nuggets/AP photo by Alex Gallardo


The L.A. Clippers had some explaining to do following their unlikely 87-81 loss to the lowly Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night at Staples Center. It reminded guard J.J. Redick of another home loss this month to another lousy team on the same night of the week.

“You’re going to have games throughout the season where you come out flat,” he said. “Whether it is energy (or) focus, those games happen. You’re not going to play 82 perfect games. In the second half, we got back into it with our defense. I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win. It is nights like tonight where the really great teams figure out how to win. We’ve had some games where we have done that. I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the Atlanta game, the Indiana game (both narrow road wins).

“But tonight’s game and the (Minnesota) Timberwolves game this month, Wednesday night games at home, they are frustrating games to lose. We feel like those games, that if we play the right way, we will win.”

The Nuggets are 23-35. The Timberwolves, now 18-40, defeated the Clippers 108-102 on Feb. 3.

Although coach Doc Rivers indicated after the game his team played with “the right intentions,” point guard Chris Paul was another who suggested there may have been an overall lack of pizzazz.

“It was a tough loss,” said Paul. whose team next plays Friday night at 7 at Sacramento. “You have to give them a lot of credit for playing hard, but at the same time we have to win games like this.

“I came out before the game started and said, ‘We have to bring our own energy.’ It was kind of flat out there, kind of dead tonight. In these tight games, we have to win.”

The Clippers are 37-20.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 87-81 loss to the Nuggets

Clippers guard Chris Paul, left, reaches in for the ball against Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay on Wednesday night at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Chris Paul guards Emmanuel Mudiay of Denver during the Nuggets’ stunning 87-81 victory over the Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center/AP photo by Alex Gallardo


– The Clippers shot 28.3 percent from 3-point range. That was not good. The worst part of it is that they took 46 3-point shots. That was more than half of the 85 shots taken overall by the Clippers, and a franchise high. Tough to win like that. Tough to score like that. Just think, the Clippers average 104.8 points on offense – seventh in the league. They scored 81 in this one. Bottom line is, losing to a team that is now just 23-35 on your home court is a bad loss for the Clippers (37-20), who are battling for position in the playoffs with just 25 regular-season games left. The Clippers are currently fourth in the West. They’d like to get to third so they wouldn’t have to face Golden State in the second round.

– Speaking of those long shots, Doc Rivers said he had the right guys shooting the 3s. They just didn’t fall, he said. J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford shot 6 of 12 and 3 of 7, respectively. Redick is shooting a league-best 48.1 percent from beyond the arc, but Crawford is shooting just 32.5 percent. Chris Paul was 3 of 8 and he’s shooting a very respectable 38.2 percent from distance. Wesley Johnson, however, was 1 of 7 and he’s one of the last ones who should continue shooting the bombs on an off night as he is shooting only 33.6 percent from 3-point range. Pablo Prigioni was 0 of 4 and Jeff Green and Paul Pierce were both 0 of 3 and Luc Mbah a Moute coming in at 0 of 2.

Chris Paul got a bit more banged up in this one. He had a tight calf and he took an elbow to his left foreman. “I’ll be all right,” he said, afterward, like he always does. He scored 17 points, doled out 10 assists, made four steals and committed two turnovers in just more than 35 minutes.

– Nice game by Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried. He had 21 points on 10 of 15 shooting – there was a memorable monster dunk in there – in under 23 minutes. He had an assist and a steal, for good measure.

– The Clippers got within two points late. But they couldn’t get a stop. Trailing 80-78, Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay missed a layup with 3:23 to play. The Nuggets got one of their 14 offensive rebounds, as Nikola Jokic put it back in for an 82-78 lead. The Clippers got back within two on a 6-footer by Green. But Gary Harris buried a 30-foot 3-pointer for an 85-80 lead with 1:58 to go, and the Clippers could not recover, getting no closer than four points at 85-81 on a free throw by DeAndre Jordan with 59.7 seconds left. That was the Clippers’ only point in the last 2:26, when the aforementioned shot by Green was made.

Clippers go cold and trail Nuggets 53-39 at the halftime break

J.J. Redick

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


After getting off to a quick start and leading the Denver Nuggets 11-4, the Clippers went cold and trail the Nuggets 53-39 at the halftime break.

The Clippers (37-19) shot just 34.1 percent overall, 27.3 (6 of 22) from 3-point range. The Nuggets (22-35) shot 43.1 percent, just 18.2 (2 of 11) from beyond the arc.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 11 points and Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford each scored 10.

Kenneth Faried led Denver with 17 points.

REPORT: Clippers offered Blake Griffin, Lance Stephenson to Denver for four players

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


With the trade deadline coming up Thursday, rumors have swirled about which players might be changing uniforms. According to a story on the that cited ESPN, the Clippers recently offered up Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson to the Denver Nuggets for forward Kenneth Faried, center Nikola Jokic, forward Danilo Gallinari and guard-forward Will Barton.

Faried, Jokic and Gallinari are starters, Barton comes off the bench.

Gallinari leads Denver in scoring with a 19.7 average, Faried leads the Nuggets in rebounding with an 8.9 average.

Doc Rivers, head coach and president of basketball operations, has denied that Griffin is on the block.

Griffin has not played since Dec. 25 against the Lakers. It was revealed the next day that Griffin had a partially torn left quad tendon. Just as he was about to get back on the court, Griffin sustained a fractured right hand when he punched team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Jan. 23 at a restaurant in Toronto.

Griffin was eventually suspended four games without pay and lost an additional game without pay for injuries he sustained in the altercation.