Doc Rivers does not know when guard J.J. Redick will return to action

J.J. Redick has been an important part of the Clippers this season, but staying healthy has been an issue for the guard out of Duke. He has missed 39 of his team’s 69 games, including the past 18 with a bulging disc in his lower back.

Coach Doc Rivers said before practice Thursday at the team’s facility in Playa Vista that he just isn’t sure when Redick will return to action.

“If J.J. comes back tomorrow, we’re good,” Rivers said. “If J.J. comes back in three weeks, we’re good. If J.J. comes back in eight weeks and we’re still alive, we’re good. So I don’t
think there is a timetable.”

Redick has averaged 15.7 points and 2.2 assists in the 30 games in which he’s played.

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Chris Paul is quite the helper, but has a long way to go to catch all-time leaders

Point guard Chris Paul is averaging a league-high 10.9 assists this season. That is absolutely terrific, and there is no question he is headed toward an eventual date with the Hall of Fame.

But the 28-year-old out of Wake Forest has a long way to go to catch those in front of him on the all-time leader board. He has 5,996 assists overall, which puts him in 27th place. The leader is John Stockton, who had 15,806 over 19 seasons. He is well ahead of second-place Jason Kidd’s 12,091. Paul will climb much higher on that ladder before he’s done, but it will be all but impossible to catch Stockton.

Average-wise, Paul is in much better position. He is averaging 9.9. That is third all-time behind Magic Johnson (11.1) and Stockton (10.5). Johnson, by the way, is fifth in total assists with 10,141 in 13 seasons.

Paul is currently in his ninth season.

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Blake Griffin’s scoring average is highest since his rookie campaign

Blake Griffin had a terrific rookie season in 2010-2011. He averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds. But his numbers declined in each of the next two seasons. He went for 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds his sophomore campaign and 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds this past season.

Griffin has responded by averaging 24.3 points through 69 games of this, his fourth season in the NBA. His rebounding numbers – he’s averaging 9.7 – still don’t match what he did as a rookie. Then again, center DeAndre Jordan is averaging a league-leading 13.7 rebounds for the Clippers this season, and that makes it difficult for Griffin to grab 12 a game himself.

Jordan averaged 7.2 rebounds during Griffin’s rookie season.

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Center DeAndre Jordan has the longest current iron-man streak in the NBA

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has now played in a league-high 227 consecutive regular-season games, including Monday’s at Denver.

That puts Jordan No. 4 all-time for the franchise. Randy Smith played in 595 consecutive games, Michael Brooks in 293 and Freeman Williams 249. Danny Manning is fifth at 206.

Jordan and Blake Griffin are the only two Clippers to have played in all 69 games this season.

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Blake Griffin looking forward to some R & R ahead of next game Saturday

The Clippers deserve some rest and relaxation the way they have been playing of late. Ahead of Monday’s 10-point loss at Denver, they had won 11 consecutive games, a streak that started with a 125-117 victory at Oklahoma City on Feb. 23.

The Clippers have Tuesday and Wednesday completely off, return to practice Thursday morning but don’t play another game until Saturday when they host Detroit at 7:30 p.m. (on Prime Ticket)

Forward Blake Griffin, for one, is stoked about the break that comes with 13 games left in the regular season.

“I’m looking forward to (the time off), for sure,” Griffin told Clippers.com reporter Eric Patten. “Especially with all the guys we have banged up, getting guys healthy and getting D.C. back and hopefully Jamal and J.J. making improvements. The four days will definitely give us some much-needed rest.”

Clippers guards Darren Collision, Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick are all injured or sick. Redick has missed about six weeks with a bulging disc in his back, Collison has missed the past two games with a stomach virus and Crawford has not played in eight of the past nine games because of a strained left calf.

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Clippers so good these days, teams want to beat them more than ever

Years ago no one cared much about the Clippers, whether it be fans or other NBA teams and players. But the Clippers (48-21) are serious contenders these days, meaning they are under much more scrutiny. They have become a team others like to beat.

Such was the case Monday when the Clippers ventured to Denver to try and extend an 11-game winning streak. But just like last season, when the host Nuggets snapped the Clippers’ 17-game winning streak, they did it again with a 110-100 victory at Pepsi Center.

Ty Lawson, the Nuggets’ point guard, had an interesting thought for an ESPN.com reporter after the game.

“Players like to get up for this team,” said Lawson, who scored 19 points. “The energy in the building gets us going.”

According to ESPN.com, it was the fourth time in NBA history a team has halted the same opponent’s double-digit winning streak in back-to-back campaigns. The most recent before Monday was the Spurs ending 11-game Suns winning streaks in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.

 

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Blake Griffin lays blame for loss at Denver at his own talented feet

Clippers forward Blake Griffin had just been named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday when he took the floor later that night at Denver. The quest: a 12th consecutive victory.

Griffin scored 26 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and doled out four assists. But he made just 7 of 25 shots from the field, and he seemed to want to take the blame for the defeat.

“Too many missed shots, too many small errors here and there,” Griffin said on the Clippers’ website. “Everybody played hard, but I just put us in a bad position.”

It was the second leg of back-to-back games, but center DeAndre Jordan did not want to use that as an alibi.

“Back-to-backs are always tough, especially because we’ve got guys down,” he said, referring to his team’s injuries. “But that’s no excuse. Every team has back-to-backs and it’s tough. You’ve just got to find a way to win. That’s all.”

The Clippers have been given a couple of days off by coach Doc Rivers and won’t practice again until Thursday. They play host to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday at 7:30  p.m.

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Chris Paul tweaks sore ankle in second quarter at Denver, but stays in the game

Clippers guard Chris Paul rolled his sore left ankle in the second quarter at Denver on Monday night, but he stayed in the game and has a game-high 20 points at halftime.

The host Nuggets lead 56-53 at the break as the Clippers try to win their 12th game in succession.

The game is being televised by ESPN and Prime Ticket.

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Nuggets will have a chance to snap another long Clippers winning streak

The Clippers’ 11-game winning streak is impressive, to be sure, but still well short of a franchise record.

That was set last season when they won 17 consecutive games, a streak  that began with a 101-95 victory over the Timberwolves on Nov. 28, 2012. It was snapped with a 92-78 loss on Jan. 1, 2013 against the Denver Nuggets.

And, of course, tonight’s opponent is Denver. The Clippers will play there at 7:30 (on Prime Ticket) in search of their 12th victory in succession.

The longest winning streak in NBA history belongs to the Lakers, who won 33 in a row during the 1971-72 season. The Heat won 27 consecutive games last season for the second-longest.

Only three other teams – Houston (22), Washington (20) and Milwaukee (20) – have had winning streaks of at least 20 games.

 

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Forward Blake Griffin named Western Conference Player of the Week

Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been named Western Conference Player of the Week, the NBA announced Monday.

In four games played between March 10 and March 16, Griffin averaged 27 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in victories over Phoenix, Golden State, Utah and Cleveland.

Griffin is averaging 24.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists on the season. He is one of just two Clippers who have played in all 68 games – center DeAndre Jordan is the other.

Griffin and the Clippers (48-20) will put their 11-game winning streak on the line tonight when they play at Denver (29-37) at 7:30 (on Prime Ticket).

The Clippers have not tasted defeat since dropping a 102-96 decision
Feb. 21 at Memphis.

 

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