Clippers set to introduce Lance Stephenson to Los Angeles media

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Charlotte Hornets,


The Clippers on Thursday afternoon will introduce newly acquired Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles media at a news conference.

Doc Rivers, Clippers coach and president of basketball operations, on Monday traded small forward Matt Barnes and forward/center Spencer Hawes to the Charlotte Hornets for Stephenson, who at 6-foot-5 can play both guard positions and small forward.

Stephenson, just 24, played his first four seasons with the Indiana Pacers. His final season with them was his statistical best as he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 2013-14.

Stephenson signed with Charlotte after that season, but he did not follow up his previous season with anything similar. He averaged 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his only season there. He started just 25 of 61 games in which he played.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 119-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


– Philadelphia coach Brett Brown utilized the rather disgusting hack-a-DJ in the last 1 1/2 minutes of the second quarter, during which time DeAndre Jordan made just 1 of 8 from the free-throw line on his way to making only 5 of 17. That is 29.4 percent. Jordan is making just 39.4 percent of his free throws on the season. Believe it or not, that is only the fourth worst percentage of his career. He shot 38.5 percent in 2008-09, 37.5 in 2009-10 and 38.6 in 2012-13.

Blake Griffin took only eight shots for the second consecutive game. Sure, he played fewer minutes in those two games – 29 and 27 – because both games were routs; the other game was Wednesday at New York, where the Clippers blasted the Knicks 111-80. But that doesn’t account for the disparity between taking 21 and 19 shots in the previous two games in 37 and 36 minutes, respectively. Griffin needs to stay aggressive. He’s averaging 17 shots per game on the season.

– Getting back to Jordan, he did pull down another 20 rebounds in this one. That means he has grabbed at least 14 in 20 of his past 21 games. He’s averaging 17.6 rebounds in 14 games this month, a league-leading 14.8 on the season.

Spencer Hawes, who has struggled mightily this season, had seven points and eight rebounds off the bench in 19 minutes. The rebounds were one more than the 7-foot-1 reserve had over the previous three games combined. That’s a good thing. Now, he needs to keep on doing it.

Matt Barnes had another solid game in what has been his best month of the season. He scored 15 points while pulling down four rebounds and making four steals with three assists. Barnes shot 4 of 8 – 3 of 7 from 3-point range. He’s averaging 10.1 points on the season, but 12.9 in March, during which he’s shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 111-80 victory over the New York Knicks

DeAndre Jordan throws down a dunk for Clippers in their rout of New York on Wednesday. Jordan had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks/Photo by Mary Altaffer/Associated Press


Blake Griffin and Chris Paul said ahead of this three-game roadie that this was a “business trip.” In other words, they’re playing two lousy teams and one mediocre team, so just go out and take care of business. They did that with the Knicks in this one, bolting to a 63-33 halftime lead and never looking back. The Knicks are now 14-58. Up next are the Philadelphia 76ers (18-54) on Friday and then the Boston Celtics (31-40) on Sunday.

– It was nice to see the play of the bench in this one. Austin Rivers led the team with 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting. That was big because Rivers had scored a grand total of 14 points in his previous five games. Spencer Hawes, who has really struggled, even got into the act with seven points on 3 of 6 shooting.

– It sounds like a broken record, but J.J. Redick had yet another fine game. He scored 17 points while making 7 of 11 from the field – 2 of 4 from 3-point range in just 22 minutes; the starters played fewer minutes than usual because of the lopsided nature of the game. Redick’s season scoring average is at a career-high 15.9. He is averaging 20.8 points in 13 games this month while shooting 48.8 percent overall, 41.9 from beyond the arc.

– It was kind of a weird game for point guard Paul. In 28 minutes he scored 11 points with 16 assists and four steals. But he committed five turnovers. Paul is averaging 3.1 turnovers this month, the highest of any month this season. His best month was December, when he averaged just 1.6. He’s averaging 2.4 on the season.

– After taking 19 of 21 shots, respectively, in his past two games, Griffin took just eight shots in this one. He made three for 14 points. He also had six rebounds, three assists and a steal. He’s now averaging 18 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in six games since his return from an elbow injury. He’s averaging 22.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 rebounds on the season.

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Five things to take from the Clippers’ 129-99 loss Friday at Dallas

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes had his fourth consecutive solid showing in Friday’s loss at Dallas/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


– It’s tough to win when your opponent shoots 60.7 percent (51 of 84) from the field, 57.1 percent (16 of 28) from 3-point range. That’s what the Mavericks did in this one. Suffice to say, the Clippers did not play defense they way they should have. They are now allowing
100.6 points per game, 19th in the league. That’s not to mention the 30-point loss was the Clippers’ most lopsided of the season.

Spencer Hawes had another poor outing starting in place in Blake Griffin. Hawes scored just four points on 2 of 8 shooting, 0 of 3 from beyond the arc. He did have five assists. In his past five games the 7-foot-1 Hawes is averaging just 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds while
shooting just 27.8 percent from the field, 26.7 from 3-point range.

Chris Paul had four more turnovers, meaning he is averaging a very uncharacteristic 4.6 turnovers in his past five games. He’s averaging just 2.4 turnovers on the season.

– There was some good news. Matt Barnes played his fourth consecutive solid game since returning from a hamstring injury. He had 14 points on 5 of 12 shooting – 3 of 9 from 3-point range and is averaging 14.5 points while shooting 51.3 percent, 44.4 percent from beyond the arc in those four games. Barnes is averaging 9.9 points on the season with a 45.5 overall shooting percentage, 37.6 percent from long-distance.

– The Clippers (42-24) have 16 regular-season games left. This defeat tightened things up even more in the Western Conference. They are still in fifth, but are now 1 1/2 games behind fourth-place Houston (43-22) and sixth-place Dallas (42-25) is now just a half-game behind
the Clippers with seventh-place San Antonio (40-24) just a game behind them.

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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).


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

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,

– 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.


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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,


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.

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

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


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.

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

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers,


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.

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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,


– 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.

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