Five things to take from Clippers’ 99-79 victory over Timberwolves

The Clippers' Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, middle, splits the defense of Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins, left, and Ricky Rubio during Wednesday's game. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Luc Mbah a Moute of the Clippers, center, tries to drive through Andrew Wiggins (22) and Ricky Rubio of the Timberwolves during Wednesday’s game in Minnesota/AP photo by Ann Heisenfelt


– The Clippers continued their stingy ways on defense in this one. Not only did they hold the Timberwolves to 79 points, the Clippers held them to just 34.8-percent shooting. The Clippers have now given up an average of just 88.2 points over their past four games – all victories. They also helped harass Minnesota into 16 turnovers while committing just eight of their own.

– Speaking of defensive ferocity, the Clippers blocked nine shots. DeAndre Jordan had three blocks and Wes Johnson, Jeff Green and Cole Aldrich had two apiece. By contrast, the T’Wolves had one measly block. As for Aldrich, he is from Bloomington, Minn., so he was playing at home and he had family in the stands.

– This was the third game of Blake Griffin’s four-game suspension. He will sit out Thursday night’s game at Oklahoma City and will then be eligible to play Sunday when the Clippers host the Washington Wizards at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center. The Clippers (47-27) are 30-14 without Griffin, who has not played since Christmas because of two injuries and now this suspension for punching a team equipment staffer in January.

– Johnson shot 3 of 6 for the Clippers, which means he has shot 13 of 20 (65 percent) over his past four games. For someone who has been so up and down with his shot this season, that’s a very good sign.

– The hard-playing Chris Paul didn’t shoot particularly well – he was 6 of 16 overall, 1 of 4 from 3-point range – but he still scored a game-high 20 points. More importantly, he doled out 16 assists and also tied DeAndre Jordan for team-high honors in rebounds with eight.

Last 2 Minutes report: referee Lauren Holtkamp made right calls in Clippers loss to T’Wolves

J.J. Redick

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


The NBA’s Last 2 Minutes report from Wednesday’s game between the Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves won 108-102 by the Timberwolves shows that referee Lauren Holtkamp made the correct call when the Clippers’ J.J. Redick was whistled for fouling Ricky Rubio as Rubio was being double-teamed by Redick and Chris Paul with 20.6 seconds left in the game.

Holtkamp subsequently assessed Paul a technical foul when he clapped his hands hard in Holtkamp’s direction after the foul was called on Redick. The Clippers were down by just two points (102-100) at the time. That also was deemed the correct call by the league.




Clippers have come through down the stretch in past two games

Blake Griffin is defended by Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio in Monday’s game at Minnesota/AP photo by Jim Mone


The Clippers have the reputation of a team that has difficulty finishing games. They have finished the past two just fine.

They trailed the Orlando Magic by 10 points with 5:27 left in the game Saturday at Staples Center, went on a 13-0 run and defeated the Magic 103-101. The Clippers executed down the stretch.

Monday, the Clippers trailed by three points at Minnesota with a minute to play and won by four (110-106). Again, they came through in crunch-time.

Coach Doc Rivers was stoked about the improvement.

“We just had a resolve again,” he said. “Back-to-back games.”

The Clippers have four more games left on this five-game road trip. The stiffest test figures to be Thursday at Chicago, which is 11-7 as of this writing. The Clippers will first play Wednesday at Milwaukee (9-13).

Short-handed Clippers find a way to get past lowly Minnesota 110-105

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 26 points and 14 rebounds in Monday’s victory at Minnesota/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


The Clippers on Monday night at Minnesota were without Blake Griffin (elbow) and Matt Barnes (hamstring) and lost Jamal Crawford (calf contusion) and J.J. Redick (ejected) during the game and still managed to defeat the Timberwolves 110-105 at Target Center. The Clippers finished their four-game road trip with three consecutive victories.

Chris Paul led the way with 26 points, 14 assists and three steals as the Clippers (40-21) are now 7-3 without Griffin.

J.J. Redick scored 18 before being tossed late, Austin Rivers scored 13 off the bench with four assists, DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and 18 rebounds, Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored 12 off the bench and Jordan Hamilton had 10 points; the recently  acquired Hamilton started in place of Barnes. Crawford scored nine.

Leading just 102-101, Spencer Hawes (8 points, 5 rebounds) made a 3-pointer for a 105-101 Clippers lead with 1:31 to play. Paul made  a 19-footer with 38 ticks left for a 108-103 advantage.

Gary Neal led Minnesota (13-46) with 19 points, Ricky Rubio had a triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists and Andrew Wiggins scored 18.

The Clippers will now come home to play host to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday at Staples Center. The Clippers are in fifth in the Western Conference standings, just a half-game behind Portland (39-19).


After leading by 18, Clippers down by two points at halftime at Minnesota

Chris Paul

Chris Paul had 19 points and nine assists in the first half Monday at Minnesota/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


The Clippers on Monday night at Minnesota led by 18 points (36-18) with 50 seconds left in the first quarter. They trailed by two (60-58) at halftime. That’s a 20-point turnaround against the worst team in the Western Conference as Minnesota entered play with a record of 13-45.

The Clippers (39-21) – 6-3 without the injured Blake Griffin (elbow) – got 19 points and nine assists from Chris Paul in the half. Jamal Crawford scored nine points, J.J. Redick eight and DeAndre Jordan had six points and nine rebounds.

Recently signed Jordan Hamilton started for Matt Barnes at small forward because Barnes is out with a hamstring injury. Hamilton scored five points in the first quarter and did not score in the second.

Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine scored 12 points apiece for the Timberwolves in the half.