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

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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.

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

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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.”

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Spencer Hawes: Success with early home-cooking is paramount

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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.

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DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick do big damage in first half at Golden State

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J.J. Redick

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

 

DeAndre Jordan scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds, doled out four assists, made two steals and had one block in the first half of Tuesday night’s game at Golden State. But the Warriors held a 62-60 lead; the Clippers led 33-27 after one quarter.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 18 points in the half and Spencer Hawes, who started in place of the idle Blake Griffin at power forward, had 10 points and four rebounds. Matt Barnes, who came in having made just 2 of 24 shots in the previous five exhibition games, made 1 of 5 from the floor and scored three points.

Jamal Crawford has seven points off the bench.

Besides Griffin, Chris Paul is getting the night off.

The Clippers shot 44.2 percent from the field in the half.

Stephen Curry leads the Warriors with 12 points and Klay Thompson and Justin Holiday had seven apiece.

Golden State shot 56.8 percent from the field.

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Jamal Crawford likes harmony he shares with Spencer Hawes

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

We wrote Monday about how newly acquired backup post Spencer Hawes likes playing alongside fellow Seattle native and sixth-man Jamal Crawford.

Safe to say, the feeling is mutual.

“I’ve know Spence since he was 17,” Crawford said. “Every summer, when we play pick-up, we play together. We’ve always been on the same team, even when he was with Philadelphia and I was with New York. For us, we have a great synergy. But we’re just trying to complement the guys that are out there.”

Crawford is 34, Hawes 26.

Crawford is averaging 21.3 points through five exhibition games. Only teammate Blake Griffin and Golden State’s Klay Thompson are averaging more and they are both at 21.6 points per game. Crawford is shooting 60.7 (17 of 28) percent from 3-point range.

 

 

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Spencer Hawes stoked about playing alongside Jamal Crawford

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Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Even though newly acquired backup post Spencer Hawes and sixth-man Jamal Crawford are eight years apart – Hawes is 26, Crawford 34 – they are both from Seattle, so they know each other well.

Hawes believes that is helping him get acclimated to his new team.

“I’m becoming more comfortable with the first unit, more comfortable with the second unit,” Hawes said. “It’s fun playing with Jamal. We’ve been playing every summer for the last decade, and now I’m finally on his actual team. So it’s fun developing that chemistry and actually getting to put it to use in real games.

“It makes you more comfortable all-around coming to a new situation, on the court, off the court. (Jamal) is a guy that’s been one of my mentors and looked out for me since I was in high school. So it definitely makes things easier.”

Hawes is averaging 12 points and 5.6 rebounds off the bench in five exhibition games He has a high point total of 24 and a high in rebounds of eight.

 

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Clippers get their first exhibition win, 101-97 over Utah Jazz

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

A 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford with 18.5 seconds to play broke a 95-95 tie and the Clippers went on to their first exhibition victory, 101-97 over the visiting Utah Jazz on Friday at Staples Center.

The Clippers are 1-3, the J azz 4-1.

Crawford led Los Angeles with 25 points off the bench and backup post Spencer Hawes scored 24. Blake Griffin had 17 points for the Clippers, Chris Paul 11 and Chris Douglas-Roberts 10. DeAndre Jordan scored nine points and pulled down 17 rebounds.

Gordon Hayward led Utah with 22 points.

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Utah Jazz lead Clippers 47-46 at halftime

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Utah Jazz led the Clippers 47-46 at halftime Friday at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 11 points in the half and Jamal Crawford and Spencer Hawes had 10 apiece.

Gordon Hayward had 13 points for the Jazz.

Chris Douglas-Roberts made a 3-pointer for the Clippers with three seconds left in the half.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 119-114 loss Sunday at Portland

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

- First and foremost, the Clippers need to defend better – in particular, the 3-point shot. The Trail Blazers shot 53.9 percent overall from the field, an almost-unbelievable 68 percent (17 of 25) from 3-point range.

- Sixth man Jamal Crawford had his second solid performance in as many exhibition games. He scored a game-high 23 points while making 8 of 13 from the field, 6 of 8 from 3-point range. In the team’s first exhibition – a 112-94 loss to Golden State on Oct. 7 – Crawford had 14 points on 5 of 10 shooting, 2 of 6 from 3-point range. Crawford recently tweeted that even at 34, he believes he’s getting better. Perhaps, he’s right.

- The Clippers shot just 59.1 percent (13 of 22) from the free-throw line. Most of the damage to that percentage was done by none other than DeAndre Jordan, who made just 3 of 9. Jordan needs to find his way at the free-throw line. He has a career percentage of just 42.5; he shot 42.8 percent this past season.

- Newly acquired reserve post Spencer Hawes had his second strong game with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. He shot just 5 of 13 from the field, but was 3 of 6 from 3-point range. He also had a really strong drive in traffic for a layup that may have opened some eyes.

- Matt Barnes had his second poor shooting night in succession. He was 1-for-7 from the field after shooting 1 of 4 against Golden State. He was 1 of 5 from 3-point range, meaning he is just 1 of 8 from there in two games. Barnes would rather come off the bench, and he did that Sunday after starting Oct. 7.

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Clippers drop to 0-2 in exhibition play with 119-114 loss at Portland

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers are now 0-2 in exhibition play after losing 119-114 Sunday at Portland.

Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford led everyone with 23  points. He made 8 of 13 from the field, 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

The Clippers shot a respectable 43.6 percent as a team, 48.7 percent (19 of 39) from beyond the 3-point line. But Blake Griffin had an off night. He shot just 4 of 16 (25 percent) and scored only nine points in 25 minutes. He also only grabbed two rebounds.

Chris Paul scored 15 points and doled out six assists, but he was just 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Spencer Hawes had a solid game off the bench, scoring 15 points with six rebounds and three assists. J.J. Redick scored 14 points and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and eight rebounds, but continued to struggle at the free-throw line, where he made just 3 of 9.

Reggie Bullock started at small forward instead of Matt Barnes, who told reporters not long ago he would rather come off the bench. Bullock played 19 minutes and scored six points on 2 of 4 shooting. Barnes was just 1 of 7 from the field and scored just three points in 26 minutes off the bench.

Newly acquired Jordan Farmar had 13 points for the Clippers, on 5 of 10 shooting.

Wesley Matthews led Portand (1-2) with 22 points C.J. McCollum had 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 16.

Portland shot 53.9 percent from the field, 68 percent (17 of 25) from beyond the arc. You can bet Clippers coach Doc Rivers isn’t happy about that.

The Trail Blazers out-rebounded the Clippers 49-35.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was in the crowd.

The Clippers play Monday night at 6 at Utah (on Prime Ticket).

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