Mason Plumlee was a rebounding, assist machine for Trail Blazers in Game 3 win over Clippers

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Mason Plumlee of the Portland Trail Blazers is guarded by the Clippers’ Blake Griffin during the first half of the Trail Blazers’ 96-88 victory over the Clippers in Game 3 on Saturday in Portland/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Portland Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee had a combined 15 rebounds and seven assists in the first two games of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Clippers – both Clippers victories at Staples Center.

Then, almost out of the blue, he came through with a whopping 21 rebounds and nine assists in his team’s 96-88 Game 3 victory over the Clippers on Saturday at Moda Center in Portland.

Plumlee was asked post-game to talk about what it was like having more rebounds than Clippers center DeAndre Jordan – he had 16 – and as many assists as Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

“Probably an awkward stat line,” Plumlee said. “The guys on the bench were giving me a hard time for not getting 10 points. The game is different through adjustments and stuff; they leave certain things open and they take other things away. So, really, they (the Clippers) put me in a good position by them trapping the guards; really, I have an advantage every time I touch the ball, so then it’s just making the right play.”

Plumlee, who scored just six points in the game, averaged 7.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists during the regular season.

Blake Griffin says ‘awful film session’ revealed plenty about Saturday’s Game 3 loss at Portland

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Blake Griffin guards Mason Plumlee of the Trail Blazers during the first half of Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. Portland won 96-88 and Plumlee grabbed 21 rebounds/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


The Clippers were licking their wounds Sunday after falling apart down the stretch and losing 96-88 to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Saturday at Moda Center in Portland. The Clippers lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 on Monday night back at Moda Center.

The Clippers led 85-81 with 3:52 to play and scored only three more points while giving up 15.

The Clippers held a lengthy film session at their hotel Sunday. Blake Griffin appeared rather bummed out after emerging from it.

“It was a pretty awful film session,” he said. “It wasn’t even the last two minutes, it was throughout the entire game. You know, really from the beginning, we let them get comfortable. We let them, like I said last night, do what they wanted to do and they executed, to their credit. They did what they wanted to do and we just … I thought we were careless and didn’t execute, didn’t move the ball from side to side. We didn’t do the things that made us successful in those first couple of games.”

The Clippers won Games 1 and 2 by respective scores of 115-95 and 102-81 at Staples Center.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 96-88 loss to the Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, right, is fouled by Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Portland, Ore.

Chris Paul of the Clippers is fouled by Portland’s Damian Lillard during the first half of the Trail Blazers’ 96-88 victory over the Clippers on Saturday in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series at Moda Center in Portland/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


– One of the biggest reasons why the Trail Blazers won was because their outstanding guard tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum played to their capabilities after struggling in losses to the Clippers in Game 1 and Game 2. Lillard scored 32 points on 10 of 20 shooting and went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. McCollum scored 27 points on 11 of 22 shooting. Each had five rebounds.

– It was more than that. For another thing, the Trail Blazers outrebounded the Clippers 56-44. Leading the way was center Mason Plumlee. He had a whopping 21 rebounds to go along with nine assists and six points. The Clippers got 16 rebounds from their center, DeAndre Jordan. Blake Griffin had only seven.

– The Clippers led 85-81 with 3:52 to play after a 3-point play by sixth-man Jamal Crawford. They scored only three points the rest of the way. During that time, the poor free-throw shooting Jordan went 1 of 6 from the free-throw line, finishing 3 of 10 from there. “Our execution was bad tonight,” coach Doc Rivers said of his team’s play down the stretch.

– This was not a good game for Griffin. The Clippers’ power forward scored 12 points and shot just 5 of 16. At times, his shot was short, hitting the front of the rim. “He just had a tough night,” Rivers said. “Again, you don’t miss three months of basketball and come back and be great.”

– As a team, the Clippers shot 40.9 percent – 16.7 percent (3 of 18) from 3-point range. Rivers gave credit to the Portland defense. “I thought they did a great job,” he said. “I think they were way more physical than us. I thought ball pressure got to us.” Shooting guard J.J. Redick, who is nursing a sore left heel, shot 2 of 10.

BONUS TAKE: The loss notwithstanding, Clippers point guard Chris Paul continued his fine play. He led the Clippers with 26 points on 10 of 21 shooting, doled out nine assists and made three steals.

LASTLY: The Clippers lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Monday night, back at Moda Center in Portland.

J.J. Redick scores 13 as Clippers hold 47-43 lead over Blazers

J.J. Redick

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


The Clippers on Wednesday night led the Portland Trail Blazers by as many as 15 points in the first half of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at Staples Center. By the time halftime rolled around, the Clippers held just a 47-43 advantage over Portland, which had to be feeling good heading into its locker room.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 13 points, Blake Griffin scored eight on 2 of 7 shooting and Chris Paul had seven points and three assists after playing just 14 minutes because of three personal fouls. DeAndre Jordan didn’t score, but he had 10 rebounds.

Mason Plumlee and C.J. McCollum scored 11 points apiece for Portland. Point guard Damian Lillard had six points, but shot just 2 of 10.

The Clippers shot 42.2 percent from the field, the Trail Blazers shot 34 percent.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 96-94 victory over Trail Blazers

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Coach Doc Rivers gives Jamal Crawford a fist-bump during Thursday’s 96-94 Clippers victory over Portland/AP photo by Alex Gallardo


– There is nothing like a buzzer-beating victory to get a struggling team back on the right track. J.J. Redick’s last-second shot after he received a bounce pass from Chris Paul delivered between the legs of Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee, could do just that. The Clippers had lost three in a row and seven of 10 and were coming off a brutal road trip, during which they went 1-4.

Jamal Crawford has been up and down this season. He’s shooting just 32.4 percent from 3-point range, his lowest percentage since shooting 30.8 percent while playing for Portland in 2011-12. But Crawford has always been a clutch performer, and that still rings true. He scored 25 points on 12 of 21 shooting – 3 of 6 from beyond the arc – in this one.

– Reserve post Cole Aldrich had a nice 15 minutes and 21 seconds in this game. He scored seven points on 3 of 5 shooting, grabbed five rebounds, blocked two shots and had a steal and an assist. This guy plays hard.

Paul Pierce was 0 of 5 from the field. He’s shooting a career-low 34.8 percent from the field. His previous low was 40.2 percent in 2003-04 in Boston. Pierce is shooting just 30.8 percent from deep. That is by far his worst since shooting 29.9 percent in that same ’03-’04 season. That’s not to mention he doesn’t play much defense. While it might be nice to have the 38-year-old Pierce on the team because he’s a future Hall of Famer with a championship ring (Boston ’08), he’s not helping this team on the floor. Perhaps he is in the locker room.

– The Trail Blazers shot just 40 percent from the field, 25 percent (6 of 24) from deep. Part of that was Portland missing open shots, part of it was the suffocating defense the Clippers played at times. Again, at times, because the Clippers did show fatigue from yet another back-to-back. The Clippers have had 14 back-to-backs this season. Their past six games were all played under that umbrella.

J.J. Redick hopeful Thursday’s last-second victory can propel Clippers down the stretch

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Chris Paul whoops it up with J.J. Redick after Redick made a buzzer-beater that helped the Clippers defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 96-94 on Thursday at Staples Center/AP photo by Alex Gallardo


J.J. Redick was one of the heroes for the L.A. Clippers on Thursday when he hit a 21-foot shot at the buzzer to lift the Clippers to a 96-94 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Chris Paul was the other. With 1.1 seconds left, he threw a bounce pass between the legs of Portland center Mason Plumlee to Redick so he could take the shot.

It was a thrilling win before an appreciative home crowd. The question is, will it propel the Clippers down the stretch? They entered play Thursday having lost three consecutive games and seven of 10.

“We hope,” Redick said post-game. “We haven’t been very good. Going in to tonight, I think we were 3-7 of our last 10 (games). I don’t know if that is the worst stretch of the season going back to November, but it definitely felt like the worst stretch.”

The Clippers went 3-7 over 10 games beginning Nov. 4.

“A few of us talked after, just about that, discussing that we don’t want to be limping in to the playoffs,” said Redick, whose team next plays host to Denver (30-42) on Easter Sunday at 12:30 p.m. “We want to be playing well. Last year, we were 14-2 going into the playoffs in our last 16 games.

“I don’t necessarily believe in momentum, but I do believe in rhythm and confidence and those things are important and I believe in having the right spirit. Hopefully, tonight will get us going in the right direction.”