J.J. Redick scores 27 points as Clippers win seventh straight, 119-106 at Boston

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

J.J. Redick scored 27 points and the Clippers on Sunday won their seventh consecutive game with a 119-106 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden in Boston. Interestingly, the Clippers held a 35-point lead (96-61) with 4:20 left in the third quarter and the Celtics were able to whittle that gigantic deficit down to 14 (111-97) with 4:16 to play in the game.

The Clippers’ starters came back in and then Boston’s Luigi Datome buried a 3-pointer to bring the Celtics within 11 points at 111-100 with 4:01 left before Matt Barnes made a huge put-back after the second of two missed free throws by DeAndre Jordan, who again fell victim to the hack-a-DJ ploy by making just 3 of 15 from the free-throw line.

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin contributed 21 points apiece with Paul also doling out 10 assists and Griffin grabbing nine rebounds. Barnes had 18 points and seven rebounds and Jordan scored 15 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics (32-41) with 19 points off the bench and Tyler Zeller scored 16.

The Clippers (49-25) now return home to take on the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday at Staples Center. The Warriors have the league’s best record at 60-13.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 119-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- Philadelphia coach Brett Brown utilized the rather disgusting hack-a-DJ in the last 1 1/2 minutes of the second quarter, during which time DeAndre Jordan made just 1 of 8 from the free-throw line on his way to making only 5 of 17. That is 29.4 percent. Jordan is making just 39.4 percent of his free throws on the season. Believe it or not, that is only the fourth worst percentage of his career. He shot 38.5 percent in 2008-09, 37.5 in 2009-10 and 38.6 in 2012-13.

- Blake Griffin took only eight shots for the second consecutive game. Sure, he played fewer minutes in those two games – 29 and 27 – because both games were routs; the other game was Wednesday at New York, where the Clippers blasted the Knicks 111-80. But that doesn’t account for the disparity between taking 21 and 19 shots in the previous two games in 37 and 36 minutes, respectively. Griffin needs to stay aggressive. He’s averaging 17 shots per game on the season.

- Getting back to Jordan, he did pull down another 20 rebounds in this one. That means he has grabbed at least 14 in 20 of his past 21 games. He’s averaging 17.6 rebounds in 14 games this month, a league-leading 14.8 on the season.

- Spencer Hawes, who has struggled mightily this season, had seven points and eight rebounds off the bench in 19 minutes. The rebounds were one more than the 7-foot-1 reserve had over the previous three games combined. That’s a good thing. Now, he needs to keep on doing it.

- Matt Barnes had another solid game in what has been his best month of the season. He scored 15 points while pulling down four rebounds and making four steals with three assists. Barnes shot 4 of 8 – 3 of 7 from 3-point range. He’s averaging 10.1 points on the season, but 12.9 in March, during which he’s shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc.

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Clippers clinch playoff berth with 119-98 victory over Philadelphia 76ers

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Chris Paul scored 25 points, J.J. Redick scored 19 and DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 20 rebounds as the Clippers (48-25)  clinched a playoff berth with a 119-98 victory at Philadelphia on Friday night. The Clippers have won six consecutive games.

Matt Barnes contributed 15 points and Austin Rivers had 13 off the bench. Blake Griffin scored just 10 points but had eight assists and five rebounds.

Nerlens Noel led the 76ers (18-55) with 30 points and 14 rebounds.

The Clippers complete this three-game road trip Sunday at Boston.

 

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Chris Paul scores 19 points in first half as Clippers lead 62-54 at Philadelphia

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

Chris Paul scored 19 points in the first half Friday at Philadelphia and the Clippers led the 76ers 62-54 at the break.

The 76ers went to the awful hack-a-DJ tactic in the final minutes and DeAndre Jordan ended up making just 3 of 12 from the free-throw line.

J.J. Redick contributed 14 points for the Clippers (47-25), Matt Barnes scored 10 and Jordan had nine points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Blake Griffin had just two points on 1 of 3 shooting.

Nerlens Noel led Philadelphia (18-54) with 18 points and nine rebounds.

 

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New York coach Derek Fisher praises Clippers after they rout his Knicks

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers scored a game-high 21 points in the Clippers’ victory Wednesday at New York/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Derek Fisher’s New York Knicks had just been thrashed 111-80 by the Clippers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, when he doled out quite a compliment.

They are a good team,” said Fisher, in his first year at the New York helm. “They are athletic, fast and strong. You don’t understand the speed and force that these guys play with unless you are out there.”

Austin Rivers scored 21 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles (47-25); he shot 9 of 10 from the field. J.J. Redick contributed 17 points, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had 14 apiece and Chris Paul and Matt Barnes each scored 11. Paul also had 16 assists. Jordan also blocked five shots and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Cleanthony Early led the Knicks (14-58) with 18 points off the bench.

The Clippers next play Friday at Philadelphia (18-54).

 

 

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Former Clippers guard Eric Gordon lost a tooth Sunday against former team

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon/Photo courtesy of New Orleans Pelicans, NBA.com

 

It was not the best of days for former Clippers guard Eric Gordon on Sunday. He did not start against the Clippers because he violated team rules. He came off the bench to score 23 points, but his New Orleans Pelicans lost 107-100 and he lost a tooth in the third quarter after apparently being tripped by the Clippers’ Matt Barnes at the 7:17 mark.

“I got tripped up,” Gordon said. “I don’t know exactly what happened. I thought I got fouled, but I just got tripped up, lost control and it was just weird to hit my face on the floor. It was painful, I had a bit of a headache. But I was still going to play, especially in a tough game like this.”

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Doc Rivers appreciates what small forward Matt Barnes brings to the team

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Doc Rivers on Friday night did not hesitate when he was asked about the importance of starting small forward Matt Barnes. Barnes recently missed a total of four games because of a sore hamstring and though the Clippers went 3-1 in them, Rivers apparently would not want to be without him for very long.

“Matt is huge for us,” Rivers said following his team’s 113-99 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday at Staples Center. “He’s just an important player for us. The stats don’t say it. He had eight points, but he made some huge plays for us. Even early, (Washington’s) Paul Pierce makes a 3, I think it was the second shot of the game, and then Matt comes down and makes a 3 on top of him. Those little plays are big plays and that‟s what Matt has been doing for us all year.”

Barnes shot just 3 of 10 Friday. He also had two blocks and four rebounds.

Barnes, who turned 35 on March 9, is averaging 10.0 points and 3.9 rebounds and is shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 38 percent from 3-point range (112 of 295).

 

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Matt Barnes could return to the lineup Friday against Washington Wizards

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Matt Barnes on Friday morning told reporters that there is a good chance he will play later in the evening when the Clippers host the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.

Barnes, the Clippers’ starting small forward, has missed the past two games with a sore hamstring and has missed four games since March 2 because of the injury.

Barnes was shooting and running at the morning shootaround.

“It’ll be a game-time decision; it looks good,” Barnes said.

 

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 116-105 victory over Sacramento Kings

Chris Paul

Chris Paul led the Clippers with 30 points in Wednesday’s 116-105 victory at Sacramento/:Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- The Clippers received very little from their bench in this victory. Austin Rivers, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Spencer Hawes all shot 1 of 4 from the field, meaning they were a combined 3 of 12. Nate Robinson was 2 of 3 for four points, but he played only 9 1/2 minutes. Well, when four of your starters each score at least 19 points – Blake Griffin and Hedo Turkoglu had 19 apiece, J.J. Redick scored 27 and Chris Paul 30 – the bench doesn’t need to score much.

- Speaking of Turkoglu, his 19 points were a season-high. He shot very well, making 7 of 12 shots overall, 5 of 10 from 3-point range. He made his second consecutive start in place of Matt Barnes (hamstring). He also played solid defense on Kings forward Rudy Gay, who made just 6 of 19 from the field to get his 23 points. “Tonight he looked like the defender that he was before,” Kings coach George Karl said. “When he was in his prime, his defense was pretty first class. I thought that he did a nice job on Rudy Gay tonight.”

- There is one thing that seems to have gone unnoticed regarding the return of Griffin. Remember how he had taken his game to the outside more than ever this season, thus resulting in his rebounding numbers being down? Well, he had 10 rebounds in this one, meaning he has had 11, 11 and 10 in his three games back. He’s averaging a career-low 7.7 for the season.

- What can we say about Redick? He had himself another fine outing with his 27 points. He shot 9 of 16, 7 of 12 from beyond the arc. Redick is now averaging 15.6 points while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 42.4 percent (160 of 377) from 3-point range. All of those numbers represent career-highs. Redick is averaging 20.7 points in 10 games this month.

- So, had a few tweets and whatnot about why it was so difficult for the Clippers to put away a lowly team like the Kings, who are now just 22-45. The Clippers led just 87-86 with 8:07 to play. Yes, the Clippers were again without Barnes and Jamal Crawford (calf). But the Kings
were without All-Star post DeMarcus Cousins (calf) and have been without guard Darren Collison (hip) since early February. That said, keep in mind that the Clippers all season have had trouble maintaining focus throughout a given game. That’s still happening. Yet, they are 44-25 and tied for fifth-place in the Western Conference standings. The point being, if the Clippers can figure out their in-game lapses – and we realize that is “if” – they could be tough to deal with in the post-season.

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Five things to take from the Clippers’ 129-99 loss Friday at Dallas

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes had his fourth consecutive solid showing in Friday’s loss at Dallas/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- It’s tough to win when your opponent shoots 60.7 percent (51 of 84) from the field, 57.1 percent (16 of 28) from 3-point range. That’s what the Mavericks did in this one. Suffice to say, the Clippers did not play defense they way they should have. They are now allowing
100.6 points per game, 19th in the league. That’s not to mention the 30-point loss was the Clippers’ most lopsided of the season.

- Spencer Hawes had another poor outing starting in place in Blake Griffin. Hawes scored just four points on 2 of 8 shooting, 0 of 3 from beyond the arc. He did have five assists. In his past five games the 7-foot-1 Hawes is averaging just 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds while
shooting just 27.8 percent from the field, 26.7 from 3-point range.

- Chris Paul had four more turnovers, meaning he is averaging a very uncharacteristic 4.6 turnovers in his past five games. He’s averaging just 2.4 turnovers on the season.

- There was some good news. Matt Barnes played his fourth consecutive solid game since returning from a hamstring injury. He had 14 points on 5 of 12 shooting – 3 of 9 from 3-point range and is averaging 14.5 points while shooting 51.3 percent, 44.4 percent from beyond the arc in those four games. Barnes is averaging 9.9 points on the season with a 45.5 overall shooting percentage, 37.6 percent from long-distance.

- The Clippers (42-24) have 16 regular-season games left. This defeat tightened things up even more in the Western Conference. They are still in fifth, but are now 1 1/2 games behind fourth-place Houston (43-22) and sixth-place Dallas (42-25) is now just a half-game behind
the Clippers with seventh-place San Antonio (40-24) just a game behind them.

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