Five things to take from Clippers’ 102-96 win over Phoenix

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a win over the Suns on Nov. 2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht // Daily News)

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a win over the Suns on Nov. 2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht // Daily News)

Blake Griffin led all scorers with 22 points and he pulled down 10 rebounds in 34 minutes of work. He was 11-of-15 from the free throw line and 13-of-22 shooting from the field. In the waning minutes of the game when he was on the free throw line, Griffin was even serenaded with a smattering of “M-V-P” chants.

— After scoring just 15 points in the win against the Kings on Oct. 31, the Clippers bench “won the game” against the Suns, according to head coach Doc Rivers. Jamal Crawford led the team’s reserves with 11 points with Wesley Johnson finishing with nine. Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Austin Rivers each had seven.

— Along with the production from the bench came a good rest for the starting unit. The team had 10 players with at least 14 minutes. It’s still early in the season, yes, but Chris Paul noted the importance of depth for a team with championship aspirations.

“You look at the teams that are most successful in our league, they have that depth,” Paul said. “They sit fourth quarters and stuff like that because the starters start it out and the bench lifts them up. I think our bench was amazing tonight and we need that.”

— This is the first 4-0 start for the Clippers since 2007-08 and only the fourth such start for the team ever.

“It’s good to start out the season like this,” DeAndre Jordan said. “But we have to keep it going and keep improving as the games come.”

— The Clippers go for the 5-0 start Wednesday when they face Golden State on the road. It’s a battle of the last two unbeaten teams in the Western Conference who also happen to have a healthy rivalry between them.

The Warriors pounded the Grizzlies on Monday, winning by 50. A reporter went to ask Jordan about the matchup, starting a question by noting “how well” the Warriors are playing. Before she could finish, Jordan responded, “so are we.”

“They’re the champs,” Rivers said. “They’re a really good basketball team. … That swagger is hard to knock off.”

Report: Matt Barnes’ fine not because of back-and-forth with Suns owner

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


According to, which cited an “NBA spokesman,” the $25,000 fine Matt Barnes received Tuesday for an incident that took place Sunday at Phoenix was not because he exchanged inappropriate language with Suns owner Robert Sarver.

When the NBA released its statement about the situation, it said Barnes was fined for directing inappropriate language toward a fan during the Clippers’ 120-100 victory. Barnes took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and said that was not true, that it was directed at Sarver after Sarver started it.

“As players, we’re obviously held to a higher standard; I’ve had to watch myself on that. But I think if we’re held to high standards, owners should be held to even higher standards,” Barnes told at Thursday’s shootaround ahead of Thursday night’s game at Utah.. “When an elder says something derogatory toward me and I respond, I thought it would stay there. It’s one grown man saying something to another grown man. I’m not going to run and tell, but the fact that he or someone around him told (the league), it’s crazy.”

Barnes did admit he was having words with some fans as well, but still believes his fine was because of his back-and-forth with Sarver.

Matt Barnes says his Tuesday fine of $25,000 was because he exchanged expletives with Suns owner, not a fan

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


Forward Matt Barnes on Tuesday was fined $25,000 for what the NBA said was directing inappropriate language at a fan, it was announced by Rod Thorn, president of basketball operations for the NBA.

A news release stated the incident took place with 4:28 left in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 120-100 victory over the Suns at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

However, Barnes took to Twitter to let everyone know it wasn’t a fan he was exchanging pleasantries with:

“Another 25k! The part of the story the nba hasn’t told you was my language wasnt directed at a fan, I was talkn to the owner of the Suns….”

“..Who was sitting on the baseline & I only said something to him AFTER he cussed at me, BUT because I didn’t SNITCH I get fined!!” #thecode

Robert Sarver is the majority owner of the Suns.

Doc Rivers didn’t feel comfortable at Phoenix, even with a big lead late

Matt Barnes on Sunday puts up a shot against Eric Bledsoe of Phoenix/Photo by Associated Press


Even with just a few minutes left and a lead of 17 points (101-94) over the Phoenix Suns following a 15-0 run Sunday, Clippers coach Doc Rivers intimated he didn’t think his team was out of the woods because of how rapidly Phoenix can get on an offensive roll.

“We talked about it before the game; Phoenix doesn’t go away,” said Rivers, whose team won 120-100 at US Airways Center in Phoenix. “There’s no lead safe when you have Isaiah Thomas and (Eric) Bledsoe and (Goran) Dragic and Gerald Green on the other team. Honest to goodness, with three minutes left, I did not feel safe.

“That’s who they are. They’re capable and you  have to keep your focus when you’re playing them.”

The Clippers (30-14) on Monday night host the Denver Nuggets (18-26) at 7:30.

Clippers come away with impressive 120-100 victory at Phoenix

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 23 points and 12 assists in Sunday’s win at Phoenix/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


The Clippers on Sunday afternoon took a 12-point lead over the host Phoenix Suns into the fourth quarter and then the Clippers outscored Phoenix by eight points in the final stanza to come away with an impressive 120-100 victory at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The Clippers (30-14) got 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds from Chris Paul; 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Blake Griffin; 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks from DeAndre Jordan; 20 points from J.J. Redick; Spencer Hawes scored 11; and Jamal Crawford had 10 points.

The Clippers shot 49.4 percent from the field, 43.5 (10 of 23) from 3-point range. Matt Barnes had an off-night, shooting just 1 of 9 from the field for four points.

Isaiah Thomas led the Suns (26-20) with 25 points off the bench. Eric Bledsoe had 17 points, Alex Len scored 15 and Goran Dragic just 10 on 3 of 11 shooting.

Blake Griffin: Potent Phoenix Suns are never out of any game

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


The Clippers (29-14) will play at Phoenix on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Suns (26-19) are a guard-oriented team can get hot and do some damage in a hurry. Point guard Eric Bledsoe leads in scoring and assists with respective averages of 16.9 and 6.0. Shooting guard Goran Dragic averages 16.7 points, backup point guard Isaiah Thomas averages 15.1 points and 3.8 assists and backup shooting guard/small forward Gerald Green scores 13.7 points per game.
“They’re a great team, especially at home,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said Saturday at practice at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. “They’re one of those teams that’s never out of a game.”
Phoenix averages 107.5 points, third in the league. The Clippers are fourth at 107.1.