Five things to take from Clippers’ 131-108 loss Sunday at Oklahoma City

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

- First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that the Clippers were without Blake Griffin, who has a staph infection in his right elbow and will have surgery Monday to get rid of it. He’s out until sometime after the All-Star break, the team said, and he has been replaced on the
Western Conference All-Star squad by Portland guard Damian Lillard. Staph infections are no laughing matter and can get serious.

- The losing streak has now reached four. The Clippers had not even lost three in a row under Doc Rivers since Rivers took over at the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign.

- Being that the Clippers (33-19) were such a depleted squad with Griffin out and starting shooting guard J.J. Redick missing his third consecutive game with back spasms – not to mention reserve forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis going down hard and playing just six minutes because of back spasms – it’s no surprise the Clippers did not play well on defense. The Thunder (26-25) shot 52.3 percent from the field, 40 percent (8 of 20) from 3-point range. OKC’s percentage would have been considerably higher had Russell Westbrook (19 points) not brought it down with a 6-for-19 shooting performance; Serge Ibaka made just 3 of 11, for that matter.

- Lost in the one-sided defeat no doubt will be the game had by point guard Chris Paul. He scored 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting with 13 assists, six rebounds, three steals and just one turnover in 36 minutes. The only negative was an 0-for-4 shooting day from 3-point range.

- Another good thing was the game had by Spencer Hawes, who started for Griffin. A starter much of his career before coming off the bench here in his first season for the Clippers, Hawes has struggled as a reserve. He scored 17 points. They were all in the first half, though. Still, he made 7 of 16 from the field, 2 of 5 from 3-point range. But he only had one rebound and that’s not going to cut if assuming he starts for Griffin until Griffin comes back. That’s one rebound in 35 minutes for a 7-foot player. The Clippers were outrebounded 54-29.

 

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Spencer Hawes liked what he saw from Clippers in 105-85 win at San Antonio

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers were 0-2 against defending NBA-champion San Antonio this season before they defeated the Spurs 105-85 on Saturday at AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Spurs won 89-85 Nov. 10 at Staples Center and 125-118 on Dec. 22 in San Antonio.

Spencer Hawes, who had 11 points in Saturday’s victory, talked post-game about emerging victorious in this most recent go-round.

“It felt good just to beat them after the last couple of games we’ve had against them,” Hawes said. “The (game) in L.A., I think we led for 46 or 47 minutes and they out-executed us down the stretch. Then, during the last one here (the Spurs) were shooting 80 percent in the first half or whatever it was. It was kind of a shootout to 120. It felt good to beat them, but to have a defensive game like we did tonight is something we can hang our hats on.”

The Clippers held the Spurs to 37.3 percent shooting from the field.

The Clippers (33-15) next play at Brooklyn (18-28) on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Spencer Hawes had a much-needed strong showing in win at San Antonio

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Spencer Hawes has struggled of late offensively. In his previous three games before Saturday he had scored four, zero and zero points, respectively. But he had 11 points on 4 of 8 shooting Saturday and made 3 of 5 from 3-point range in a 105-85 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. It’s the kind of performance coach Doc Rivers is always looking for from Hawes, the 7-foot reserve post who has had some difficulty making the transition from starter to reserve since coming to the Clippers this season via free agency.
“He was fantastic tonight,” Rivers said post-game. “I was very happy for him because he’s been up and down, and he needed tonight. We used him a couple of different ways. That was great for him and gave him confidence. He’s going to help us and tonight he did.”
Hawes said being aggressive helped.
“That’s what my teammates and coaches are encouraging me to do,” he said. “I’m coming into a situation where I don’t want to ruffle any feathers. I think it’s better for everybody if I do play more aggressive like I did (Saturday).”

Hawes also had three rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes and 10 seconds of play.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Spencer Hawes, out past nine games, could return tonight against Utah Jazz

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Backup post Spencer Hawes on Monday morning said he has been cleared by team doctors to play and he said he’s hopeful of getting into Monday night’s game against the visiting Utah Jazz.

Hawes sustained a bone bruise in his left knee in the Clippers’ loss at Washington on Dec. 12 and has missed the past nine games, during which the Clippers have gone 4-5.

“I hope so, yeah,” Hawes said, when asked if he would play Monday. “Everything there at this point is kind of just testing it out and seeing how it responds. Everything so far has been good. I feel it in certain things, but the big thing is there is no real threat of doing anything worse with where it’s at now.

“Now, it’s just keeping pushing it and seeing how it responds. But I’m very excited, obviously, to be able to get back out there.”

Hawes, a starter most of his eight-year career, is in his first season with the Clippers. He’s averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds off the bench.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-104 loss Tuesday at Atlanta

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan had 22 rebounds and four blocks in Tuesday’s loss at Atlanta/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- With this defeat, the Clippers (19-10) are now just 4-7 against teams with winning records. That means that of their 19 victories, only four have come against teams with winning records.

- Once again the Clippers showed an inability to sustain solid play. They were ahead by 13 points not quite midway through the third quarter, only to lose by three points. A 16-point turn-around during winning time is not going to cut it against good teams like Atlanta.

- Jamal Crawford scored 18 points, but he shot just 5 of 19 from the field. Over his past three games he has shot 16 of 50, for just 32 percent. He was 6 of 20 from 3-point range during that time for a 30 percent clip.

- The Clippers have now lost three of four and five of their past eight games. Backup post Spencer Hawes sustained a knee injury during the first game of that losing run and has missed the past seven games entirely. Don’t think the Clippers don’t miss him. They do.

- DeAndre Jordan had another monster game. He scored 15 points, pulled down 22 rebounds and blocked four shots. His only blemish was shooting 1-for-4 from the free-throw line, but that’s almost expected. This month he is averaging 15.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. Over the past five games he’s averaging 17.2 rebounds and is now averaging a league-high 13.4.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker expected to start tonight against Clippers

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes is expected to miss his sixth consecutive game tonight against the Spurs/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

Small forward Kawhi Leonard (hand) figures to miss his fourth consecutive game when his San Antonio Spurs host the Clippers tonight (Monday) at 5:30 (on Fox Sports West). However, according to a tweet by the Orange County Register’s Dan Woike,  point guard Tony Parker (hamstring) is expected to start after missing the previous five games with a hamstring injury.

Parker is the team’s leading scorer and assist man with respective averages of 16.0 and 5.3. Leonard is averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Clippers backup post Spencer Hawes is expected to miss his sixth consecutive game with a bone bruise in his left knee.

The Clippers (19-8) reside in sixth place in the Western Conference standings. San Antonio, which has lost four in a row and six of seven, is 17-11 and in seventh in the West, 2 1/2 games behind the Clippers.

The teams met once before this season, with the Spurs coming away with an 89-85 victory Nov. 10 at Staples Center.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Clippers on Dec. 29 to host night that will support Children’s Hospital

Jordan Farmar

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

 

The Clippers on Dec. 29 will host a “Dedicated Awareness Night” when they take on the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. It’s part of the Clippers and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ effort to raise funds for Children’s Hospital’s Helping Hands Fund, which uses the proceeds to support lifesaving care for every child treated, even if the child’s family can’t afford to pay the bill.

Clippers Jordan Farmar, Spencer Hawes and Chris Douglas-Roberts and broadcaster Ralph Lawler on Dec. 5 spent some time visiting patients at Children’s Hospital.
“For us to be able to come to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and spend some time with these kids, play some games, share some stories, exchange some laughs – especially around the holiday season – it makes it really special,” Farmar said.
Donations can be made by visiting www.chla.org/clippers or by participating in the team’s online auction at www.clippers.com.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-91 loss Sunday at Memphis

Image

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin had just four rebounds in Sunday’s loss at Memphis/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- Blake Griffin pulled down just four rebounds in 33 minutes. For a 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward with a career rebounding average 10.0, that is not good. Griffin is averaging just 6.8 rebounds through 12 games this season. That is easily the lowest output of his career. He averaged 9.5 a season ago, 8.3 in 2012-13, 10.9 in 2011-12 and 12.1 in his rookie season in 2010-11.

- The Clippers were out-rebounded by a whopping 52-32. Aside from Griffin’s poor output on the boards, post DeAndre Jordan pulled down just three measly rebounds in 20 minutes, and he went into the game leading the league at 12.2 per game; he’s now fifth at 11.4. Jordan had four fouls. Still, the Clippers (7-5) will have a hard time beating good teams when they are out-rebounded by 20. Spencer Hawes had 10 rebounds off the bench. Other than that, Chris Paul – a 6-foot guard – was next with five.

- The loss notwithstanding, the aforementioned Paul did his part. Besides the five rebounds, Paul scored a team-high 22 points on 7 of 13 shooting. He made all seven of his free throws, doled out five assists and made four steals with just two turnovers in 34 minutes.

- The Clippers had won the first two games of the road trip – over Orlando and Miami – and looked good doing it. But after getting 31 assists in a 110-93 victory at Miami on Thursday, the Clippers managed only 14 against the high-flying Grizzlies (12-2). Paul’s team-leading five were well under his 9.5 average.

- The Clippers were out-played in many areas. But the biggest item of note is that they were simply dominated by Memphis big-man Marc Gasol, who owned the Clippers by scoring 30 points on 13 of 18 shooting. He also pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked two shots. For the Clippers, Jordan had two points and those three rebounds. And no blocks.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Spencer Hawes says it is not yet time to hit the panic button

Image

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Spencer Hawes wasn’t around in 2013-14, signing with the Clippers during the off-season. But the 7-foot-1 post’s assessment of this team seems to be right on the money.

“I think it’s obvious, there’s a lot of stuff we’re not doing right, a lot of things we need to address,” said Hawes, whose team is coming off a 121-104 defeat at the hands of Golden State on Wednesday night in Oakland; the Clippers trailed by as many as 29 points. “Until we can get together and start to do that, the results are going to be like they have been; there is not going to be that consistency. We’ve gotta play better individually, we’ve gotta play better as a unit; we have to play more together.

“And not just offensively. I think that’s kind of the thing that stands out. But I think defensively, the times we’ve done it, it’s just made everything so much easier.”

The Clippers are allowing opponents 104.2 points per game. Only the Lakers (116.8), Boston (109.3), Dallas (105.6), Denver (105.5) and Utah (104.2) are giving up more.

Hawes is not worried, yet.

“We’re not going to panic, but we’d rather be going through this now than in April,” he said. “There are a lot of things we have to address, and we don’t have a lot of time to waste.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Spencer Hawes: Success with early home-cooking is paramount

Image

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Spencer Hawes late Friday night was talking about his team’s less-than-stellar showing in the preseason – the Clippers went 2-6 in exhibition games – when he had an interesting observation.

“We have got an important week of practice coming up here to get things going in the right direction,” Hawes, the Clippers’ backup post, said after the Clippers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in their final exhibition game. “We have got to hit the ground running. We have the opportunity here starting the season with a pretty long stretch at home and we have to take advantage of that.”

The Clippers play eight of their first nine games at Staples Center. One of those is an “away” game against the Lakers on Friday. The one true away game in that stretch will be Nov. 5 at Golden State.

The Clippers open the season Thursday against Oklahoma City at Staples Center.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email