Doc Rivers: Some all-time greats will soon ride off into sunset

Paul Pierce


Paul Pierce/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

It was noted to coach Doc Rivers that the Christmas night game between the Clippers and Lakers might be the last time we see Kobe Bryant and the Clippers’ Paul Pierce play on Christmas. Bryant has already said he is retiring at the end of the season.

“I mean, I don’t know about Paul because he still loves playing and all that,” Rivers said of Pierce, 38. “He hasn’t had the injuries that Kobe has had, so that’s made a difference. We’re going through this golden age right now with not just Kobe, but Tim Duncan, Paul, KG (Kevin Garnett).

“I mean, there are five or six of the greatest players that ever played the game that we’re not going to see within the next two years and so I think we should cherish that ever time we see them, every time you’re around them. I think they deserve every bit of respect that you can give them.”

VIDEO: Kevin Garnett, 39, powers down a dunk in Blake Griffin’s face

Kevin Garnett, 39, has always been one of the more passionate – even vicious – players on the court during his long career. If you like vicious, check out this dunk the old man threw down on the Clippers’ 26-year-old Blake Griffin on Monday in the Clippers’ 110-106 victory at Minnesota. It’s not very nice:

Chris Paul talks about tough shot over Kevin Garnett late in win at Minnesota

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


There were two very big baskets by the Clippers down the stretch in their 110-105 victory Monday night at Minnesota. Spencer Hawes buried a 3-pointer for a 105-101 lead with 1:31 to play. Then, with 38 seconds left, Chris Paul made a 19-footer over the 6-foot-11 Kevin Garnett for a 108-103 lead, all but sealing the Timberwolves’ fate.

Since Paul is only 6-foot, his shot over Garnett was not easy to make.

“I tried to get the iso (isolated play),” Paul said. “They took away my step-back and I put up a tough one and it went down.”

Paul scored 26 points and had 14 assists.



Five things to take from Clippers’ 110-105 victory Monday at Minnesota

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


Jordan Hamilton started for the injured Matt Barnes (hamstring) and came through with 10 points and three rebounds in just under 26 minutes. He made 2 of 6 from 3-point range and did not commit a turnover. It was a solid showing for his first dose of real minutes since joining the Clippers on a 10-day contract last week. He had played a total of three minutes in two previous games.

– It might seem like this is a game the Clippers were supposed to win. After all, they are 40-21 and in fifth-place in the Western Conference standings and the Timberwolves are now 13-46 and in last. But not only were the Clippers missing Blake Griffin (elbow) and Barnes, they lost Jamal Crawford (calf contusion) at halftime and J.J. Redick was ejected with 1:06 left in the game. For all those reasons, this was a good victory. It was the Clippers’ seventh in 10 games since Griffin went down.

DeAndre Jordan pulled down 18 rebounds, giving him nine consecutive games with at least 15; he has had at least 20 in four of them. Jordan has upped his league-leading average to 14.4.

Chris Paul had a game-high 26 points with 14 assists and three steals. It was his league-leading 14th game this season with at least 20 points and 10 assists.

Austin Rivers had a solid showing in 25-plus minutes off the bench. He scored 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting and doled out four assists. Perhaps as importantly, the 6-foot-4 guard showed heart when he did not back down from 6-foot-11 Kevin Garnett when the two exchanged words after Rivers bumped Garnett on his way back to his bench after a timeout and Garnett responded with an elbow.

Jordan Hamilton starts for injured Matt Barnes on Monday night in Minnesota

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Monday night at Minnesota started recently signed Jordan Hamilton in place of Matt Barnes, who sustained a hamstring injury in Sunday’s 96-86 victory at Chicago.

Hamilton, on a 10-day contract, scored five points on 2 of 3 shooting while playing nine minutes of the first quarter, after which the Clippers led the T’Wolves 36-23.

Chris Paul led the Clippers (39-21) with 10 points in the quarter.

Kevin Garnett and Gorqui Dieng scored six points apiece for Minnesota (13-45).

Barnes was in street clothes. He could be back Wednesday when the Clippers play host to Portland.