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.

Chris Paul helps Clippers to 54-49 halftime lead over Lakers

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul scored 13 points and Wesley Johnson and Lance Stephenson each scored nine as the Clippers took a 54-49 lead over the Lakers into the halftime break Friday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers shot 51.3 percent in the half, but just 27.3 (3 of 11) from 3-point range.

Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers (9-39) with 11 points.

Kobe Bryant is not playing.

Clippers will not have a starter in Feb. 14 All-Star game in Toronto

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

The starters for the upcoming All-Star game were announced Thursday and nary a Clipper was among them.

Chris Paul finished third among guards in the Western Conference with 624,334 votes. Blake Griffin, who hasn’t played since Christmas night, and DeAndre Jordan finished sixth and 11th among frontcourt players with 651,860 and 269,427 votes, respectively.

The Western Conference starters for the Feb. 14 in Toronto will be Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Steph Curry of the Warriors, Keven Durant of Oklahoma City, Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

The Eastern Conference starters will be Carmelo Anthony of the  Knicks, Paul George of Indiana, LeBron James of Cleveland, Kyle Lowry of Toronto and Dwyane Wade of Miami.

Bryant had the most votes of any player, tallying 1,891,614. Curry was next with 1,604,325 and then James with 1,089,206. They were only three with at least a million votes.

 

 

 

Home sweet home is not always the case for the L.A. Clippers

FILE - In this March 2, 2010,  file photo, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer speaks in Santa Clara, Calif. Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Los Ang...

Steve Ballmer/Associated Press file photo by Paul Sakuma

 

Unless the Clippers were to find a way to get out of their lease at Staples Center, they will be tenants there through June 2024.

That’s not the best scenario for the Clippers, who are basically the third team in that building behind the L.A. Kings and Lakers, even though all three teams began playing in the building when it opened in 1999.

Take this past weekend. The Clippers had to play back-to-back day games against Charlotte and New Orleans on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The Kings had the night game Saturday, the Lakers on Sunday.

If the Clippers had their own building, that Sunday game would never have been scheduled for during the day.

Coach Doc Rivers was asked before Sunday’s game if the scenario wants to make him talk to owner Steve Ballmer about the team getting its own building once the lease expires. Rivers balked at first.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” he said. Then he did.

“No, I don’t know,” he said. “I mean, obviously, every team would rather have their own building, but it’s not awful. But you would love to play the evening game tonight; I don’t mind back-to-back.

“But the smart thing would have been 12:30, 7:30. That would have been smart for us, but didn’t work out that way. I’m sure Steve thinks of things like that all the time.”

Unfortunately for the Clippers, they signed a 10-year extension on their Staples Center lease in January 2013, before Ballmer purchased the Clippers in May 2014.

The Clippers, Lakers and Kings work with Staples Center owner AEG, the NBA and the NHL for scheduling times and dates. The Clippers got the short end of the stick this past weekend.

Clippers try to analyze why they’re so hot without Blake Griffin

 Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, passes over Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, middle, as guard D'Angelo Russell looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Blake Griffin sustained a partially torn left quad tendon during this game against the Lakers on Christmas night/AP photo by Chris Carlson

 

The L.A. Clippers are 5-0 since leading scorer Blake Griffin was injured on Christmas night playing against the Lakers.

How can that be? Point guard Chris Paul was asked Monday at practice.

“I think everybody realizes that there is less room for error, we realize we really have to play together, gotta share the ball and I think that’s what’s been happening,” he said.

Paul seemed like he wasn’t really sure. Coach Doc Rivers isn’t 100 percent certain of why, either.

“I don’t actually know the answer,” said Rivers, whose team has won six in a row overall. “I just know that I think our guys do a good job of not focusing on the injury and focusing on the guys that are playing. I don’t talk about it, I don’t mention it and I never have. But I’ve always thought it was healthier that way. I think we have a great no-excuse mentality and I think that’s served us well over the years.”

Common sense insists it has to be more than that. But that’s what the Clippers are giving up at this time. One thing is certain, Griffin will be back soon. His return won’t be Wednesday at Portland, but it could be either Saturday or Sunday when the Clippers host Charlotte and New Orleans, respectively.

Can the Clippers (22-13) take anything they have learned from playing without Griffin and use it once he’s back? Paul fielded that one.

“Sort of a wait-and-see thing,” he said. “We know this isn’t truly our team. Our team, you know, Blake is our go-to guy, who we try to find all the time. But what it can do is prepare us for games that Blake might get into foul trouble.

“And I think what it does right now is it gives other guys confidence, so that when Blake does come back, guys sort of have a rhythm.”

The Clippers went 9-6 without Griffin when he was hurt this past season.

Griffin is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

ICYMI: Jamal Crawford now 95th all-time on NBA scoring list

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

With his 21 points in Monday night’s 108-91 victory at Washington, Clippers sixth-man Jamal Crawford moved past former Lakers star James Worthy into 95th place on the all-time NBA scoring list with 16,327 points. Worthy scored 16,320.

In 94th place is Joe Dumars, who had 16,401 points.