Clippers

Clippers Trade Chris Paul To Houston

June 28, 2017

Chris Paul shocked the NBA world on Wednesday morning, informing the Clippers that he would be signing with the Houston Rockets when free agency begins.  That prompted an agreement where Paul opted into the final year of his contract, allowing the Clippers to trade him to Houston.

In return, the Clippers received guards Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, forwards Sam Dekker,  Montrezl Harrell, and a 2018 1st round pick.  The pick is top 3 protected.  The Clippers will also received three other players with non-guaranteed contracts in order to make the trade work under the salary cap: DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, and Kyle Wiltjer.

The trade ends a six-year run for Paul with the Clippers, who was arguably the best player in the history of the franchise.  He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in assists, second in steals, fourth in free-throw percentage and sixth in points.

Paul was eligible for a 5-year $205 million contract.  However, according to one team executive, the team was not interested in offering the full 5-year term, and also not interested in granting him a no-trade clause.  Paul would have made $46 million in the final year of that contract at 38 years old, which was not attractive to the team.

Other team sources indicated that Paul’s relationship had grown extremely rocky with head coach Doc Rivers.  The tension was reportedly over Rivers’ perceived unwillingness to include his son Austin, in a trade for Carmelo Anthony back in February.  Paul and others had also perceived Coach Rivers as unwilling to criticize his son while issuing criticism of other players.  Austin Rivers took to Twitter later Wednesday to deny that these stories were true.

Sources also indicated that there was tension between Paul and Blake Griffin, and that both had grown tired of playing with each other.  Griffin, along with J.J. Redick, are schedule to be unrestricted free agents as of this Saturday.  The Clippers however, remain confident that Griffin will re-sign with them for the 5 years and $175 million they plan on offering him.

By agreeing to opt into the final year of his contract, Paul will make just over $22 million next season, and he’ll be eligible for that 5-year $205 million next summer, if he were to re-sign with the Rockets.  Paul will also form a dynamic backcourt in Houston, with MVP runner up James Harden.  Houston also continues to push for a Paul George trade, and would be interested in acquiring Carmelo Anthony if he were to be bought out by the Knicks.

The trade enabled the Clippers to get something in return for Paul, who would have otherwise departed for nothing in unrestricted free agency.

Beverly is one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders, and on a team friendly contract that pays him $5.5 million next season, with a team option for the following season.  Dekker, 23, is an athletic player with decent three-point range.  Williams is one of the NBA’s best sixth men, and Harrell is a high-energy player who will be entering only his third season in the league.

Even if the Clippers were to re-sign Griffin, they could still potentially have about $70 million in cap space in the summer of 2018, with an excellent free agent class available.

During his six seasons in LA, Paul averaged 18.8 points, 9.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals while committing only 2.3 turnovers per game. He was named to three All-NBA first teams, two All-NBA second teams and six All-Defensive first teams.

He took to Twitter to thank the Clippers and their fans.   He wrote “Unbelievable amount of emotions right now — I don’t even know what to say. Lots of love and tears. I’m so blessed and thankful for the ability to play this game, this is the part that no one can prepare you for.”

The Clippers also waived retiring forward Paul Pierce on Wednesday to adhere to the NBA’s roster limit of 20 during the offseason.

 

Jerry West Joins Clippers

June 14, 2017

Jerry West is joining the Clippers as a consultant.  West informed the media that he is leaving the Golden State Warriors to take on a similar role with the Clippers.

“Sometimes you need to be challenged. I’ve kind of been defiant my whole life, the way I was raised, and I think this is like the defiant streak in me. I don’t know,” West said.

The move was first reported by Sports Illustrated, and the Clippers’ interest in West was first reported  nearly two weeks ago by ESPN’s Marc Stein.

The move is huge for the Clippers, who will leverage West’s expertise as part of their strategy to retain their key free agents Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and JJ Redick.

The move is somewhat awkward for West’s former team, the Lakers, who he desired to return to.  However, West’s vision reportedly didn’t fit with what the Lakers were looking to do according to NBA sources.

Although he was a Hall of Fame player with the Lakers, West is also considered one of the greatest NBA executives in the history of the game.

He served as General Manager of the Lakers from 1982-2002, and was the architect of six championship teams.  They included the Showtime Laker Championship Teams in ’85, ’87, ’88.  As well as the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant Championship teams of 2000, 2001, and 2002.  West later helped the Memphis Grizzlies become a playoff team, and is widely cited for his role in advising the Warriors over the last few years in building their championship team.

Speaking of the Lakers, they may have some concern that Jerry may now try to lure his son, Ryan, away from the Lakers to join the Clipper front office.  Ryan is currently the Lakers assistant General Manager.

Jazz Eliminate Clippers In Game 7


April 30, 2017

Gordon Hayward scored 26 points , and the Jazz eliminated the Clippers at Staples Center on Sunday afternoon with a 104-91 victory.

The Clippers were eliminated from the 1st round of the playoffs for the 2nd straight season.  They’ve also blown a series lead in the last 5 postseasons.  Last season LA was eliminated by Portland when both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were injured.  This year, the Clippers were without Griffin, after losing him to a toe injury in game 3.

George Hill and Derek Favors each scored 17 points for Utah, which won its first playoff series since 2010.

“We’ve been through some pretty hard downs,” said Hayward.  “It definitely feels really good to go from 25 wins to where we were this year making the playoffs, winning a series.”

DeAndre Jordan led the way for the Clippers with 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford scored the majority of his 20 points late in the game, but it wasn’t enough to rally the Clips.

The Clippers’ starting backcourt struggled.  Chris Paul, who was double teamed for much of the afternoon, scored 13 points and had 9 assists, but was just 6-19 from the field.  He also tweaked an ankle in the 3rd quarter, which slowed him down.  JJ Redick, who struggled for most of the series, had 3 points on 1-5 shooting.

Paul was disappointed, but attributed part of the problem to defense.  “It came down to today to keep us afloat, keep us alive,” he said.  “We’re done.  Late when we did start scoring, we couldn’t get stops.”

After an even 1st quarter, the Jazz opened up a lead as large as 11 points in the 2nd quarter, and took a 46-39 lead into halftime.

The 3rd quarter saw the Jazz open up with a 23-9 run, which blew the game open, and extended the lead to 69-48.  With Rudy Gobert in foul trouble, Boris Diaw contributed 8 points in that stretch, and the Jazz complete 3 different 3-point plays.

Utah was in command for most of the 4th quarter, ahead by as many as 17 points, despite the fact that Favors and Gobert were plagued with foul trouble, as both big men fouled out.

Redick’s only basket of the game, a 3-pointer with 3:28 to play, cut the Jazz lead to 98-90, but the Clips could not get any closer.  A 13-foot jumper by George Hill, a Redick missed layup, followed by two made free throws by Joe Johnson pushed the lead back to 12 with two minutes left.

The only lead of the game for LA was by a single point just minutes into the game.  They shot 44% from the field and were outscored 56-46 in the paint.

The Clippers now head into the offseason with a multitude of questions hanging over them.  Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have the ability to opt out of their contracts’ and become free agents.  JJ Redick will also become an unrestricted free agent.  Re-signing any 2 of them would require incurring luxury tax penalties.

Game 7 may also have been the final game of Paul Pierce’s NBA career.  The 19-year NBA veteran had 6 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes.  He has previously said this would be the final season of his Hall of Fame career.

The Jazz now face the Warriors in the 2nd round of the playoffs beginning on Tuesday night in Oakland.

Clippers Force Game 7


April 28, 2017

The Clippers forced a 7th and decisive game with the Jazz by defeating Utah on Friday night 98-93 in Salt Lake City.

Chris Paul led the way with 29 points and 8 assists, and held off a late Utah rally to force the 7th and deciding game of the best-of-7 series on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.  The winner will play the Golden State Warriors in the 2nd round.

Doc Rivers said game 6 was all about CP3.  “It’s just Chris,” Rivers said. “He is as competitive as a human being as I’ve ever been around. When you put that with the talent and the will, that’s why he has performances like this in big games.

The Clippers began to pull away late in the 4th quarter, and went on a 9-2 run which was capped by an Austin Rivers 3-pointer with 3:58 remaining.  That gave the Clippers a 91-77 lead.

After another Rivers 3-pointer, the Clippers opened up a 96-86 lead with 90 seconds left to play, but the Jazz weren’t done fighting.  Gordon Hayward would score seven straight points to pull Utah within 96-93.  The Jazz had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but Joe Johnson’s 3-pointer missed.  Paul made two free throws to put the game away.

Hayward led the Jazz with 31 points, George Hill added 22 and Rudy Gobert finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.

“We had to dig down on defense,” DeAndre Jordan said. “We had some big stops on defense. And then guys like Austin, CP, Jamal, they made big shots. But they made big shots because of our defense.”

Now the Clippers will have an overwhelming advantage in game 7 at Staples Center.  80% of home teams in NBA history have won game 7.  The Clips are 3-3 all-time in game 7’s.

Hayward & Jazz Top Clippers in Game 5

April 24, 2017

The Jazz shoved the Clippers to the bring of elimination of Tuesday night at Staples Center with a 96-92 victory in game 5 of their 1st round series.  The Jazz have taken a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Rodney Hood had 14, and Joe Johnson had a clutch 14 as Utah won it’s 2nd game on the road in the series.

Chris Paul tried to keep the Clippers in it with his 28 points and 9 assists, but it wasn’t enough.  JJ Reddick also scored 26 for LA.

Neither team shot the ball well.  The Jazz shot 43% and the Clippers only 42%.  However, Utah dominated a number of other important categories.

The Jazz outscored the Clippers 34-28 in the paint, and outrebounded them 43-34.  Utah’s bench also outscored LA 36-16, in what has become a familiar pattern in the series.

Utah took the game’s first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit  to tie the game, but they could never take the lead.  The Jazz countered with 8 straight points caped by Hayward’s 3-pointer.

Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah’s bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.

Joe Johnson’s step back jumper extended Utah’s lead to 92-87.  That put the game out of reach, as the Clippers could never recover.  Blake Griffin watched from the bench with his right foot encased in a black walking boot.

The Jazz will try to close things out on Friday night in Salt Lake City.  A victory for Utah would send the Clippers home, and vault the Jazz into the 2nd round against the Warriors.

Joe Johnson Pulls Jazz Even With Clippers

April 23, 2017

Joe Johnson delivered 11 straight 4th quarter points as the Utah Jazz defeated the Clippers 105-98 in game 4 of their first round series.  The best-of-7 series is now tied 2-2.

Johnson finished the game with 28 points, including a critical 4th quarter jumper with  to give the Jazz a 91-90 lead with just under 4 minutes left.  The Clippers would never regain the lead after that.

Rudy Gobert returned to the Jazz lineup after injuring his knee in game 2.  Gobert delivered 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots.  Gordon Hayward played only 9 minutes in the game after battling food poisoning, and did not play in the 2nd half.  He had just 3 points in the game.

The Clippers were led by Chris Paul, who had 27 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.  Jamal Crawford provided 25 points off the bench, and DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Clips were clinging to an 80-77 lead going into the 4th quarter.  A free throw by Wesley Johnson gave the Clippers an 87-80 lead with 7:37 lead, but then the Johnson and the Jazz would begin their rally.

Johnson reeled of 7 straight points in about 2 minutes to tie the game at 87-87.  2 minutes later, Johnson capped his 11-point run and gave Utah the lead for good.

The Clippers were outrebounded 42-31 and outscored in the paint 58-36.  For the game, the Jazz shot 54% from the field, while the Clippers shot 44%.

The series returns to Staples Center on Tuesday night for Game 5. Utah will host Game 6 on Friday night.

Blake Griffin Done For The Playoffs


April 22, 2017

Blake Griffin has been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs after suffering an injury to his big toe on Friday night against Utah.  The Clippers made the announcement on Saturday morning.

Griffin suffered the injury in the first half Friday and did not return to the game.  The injury is to the plantar plate of his right big toe.  Griffin will visit a foot and ankle specialist when the Clippers return to Los Angeles.

It is the 2nd straight year that Griffin has suffered an injury that has knocked him out of the playoffs.  Last year against Portland, Griffin injured his quad, and was out for the remainder of the series, in which the Clippers were eliminated in six games.

He also missed 18 straight games earlier this season after undergoing surgery on his right knee. Griffin was the Clippers’ leading scorer and second-leading rebounder this season, averaging 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Griffin could potentially be an unrestricted free agent this summer.  He has one year remaining on his contract for $21 million.  However, he has he has an early-termination option on his contract this summer, allowing him to test the free agent market, or re-sign with LA for potentially another 5 years and up to $180 million.

Clips Win But Lose Blake


April 21, 2017

Chris Paul put the Clippers on his back in the 4th quarter, scoring 9 straight points during one stretch as LA defeated Utah 111-106 in game 3 of their 1st round playoff series.  The Clippers now have a 2-1 lead in the series.

Paul finished the game with 34 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds for the Clips.  However, they also lost Blake Griffin, who left the game in the 1st half after bruising his right big toe.  The injury took place late in the 2nd quarter after Griffin scored on a fast break.  He went to the locker room shortly after, undergoing X-rays that came back negative.  He’ll be evaluated for further tests.

DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had a playoff career-high 15 points, and Jamal Crawford finished with 9 points.

Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with a playoff career-high 40 points.  However, the Jazz went scoreless for 6:06 of the 4th quarter, which allowed the Clippers to go on a 15-0 run.

With 4 minutes left, Paul nailed a 3-pointer to give the Clippers a 97-96 lead, their first lead since the 1st quarter of the game.

At the 3:23 mark, Paul went behind his back and eluded two Jazz defenders for a driving layup to make it 99-96 Clippers.  That forced Utah to call a timeout to regroup.

“He has an amazing will,” Doc Rivers said. “He’s just a tough guy. He’s stubborn in a very, very positive way. All the great ones have that in them. They’re stubborn like they aren’t going to lose.”

“I’m just always looking at the scoreboard trying to manage the game,” Paul said. “I was just trying to pick my spots. That’s a good team over there. They stick to their principles.

Game 4 will be on Sunday in Utah.  The Clippers will try to take a 3-1 lead in the series.  They’ll be awaiting word on the severity of Griffin’s injury between now and then.  Meanwhile, the Jazz will be awaiting word on whether center Rudy Gobert will return to their lineup.

Clippers Get Even With Jazz

April 18, 2017

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 24 points while DeAndre Jordan added 17 points and 15 rebounds, as the Clippers defeated the Jazz 99-91 at Staples Center.  The best-of-seven series is now tied 1-1, and will head back to Utah for the next two games.

Chris Paul scored 21 points and added 10 assists, and the Clips pounded the Jazz in the paint, outscoring them 60-38.

The Jazz were led by Gordon Hayward, who scored 20 points in the loss.  Joe Johnson provided 13 points off the bench.  The Jazz played without Rudy Gobert, who sat out with a hyperextended knee.

LA jumped out to a 12-point lead after the 1st quarter.  After a DeAndre Jordan dunk off a lob pass from Jamal Crawford, the Clips had a 9-point lead at halftime.

“We got into movement. We went downhill a lot more,’’ said Doc Rivers. “Every time they made a run, we pushed the ball up the floor.”

Both teams scored 28 points in the 3rd quarter, but the closest the Jazz would come to take the lead was a 3-point deficit in the period.  The Clippers took a 79-70 lead into the 4th quarter.

In the 4th quarter, the Jazz got within 6 points of the Clippers, but LA answered.  Luc Richard Mbah a Moute pull down an offensive rebound that led to the Griffin’s three-pointer.  That put the game away.

“They raised their level tonight,” said Jazz Coach Quin Snyder. “They played with an intensity from the beginning of the game, It was impressive. That’s who they are.”

“This is what we should do,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said afterward.

Game 3 of the series will be Friday night in Utah against the Jazz.

Clippers Fall To Jazz At Buzzer

April 15, 2017

Joe Johnson hit a game-winning runner that bounced into the hoop to give the Utah Jazz a 97-95 victory over the Clippers in Game 1 of their 1st round series at Staples Center on Saturday night.  Utah has a 1-0 lead in the best of seven series.

“I just wanted to get as close as I could to the basket, and it was a good thing it went down,” Johnson said.

Johnson scored 21 points on the night off the bench to lead the Jazz.  The Clippers were led by Blake Griffin, who scored 26 points and pulled down 7 rebounds.  Chris Paul had 25 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds.

Paul banked in a floater with 13 seconds left in the 4th quarter to  tie the game at 95-95.  The Jazz didn’t call a timeout, and went the other way with a chance to win the game.  The left Johnson isolated against Jamal Crawford, who drove the lane for the game-winner.

“We’ve got to be better,” Paul said.  “They played harder, they were more physical.”

The Jazz lost starting center Rudy Gobert just 18 seconds into the game, when he bumped knees with Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.  Gobert left the game after being helped into the locker room.  The good news for the Jazz is that an MRI exam showed no structural damage to the knee, and Gobert was diagnosed with a hyperextension.

Utah outscored the Clippers 16-10 to open the third, before Crawford’s jumper put the Clips ahead 70-69.  Gordon Hayward, who finished the game with 19 points, scored 6 straight points to give the Jazz a 74-70 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

In the first half neither team led by more than 6 points.  The Jazz went on a 14-2 run in the 2nd quarter to take their own 6-point lead.  However, the Clips answered with a 14-8 spurt of their own.

The real difference in the game was the benches.  The Clippers got just 20 points from their bench, and only 8 from Jamal Crawford.  The Jazz on the other hand, received 46 points from their reserves.

Now the Clips will have to fight to regain home court advantage.  “We fought until the end of the year to get it, and now we’ve given it right back,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

Game 2 will be on Tuesday night at Staples Center, where the Clips will try to even the series before heading to Utah.

Clippers Clinch Home Court

April 12, 2017

The Clippers secured home court advantage on Wednesday night with a 115-95 win over Sacramento in the final regular season contest.

LA needed to win after the Jazz defeated the Spurs at home.  The Clippers and Jazz will open the 1st round of the playoffs at Staples Center on Saturday night.  The Clips won the season series 3-1, and as a result, won the tie-breaker over the Jazz in the standings.

“I wanted to win the game,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought it was good for our guys to win. But honestly, home court was still more important. We got that, so that was nice to get for us. That’s a bonus.”

DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 17 rebounds to lead LA, while Chris Paul added 17 points and 9 assists.  The Clippers had 6 players in double figures, which included all 5 starters and Jamal Crawford off the bench.

“Maybe a few weeks ago, our spirit just wasn’t the same,” Paul said. “Our defensive intensity wasn’t there. I think the past couple of weeks we picked that up. It’s nice to finish the season strong, but all that was to build habits for the playoffs.”

The Kings were led by Willie Cauley-Stein, who scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.  Arron Afflalo had 18 points as well.

The Kings were the last team to defeat the Clippers back on March 26th.  Since then, the Clippers have reeled off 7 straight wins, and piled up 11 victories in their last 13 games.

Game 1 of the Clippers and Jazz will be Saturday night at Staples Center, with tip-off schedule for 7:30 pm.

Clippers Blow Out Rockets

Apri 10, 2017

Chris Paul led the way with 19 points, and Blake Griffin had 18 as the Clippers hammered the Rockets 125-96.  It was the Clippers 6th straight win and kept them tied with Utah in the race for 4th place in the West.

The Rockets were led by Eric Gordon, who scored 19 points.  James Harden had 14 points on just 2-9 shooting.

The Jazz and the Clippers each have one game left.  Utah won on Monday night at Golden State, and they’ll host the Spurs on Wednesday night, while the Clippers will face Sacramento at Staples Center.

After an even 1st quarter, the Clippers managed to take a 4 point lead into halftime.  Jamal Crawford would score the final 5 points of the 1st half.

By the 3rd quarter, they would break it open, outscoring the Rockets 36-12 in the period.  The quarter was highlighted by a 24-3 run, which included a DeAndre Jordan dunk off an alley-oop from Chris Paul, and a steal and a 3-pointer from J.J. Redick.  Griffin had 8 points in the quarter.

The 4th quarter was highlighted by Paul Pierce scoring 10 points in the game’s final five minutes.  He moved into 15th on the NBA career scoring list with 26,397 points, which fired up all of his teammates on the bench.

If the Clippers win on Wednesday night at home against the Kings, they will earn home court advantage in the 1st round against Utah.  They own the tie-breaker with the Jazz, after winning the season series 3-1.

Clippers Too Much For Spurs

April 8, 2017

The Clippers got 19 points from Chris Paul and took down the Spurs 98-87 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.  LA improved to 3-1 on the season vs San Antonio, and inched closer to 4th place in the West.

The Clips had 6 players in double figures, including all 5 starters.  Blake Griffin had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan had 17 points to go along with 17 rebounds.  They also dominated San Antonio in the paint, outscoring them 48-32 for the game.

Kawhi Leonard had 28 points to lead the Spurs, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18.  San Antonio has already secured the #2 seed and will be playing a first round matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.

After an even first quarter that saw the Spurs finish the period with a 1 point lead, the Clippers would make their move toward the end of the 1st half.  A 13-3 run over the final 4:07 of the half gave the Clippers a 52-43 lead going into the locker room.

The Spurs cut the lead to 82-78 after a jumper by Leonard.  However, the Clippers countered with an 8-0 run and pushed the lead to 82-70 heading into the 4th quarter.

Neither team shot well in the 4th quarter.  The Spurs wouldn’t get any closer than 92-83 however, and the Clips assured themselves of a 1st round matchup with the Jazz.  The only question is who will get home court.

The Clippers will return to action on Monday night against the Rockets.  Then they’ll wrap up the regular season on Wednesday vs Sacramento.

Clippers Move Closer To 4th


April 5, 2017

Blake Griffin scored 32 points and the Clippers won their 4th straight game by beating the Mavs 112-101 at Staples.

J.J. Redick scored 25 points, DeAndre Jordan had 20 rebounds, and Chris Paul had 22 points and 11 assists.  The Clips have won 8 of their last 10 games.

Harrison Barnes led the way for Dallas with 15 points.  The Mavs have lost 6 of their last 7 games, and are out of the West playoff race.  They have just four games left in the regular season.

It was the 3rd straight game that Griffin has scored 31 or more points.  “We keep forgetting he missed a huge part of the season,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s getting ready.”

The Clippers made their first nine shots of the game.  After the first quarter they shot 61% from the field and had built a 17-point lead.

Dallas got within seven in the second before the Clippers extended their lead to 18 and went into halftime ahead 62-49.

The 3rd quarter saw Yogi Ferrell score 9 points, which helped cut the Clippers’ lead to 6.  “They just kept fighting,” Rivers said. “They had a lot of reasons to say `game over’ and that made us keep playing.”  The Clippers would re-group and go on a 17-6 run.  That pushed the lead back to 17 heading into the 4th quarter.

After a Mo Speights 3- points, the Clippers had their largest lead of the game, 20 points.  The Mavs would rally again, but they never got closer than 9 points.

The Clippers moved to within a half game of idle 4th place Utah.  The Clippers have three regular-season games remaining while the Jazz have four.

Up next for the Clips will be Saturday night against the Spurs in San Antonio.

Clippers Win Another Season Series Over Lakers


April 1, 2017

The Clippers continued their dominance of the Lakers on Sunday at Staples Center, defeating the Lakers 115-104.

Blake Griffin scored 36 points, Chris Paul poured in 29, while Doc Rivers earned the 800th victory of his career.

J.J. Redick contributed 19 points for the Clips as well, who are now 1 game behind the Jazz for 4th place in the Western Conference.

Since 2012-2013, the Clippers have won 18 of the last 20 meetings between the Staples Center co-tenants. It’s also the 5th straight year that the Clippers have won the season series with the Lakers.

David Nwaba led the Lakers with 19 points off the bench, while Brandon Ingram scored 10 of his 18 points in the 4th quarter. Thomas Robinson added 16.

The Clips started quickly in this one, jumping out to a 17-0 lead before the Lakers would answer.   A Robinson basket broke a string of 11 consecutive misses for the Lakers.  Robinson held his own against Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and his early efforts actually brought the Lakers to within 28-22 after the 1st quarter.

The Lakers took a brief lead in the 2nd quarter, but the Clippers would take control again by halftime, leading 55-50.   Paul had scored 11 points and dished out 7 assists at that point.

The 3rd quarter however, saw the Clippers up by as many as 22 points, and after being outscored 38-22 in the period, the Lakers trailed 93-72 entering the 4th quarter.

The Lakers got within 8 points in the 4th quarter behind a strong effort from Ingram. Much of that was the result of the Clippers bench giving up that lead, which has been a common occurrence this season. However, Paul and Griffin scored the Clippers last seven points to secure the victory.

It was a rough game for D’Angelo Russell, who had just 2 points on 1-9 shooting. Jordan Clarkson didn’t fare much better with 7 points on 3-12 shooting.

The Lakers have lost 18 of their last 20 games, and will now take on the Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. Meanwhile, the Clippers are off until Wednesday, when they host the Mavs at Staples.

Clippers Too Hot For Suns

March 30, 2017

Blake Griffin led the way with 31 points and Chris Paul poured in 29 to go along with 10 assists, as the Clippers beat the Suns 124-118 on Thursday night in the desert.

The win was the 2nd in a row for the Clippers, who pulled within 1 game of the 4th place Utah Jazz in the Western Conference.  Meanwhile, the Suns lost their 10th straight game.

Phoenix was led by Devin Booker’s 33 points and season-high 9 assists.  However, the 2nd year guard fouled out with just under five minutes to play in the game.

The Clippers took a 67-59 lead into halftime after wrestling the game away from the Suns in the last 6 minutes of the 2nd quarter.  They closed the half on a 13-4 run, capped by a 23-foot jumper from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

The Suns would fight back in the 3rd quarter, and finished the period on a 9-0 run over the last 2:25.  TJ Warren’s put-back after an Alan Williams miss cut the Clippers’ lead to 93-92 heading into the 4th quarter.

Phoenix tied the score 102-102 after Booker’s layup with 7:50 left in the game.  However, they could never take the lead after that.  Griffin countered with a made basket and got fouled moments later, converting a 3-point play.  Chris Paul made a 10-footer, followed by 2 more free throws, and suddenly the Clippers regained control with a 7-0 run.  The Suns shaved the lead to 114-112 after Booker fouled out, but the Clips would hold them off again.

The Clippers will return home and continue to battle for playoff positioning.  Up next will be another meeting with the Lakers, which will be Saturday afternoon at Staples, in which the Clippers will be the designated home team.

Redick’s Return Helps Clips Top Wiz

March 29, 2017

J.J. Redick returned from injury to score 31 points, and the Clippers outlasted the Wizards 133-124 on Wednesday at Staples Center.

Redick had missed the Clippers game on Sunday against Sacramento with an ankle sprain.  On Wednesday night, he hit a season-high 7 three-pointers.

The other 3 members of the Clippers core also played well.  Blake Griffin scored 26 points, had 10 rebounds, and 9 assists.  DeAndre Jordan had 23 points and 18 rebounds.  Chris Paul had 27 points and dished out 13 assists.

The Wizards were led by John Wall’s 41 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds.  They also received 27 points from Bradley Beal.

The Clippers led by as many as 19 points midway through the third period. The Wizards chipped away in the fourth and pulled to within five points, 129-124, after Beal hit a three-pointer with 31 seconds left.  That gave the Clippers fear of blowing another big lead for the 2nd straight game.

However, Griffin made two free throws with 18 seconds left.  That put the game out of reach, as the Clippers led 131-124.

“We got some key stops down the stretch and kept playing offensively,” Coach Doc Rivers said. “We moved the ball around, got the ball in the right hands and made shots. That was the difference. We didn’t hesitate.”

The news wasn’t all good for the Clips though.  Austin Rivers left the game with a strained left-hamstring.  The injury is likely to keep him on the sidelines for at least a couple of games.

Utah also won on Wednesday night, which meant the Clippers didn’t pick up any ground in the race for 4th place in the Western Conference.  The Clips are back in action on Thursday night in Phoenix, against the Suns.

Clippers Blow 18-Point Lead & Lose To Kings


March 26, 2017

The Clippers gave back an 18-point lead at Staples Center on Sunday, and lost to Sacramento 98-97.  The rally was capped by a put back from Willie Cauley-Stein.  Chris Paul missed a 21-foot jumper with 1.2 seconds left that sealed the fate of the Clips.

“It’s a bad loss. It’s probably the worst one in the regular season in my career, probably,” said Paul, who had 17 points and nine assists. “Yeah, that’s tough. That was a bad one. That’s a bad loss. Yeah.”

With Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan resting early in the 4th quarter, the Kings mounted a furious comeback.  A Buddy Heild 3-pointer pulled Sacramento to within 94-85 with 3:22 left.

Heild hit two more 3-pointers just nine seconds apart, and Sacramento was only down 96-93 with 2:10 left.  After Griffin made 1 of 2 free throws, the Kings continued their 3-point onslaught.  Langston Galloway’s 3-pointer made it 97-96 with 1:23 left.  That set the stage of Cauley-Stein’s last second heroics.

The Clippers have lost 10 of their last 19 games overall, and they fell behind the Jazz by 1 game in the race for 4th place in the Western Conference.

Jordan had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, and Griffin finished with 17 points.

“These games should mean so much more to us than to them. Nothing against them. But just being out of the playoff picture… We have something to play for,” Blake Griffin said about the loss to the Kings. “And tonight it looked like it was the opposite, the other way around in that last little bit… It’s over now. Can’t do much about it now except try to move on.”

The Clippers played without J.J. Redick, who injured his right ankle when he stepped on a basketball in the game against Utah on Saturday.

There’s only 9 games left in the regular season.  The Clippers will try to get back in the win column on Wednesday, when they host the Wizards at Staples Center.

Clippers Clinch Playoff Spot

March 25, 2017

The Clippers clinched a playoff spot on Saturday with a 108-95 win over the Jazz at Staples Center.  Jamal Crawford led the way with 28 points off the bench, Blake Griffin added 15, and Chris Paul scored 14.

The win moved the Clippers to within .5 games of the 4th place Jazz in the Western Conference.  Utah got 26 points and 14 rebounds from Rudy Gobert, while Joe Johnson had 17.  However, the Jazz have lost four of their last five games.

The Clips took control early, building a 15-point lead in the first quarter.  They shot 52% from the field, and finished the first twelve minutes with a 28-14 lead.

“Right from the beginning they jumped us, and we weren’t ready,” Gobert said. “That’s what happened the last few games and we came out the same way.”

The Jazz tried to make a run in the 2nd quarter, but the Clippers took a 49-41 lead into halftime.

The Clippers lost a 16-point lead in the third quarter and their tempers went with it.  Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul were whistled for technical fouls and suddenly, Utah had made a game of it.

“My emotions got the best of me for a second,” Crawford said. “I had to get it off my chest and settle down going into the fourth quarter.”

Crawford responded with 17 of his 28 points in the final period, and the Clips regained control.

Utah’s top scorers struggled.  Gordon Hayward had 13 points on 5-12 shooting, while Hill had 9 points on 4-11 shooting.  Hayward also asked to be taken out of the game in the 4th quarter with what appeared to be a knee bruise.  He was seen with an ice pack on his knee while sitting on the bench.

The Clippers will try to tie the Jazz in the standings on Sunday at Staples when they take on the Sacramento Kings.

Barnes Beats Clippers Late


March 23, 2017

Harrison Barnes made a jumper with 1:06 left, and the Mavericks beat the Clippers 97-95 on Thursday night in Dallas.

Barnes also picked up a steal off of Blake Griffin in the final seconds to help secure the win.  Wesley Matthews made a free throw with under a second left to play, and then J.J. Redick missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, which would have won the game for LA.

“We had a great shot on the last play,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “That was great execution, and it was a 3, would have been a game-winner. Make, miss, we will live with that.”

Griffin scored 21 points on the night, despite missing his last 3 shots.  DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 18 rebounds, Chris Paul scored 15, and Austin Rivers had 13.

The Clips went on a big 22-4 run at the end of the 1st half to take a 54-48 lead at halftime.  The Mavericks went on a 13-2 run to start the 3rd quarter, and took a 79-77 into the 4th quarter.

Seth Curry led the Mavs with 23 points and Harrison Barnes added 21.  The Clippers had their 3- game win streak snapped.

The Clips fell 1.5 games behind the Jazz for 4th place in the Western Conference.  The Jazz will come to Staples Center on Saturday to take on the Clippers.  It will be the first of a 3-game home stand.

Clippers Maul The Lakers

March 21st, 2017

The Lakers were the designated home team in their showdown with the Clippers on Tuesday, but it wasn’t much of a contest, with the Clips winning 133-109.

Chris Paul led the way for the Clippers with 27 points and 8 assists, J.J. Redick had 24, and Austin Rivers scored 18 off the bench in a game that was virtually decided by halftime.  The Clips were up 70-40 at the half.

Although the Lakers didn’t play much defense, they did get some productive performances from their young players.  Brandon Ingram scored 21 points and D’Angelo Russell had 18.  Ivica Zubac had 17 and 7 rebounds, while Julius Randle added 19.

The Clippers shot 53% from the field and outscored the Lakers in the paint 60-36.  They got whatever shot they wanted, and the Lakers couldn’t do anything about it.  The Clippers also hit 3-pointers.

One of those 3-pointers was a 46-foot bomb from Jamal Crawford to end the 3rd quarter.  That gave the Clippers a 108-74 lead heading into the 4th.  Crawford finished the game with 15 points, and passed Calvin Murphy for #69 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list

Laker coach Luke Walton wasn’t please about his team’s effort at times, and benched his starters to open the 2nd half.  “Playing without a certain amount of effort isn’t going to be acceptable or tolerated,” he said.  “A lot of guys it’s more about the individual success rather than the team success.”

For the 2nd straight game, the Clippers starters sat out the entire 4th quarter.  The game was so out of hand that Chris Paul was watching the 4th quarter with his son on the bench.

“Until the team more than individual, it’s going to be really hard to win,” Walton explained.  “I would say we played harder in the second half but not as hard as we should play.  To come out in front of our home fans and give that kind of effort wasn’t ok.”

The Clippers have now defeated the Lakers in 17 of their last 19 meetings. The win moved them a little bit closer to Utah, who is now just .5 games ahead of them for 4th place in the West.

The Lakers on the other hand picked up their 51st loss of the year.  With Phoenix’s loss to Miami, the Lakers remain two games worse than the Suns for the 2nd worst record in the league, and the race for better lottery odds.

Clippers Strike Early Against New York & Hold On

March 20, 2017

The Clippers made it two in a row on Monday night at Staples Center with a 114-105 victory against the Knicks.

Blake Griffin scored 30 points, while DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick had 14 each.  The Clippers had 6 players in double figures, including Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford, who combined for 31 points off the bench.  Chris Paul had 13 points and 13 assists.

For the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  Derek Rose scored 18, and Carmelo Anthony with 16.

The Clips built a lead as large as 25 points after outscoring New York 34-19 in the 3rd quarter.   However, the Knicks used their bench to cut the deficit to 7 by the last few minutes.

The Clippers’ starters sat out the entire 4th quarter.  Despite the strong showing from Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford, LA’s bench was outscored 43-39.

There’s 11 games left in the regular season and the Clippers are now within one game of the 4th place Utah Jazz in the Western Conference.

Up next, the Clippers will have a designated road game on Tuesday night against the Lakers.  The teams have split their two games so far this season.

Clippers Beat Shorthanded Cavs


March 18, 2017

The Clippers will take wins any way they can get them right now, and they got one Saturday night against a shorthanded Cavaliers team, 108-70.

The Cavaliers played without Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, who all sat out to rest.  The NBA certainly will not be happy about that given that the game was on national television.

Blake Griffin scored 23 points, and JJ Redick added 16, which helped LA snap a 3-game losing skid. It was Griffin, along with DeAndre Jordan, who sat on Thursday night’s road game against Denver, which the Clippers lost.

The large margin of victory also allowed the Clippers to rest Chris Paul, Griffin, and Jordan for the entire 4th quarter.

The Cavaliers were led by Richard Jefferson’s 12 points.  However, they shot just 38% from the field, while the Clippers shot 51%.  LA also hammered Cleveland on the boards, outrebounding them 54-40.

The win allowed the Clippers to maintain their hold on 5th place in the Western Conference.  Not only are the Clippers trying to move up, but they are trying to hold off the Thunder and the Grizzlies, who are right behind them in the standings.

The Clippers will be back in action on Monday night at Staples Center against the Knicks.

Clippers in Disarray After Loss To Nuggets


March 17th, 2017

The Clippers troubles continued on Thursday night in Denver with a 129-114 loss to the Nuggets.  It was the 3rd straight loss for LA, and their 8th in the last 13 games.

The Clips played without both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, who were resting back in LA.  However, Nuggets power forward Nikola Jokic took advantage of their absence by dominating in the paint.  Jokic scored 17 points, pulled down 14 rebounds, and dished out 11 assists for his 5th triple- double of the season.  Will Barton also scored a career-high 35 points for Denver.

Chris Paul had 18 points and 14 assists, J.J. Redick scored a team-high 22 points and Austin Rivers had 17 for the Clippers.  Defense was the issue again though.  Denver shot both 53% from 3-point land, and 53% from the field.

“That’s on us,” Chris Paul said. “We’ve got to give more effort, be better all around.”  Paul also questioned what the Clippers identity was at this point in the season.  “Yeah, you would hope to not be trying to figure that out at this point of the season,” he said.

The Nuggets didn’t give the Clippers much of a chance to make a run.  Denver built a 103-80 lead heading into the fourth.  The advantage grew to as much as 25 and the Clippers never threatened. Barton’s seventh 3-pointer, which tied a career high, capped a 20-point half for the guard.

J.J. Redick doesn’t like where things are going either.  “I don’t know what to expect from this team anymore,” he said.  “It’s just — we’re in a bad place right now. We’re losing games. We’ve been [a mess] since the All-Star break.”

To make matters worse, the Clippers are losing ground in the Western Conference playoff race.  They are now 3 games back of the Jazz for 4th place in the conference.  They also have Oklahoma City and Memphis right behind them in the standings, so they could find themselves in 7th place in no time.

Things won’t get much easier for them.  They’ll return home on Saturday to take on the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Griffin & Clips Fall Short At Buzzer


March 16th, 2017

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton had 16 points apiece, and the Bucks hung on for a 97-96 victory against the Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Blake Griffin added 18, but missed a shot at buzzer that would have won the game.  Griffin drove the lane and put up a shot that just rolled off the rim.

The Bucks led by seven with less than three minutes to play, but Jordan scored to bring the Clippers within a point.  Then with 5.1 seconds left, LA called timeout and ran a play for Griffin moments later.

“It was a decent look,” Griffin said. “Wish we had two more seconds to let it develop.”

It was an off-night for Chris Paul, who shot just 2-10 from the field, while scoring six points and turning it over six times.

Milwaukee scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, giving the Clippers their second consecutive loss.

The Clippers are just 5-6 in their last 11 games, but head Coach Doc Rivers isn’t too worried.  “It’s just a point in the season.  Cleveland’s lost four of five, but if won then it’s a different (reaction).  Maybe because they won a world championship.  I have a lot of confidence in where we’re headed,” he said.

The Clippers will travel to Denver tomorrow night to take on the Nuggets.  They plan on leaving Griffin and Jordan home to rest.

Jazz Finally Beat Clippers At Home

March 13th, 2017

The Clippers shot well in the 1st half, but the Jazz had a big 3rd quarter, and defeated LA 114-109 on Monday night in Salt Lake City.

Gordon Hayward had 27 points and George Hill added 19 as Utah defeated the Clippers for the first time in nine tries at home. Chris Paul had 33 points for LA in a losing effort.

The victory gave the Jazz a two-game lead over the Clippers in the race for the No. 4 playoff seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the first round.

“They wanted this game,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “They took the game. We played great in the first half and had a lead. I thought we should have had a bigger lead at halftime to be honest. I thought that was our chance to separate and we didn’t.”

The Clippers had a 56-49 lead at the half, behind 18 points from Paul, and 8 straight points from Austin Rivers.  It was just a 7 point lead despite shooting 56% from the field, and 50% from behind the arc.

The Jazz exploded for a 40 point quarter in the 3rd, which was a season-high for any quarter.  Hayward, whose back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Jazz a 103-92 lead. Hill finished with 19 points and Joe Ingles scored 18 off the bench.

Chris Paul was still fairly optimistic despite the loss.  “We got to get it together,” Paul said. “I’d much rather be playing the right way and be playing consistently on both ends and lose a couple of games, but know going into the playoffs we’ve got our principles. We’re still working on them.

“It sucks, but you got to do it. If we were ready for everything right now, we might be peaking too soon, so hopefully we hit it at the right time.”

The Clippers return home to face the Bucks on Wednesday at Staples Center.

Clippers Take Care of 76ers

March 11th, 2017

Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan came up big on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center, and the Clippers took down the 76ers 112-110.

Paul scored 30 points and had 7 assists, while Jordan had 19 points and 20 rebounds to help LA win their fourth game in the last five tries.

The Clipps were somewhat sluggish for the first three quarter of this one, trailing at halftime 57-56, and then trailing heading into the 4th quarter 79-75.  However, a 10-0 run to start the final 12 minutes of the game was the spark they needed to secure the win.

Blake Griffin also had a nice game for LA with 15 points and 10 rebounds.  The win was the Clippers 10th in the last 11 games against Philadelphia.

The 76ers were led by Richaun Holmes, who scored 24 points off the bench.  Rookie Dario Saric scored 16 points, and Jahlil Okafor had 14.

The Clippers got some help from Oklahoma City, who defeated Utah on Saturday afternoon as well.  That means LA is just 1 game back in the loss column from 4th place Utah in the Western Conference.

That couldn’t have come at a better time because the Clippers will travel to Utah on Monday to take on the Jazz in the next game.  There’s just 16 games left and these two teams look like they are on a collision course to meet in the 1st round, so they’ll be fighting to secure home court advantage over the next month.

Clippers Find Their Game Against Memphis

March 9th, 2017

The Clippers returned to the win column on Thursday night in Memphis.  LA beat the Grizzlies 114-98 behind a big game from Austin Rivers.

Rivers scored 20 points, while Chris Paul added 19 and 7 assists to help the Clipps maintain their hold on 5th place in the Western Conference with the Grizzlies breathing down their neck.

JJ Redick scored 15 points as well, while Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin each scored 14.  The Clipps shot 51% from the field, and outrebounded the Grizzlies 47-34.

LA outscored Memphis 31-20 in the 3rd quarter, including a buzzer beating 49-foot shot from Jamal Crawford.

The Grizzlies never got close from there.  The Clippers opened a lead as much as 22 points in the 4th.

Memphis was led by Marc Gasol who scored 20 points, as well as Zach Randolph, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The win comes after the Clippers held a team meeting on Thursday morning, after Wednesday’s loss to the Timberberwolves.  “It was a long meeting, but it was a truthful meeting,” Doc Rivers said. “We just talked. There wasn’t any screaming. It was just a good team discussion about what we want to be and what we need to do.

Blake Griffin knew their effort against Minnesota was poor.  “We know we haven’t played the way we should,” He said.  “So sometimes just scrapping the film, scrapping the walk-through and just talking and letting guys get some frustrations out, talk about what they’re seeing.  “Sometimes you miss something.”

The Clippers return to action on Saturday night against the 76ers.

Clippers Don’t Bring Much Fire In Minnesota

March 8th, 2017

The Clippers didn’t put up all that great of a fight in Minnesota on Wednesday night.  LA suffered a 107-91 loss to the Timberwolves at the Target Center.  It was their 5th loss in the last 8 games since the All-Star break.

This one got out of hand early.  After taking a 2-0 lead, Minnesota went on a 15-0 run.  The Clipps were down by 15 points in the 1st quarter and then against in the 2nd.  The lead ballooned to 18 points with 2:24 left in the 4th.

The Timberwolves got a huge game from Karl Anthony Towns, who scored 29 points to go along with 14 rebounds in the win.  Andrew Wiggins had 20, and Shabazz Muhammad had 17.  Ricky Rubio got loose too, scoring 15 points while racking up 12 assists  and 6 rebounds.

The Clippers were led by DeAndre Jordan, who scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.  Blake Griffin had 16 points, and JJ Redick had 14.  The Clippers shot just 42% from the field and were dominated on the glass, getting out rebounded 50-36.  They also committed 17 turnovers.

The Timberwolves pulled within 2.5 games of Denver for the final playoff spot in the West.  Meanwhile, the Clippers fell to 22-11 when all five of their regular starters were healthy.

Clipper coach Doc Rivers was not happy with his teams effort.  “We cannot allow our offense to dictate how we’re going to play,” Rivers said. “And today, you could see it all over the floor. Guys were missing layups. Wide-open threes, wide-open shots and they let it take their spirit away. That’s what young teams do. Not veteran teams.”

Rivers pulled starters DeAndre Jordan, J.JRedick and Luc Mbah a Moute and replaced them with reserves Jamal Crawford, Marreese Speights and Austin Rivers with 5:32 left in the first quarter.

“It wasn’t quick enough,” Rivers said. “No, I’m serious, it wasn’t quick enough. I should have done it literally four minutes earlier than that. … I honestly waited too long.”

The Clippers fell further behind the Jazz, in the race for 4th place in the Western Conference.  LA will be back in action on Thursday night against the Grizzlies.

Clippers Pull Away From Celtics In 2nd half

March 6th, 2017

The Clippers got their act together on Monday night.  Doc Rivers got a win against his former team, the Celtics, 116-102 at Staples Center.  They did so behind the strength of a huge second half.

Blake Griffin scored 26 points, and Chris Paul added 23, as LA scored 63 points on 84% shooting over the final 16 minutes.  The first 32 minutes saw them score only 53 points.

The Celtics had a 13 point lead at one point in the 2nd half, but Jamal Crawford was a huge part of the Clippers rally.  Crawford scored 17 of his 19 points in the final 24 minutes.  “He made some tremendous shots,” Brad Stevens said.  “That’s what he does.”

Boston was led by Isaiah Thomas, who scored 31 points, as well as Marcus Smart, who went for 21. However, the Celtics shot just 41% from the field.  They were also hammered on the boards, 47-37.

DeAndre Jordan also scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds for LA, which won their second straight game.  The Clippers remained 1.5 games behind Utah for 4th place in the Western Conference.

Chris Paul went to the bench late in the 3rd quarter with an elbow injury.  Paul bumped into Kelly Olynyk, and grabbed his right elbow after falling to the floor.  For much of the 4th quarter, Paul had his elbow wrapped in ice.  He re-entered the game in the final two minutes.

“That second unit was great” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.  “I stuck with them for a long time.  That was good for us too.  Anytime we can win a game and get guys down in minutes, it’s never a bad thing.”

The Clippers will now hit the road for a couple of games.  Up next will be Wednesday night for a game against the Timberwolves.

Crawford Leads Clippers Past Bulls


March 5th, 2017

Jamal Crawford helped the Clippers break their losing skid on Saturday night.  Crawford had 25 points off the bench as the Clippers beat the Bulls 101-91.

The Clippers also got 17 points from Chris Paul, and 16 from Blake Griffin.  The win snapped LA’s 2 game losing skid.

Crawford scored 10 points during a 14-7 Clippers run in the 4th quarter.  He scored in single digits in 5 of his last 6 games, but finally broke out.

”He’s going to always break out,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. ”I always tell him to give yourself a shooter’s chance. If you don’t shoot it, you have no chance of breaking out of it.”

Jimmy Butler led the way for the Bulls with 16 points in a losing effort. Chicago had won 5 of the last 6, including wins against Golden State and Cleveland.

The Clippers are back home Monday night to take on the Celtics.

Clippers Struggles Continue In Milwaukee

March 3rd, 2017

The Clippers took their struggles to the road Friday, and this time it was Milwaukee handing them another loss.  The Bucks got off to a fast start and held on for a 112-101 win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and eight assists.  Greg Monroe scored 23 points too, but the Bucks nearly gave up a 23 point lead.

The Clipps got within 77-74, after Chris Paul made four 3-pointers.  However, the Bucks went on a 15-2 run and regained a 16 point lead with 9 minutes left.

Paul and Blake Griffin scored 21 points each for the Clippers.  DeAndre Jordan had 14, but LA was doomed by its 23 turnovers.  That led to 41 points by the Bucks.

The Clippers have not only slipped to 5th in the West, but they are getting dangerously close to falling as far as 7th in the West.  They’ll try to find the win column tonight in Chicago.

Rockets Rout The Clippers


March 1st, 2017

The Rockets could not be stopped from the 3-point line on Wednesday night at Staples Center.  Houston made 20 three-pointers in a 122-103 win over LA.

James Harden scored 26 points, Ryan Anderson added 23, and the Clippers were crushed on the boards 62-35.  Houston had 6 players in double figures.

Chris Paul had 16 points and 10 assists for the Clipps, and Blake Griffin had 17, but LA lost for the 3rd time in the last 4 games.  They had a decent start too, taking a 37-34 lead after the 1st quarter.

However, the 2nd quarter saw the Rockets start to pull away.  They made 11 of 24 three-pointers in the first half, to take a 70-58 lead into the locker room.

The Clippers made it 70-60, then the Rockets nailed 6 more three-pointers in just under 4 minutes to take a 93-69 lead.  LA was outscored 38-20 in the 3rd.

The Clipps would go on a 15-2 run in the 4th quarter but would get not closer than 111-93. With every 3-pointer the Rockets hit, the disbelief of the Clippers grew larger.

“We knew we needed to take them off the three-point line,” Chris Paul said. “We gave up too many threes tonight.”

The Clippers have been sliding since the All-Star break.  They are 1-3 with losses against the top 3 teams in the West (Golden State, San Antonio, and Houston), losing by an average of more than 10 points per game.

LA is stil 5th in the West after Utah lost on Wednesday night.  They still have time to build momentum before the playoffs now that their two stars are healthy and back in the lineup.  “Without making excuses, we’re still getting right,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “We just got our two guys [Chris Paul and Blake Griffin] back.

The Clippers will return to action on Friday at Milwaukee.

Clippers Outlast Hornets


February 26th, 2017

The Clippers needed overtime, and a brilliant game from Blake Griffin, but they beat the Hornets on Sunday night 124-121 at Staples.

Griffin scored 43 points to go along with 10 rebounds, and 5 assists, as he helped the Clippers snap their two game losing skid.  Chris Paul added 15 points, 17 assists, and 9 rebounds despite a tough shooting game.  CP3 missed 14 of his 18 shots from the field.

The Clippers gave up a 17-point lead in the third quarter, then the score was tied at 113-113 when Kemba Walker made two free throws with 11.9 seconds left in regulation.  Walker scored 34 points for the game.  Paul missed a potential game-winning jumper, and the teams headed into overtime.

The Clippers built a 4 point lead in the extra period, but that also disappeared, when Charlotte’s Jeremy Lamb made a 16-foot jumper to tie the score at 120-120.

Griffin then made one of two free throws for a 121-120 Clippers lead with 20.7 seconds left.  The Hornets still had a chance to steal the game.

Charlotte had to call a timeout with 19.2 seconds left and another with 10.2 to play because of tough defense by the Clippers.  LA then forced a turnover, and Paul’s missed layup was rebounded by DeAndre Jordan for a slam dunk, which secured the win.

Jordan finished with 20 points and 19 rebounds.  “When it came down to it, I think we just made some really great plays in overtime,” said J.J.Redick, who had 22 points. “Blake was huge. It was a one-possession game and it came down to one play.”

The Clippers will return to action on Wednesday against Houston, where they’ll try to make it two in a row at Staples Center.

Spurs Spoil Paul’s Return

February 24th, 2017

Chris Paul returned for the first time in five weeks, but it didn’t matter.  The Spurs took down the Clippers 105-97 on Friday night at Staples Center.

Kawhi Leonard battled through foul trouble to score 21 points.  Pau Gasol had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points and 11 rebonds of his own.

This was the Spurs first game after a nine-day layoff, while it was the Clippers 2nd straight loss after the All-Star break.

Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers with 29 points, and Paul scored 17 but committed 4 of the Clippers 12 turnovers.  Austin Rivers poured in 23 off the bench, but it wasn’t enough.  The Clippers were up 47-42 at halftime, but they couldn’t hold on.  Paul seemed content with an evening that he could build upon though.

“I came out unscathed, which is great,” Paul said. “It was a tough loss, but it felt good to get through an entire game.”

The Clippers were up 68-59 midway through the 3rd quarter.  However, for the 2nd night in a row, their opponent erupted at that point.  The Spurs went on a 16-5 run, to take a 77-73 lead into the 4th quarter.

At one point, Blake Griffin was hit in the face by Spurs reserve Dewyane Dedmon. Griffin went down on the court bleeding, and went to locker room for a moment.  However, he came back out with a band-aid beneath his right eye.

The Spurs now lead the season series with the Clippers 2-1.  LA dropped into 5th place in the Western Conference behind Utah.  The Clippers host Charlotte on Sunday, where they’ll look to get back in the win column.

Warriors Still Have Clippers Number


February 23rd, 2017

I’m not saying the Warriors have the Clippers number or anything.  However, I am saying that after last night they have beaten LA ten times in a row.  The Warriors handed LA a 123-113 loss at Oracle on Thursday, in a game that felt more like a lion playing with its food before devouring it.

The Clippers led by 16 points at one point in the 2nd quarter, and took a 61-49 lead into the locker room.  However, in typical Clipper fashion, DeAndre Jordan lost his composure and picked up a technical foul at the end of the half.  DJ was upset that no foul was called on the final play of the half.  That moment alone may have changed the momentum.

Golden State exploded in the 3rd quarter for 50 points, which was the first 50-point quarter in the NBA since the Lakers had 51 against the Knicks in March of 2014.  The eruption was led by Steph Curry, who scored 17 of his 35 points in that 3rd quarter.  Those 17 points came in a stretch of only 3:37.  Kevin Durant scored 15 of 25 points in the 3rd as well, to go along with 15 rebounds and 7 assists.

“Well, we stopped playing,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought the game plan was great. I thought we played with energy defensively. They scored 50 points in the third quarter and I was more upset with our offense.”

DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the loss, while Austin Rivers had 19 points.  LA even had 6 players in double figures, and their bench outscored the Warriors 51-32.  Still, their efforts were no match for the Warriors trio of Curry, Durant, and Klay Thompson, who combined for 78 points.

I’m sure Doc Rivers is trying to convince himself that things could be different when Chris Paul came back.  However, we’ve already seen that movie before.  As great as Chris Paul is, the trio of Jordan-Paul-Griffin is no match for Curry-Durant-Thompson as well as Draymond Green.

The Clippers seem unlikely to catch the Rockets for 3rd place in West.  They are tied for 4th place with the Jazz.  However, they would probably be better off dropping into 6th place, so they don’t have to face the Warriors in the 2nd round of the playoffs.  The Grizzlies are currently in 6th, 1.5 games behind LA.  With 25 games left, the Clippers need to catch lightning in a bottle.

Clippers Roll Into All-Star Break With Win Over Hawks

 

February 15th, 2017

The Clippers extended their win streak to 4 in a row, as they took down the Hawks at Staples Center on Wednesday night, 99-84.  Blake Griffin scored 17 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds to lead the way for LA.

JJ Redick scored 15 points and Austin Rivers added 13, as the Clippers beat the Hawks at Staples for the first time since March 8th, 2014.

The Clippers started to pull away from Atlanta in the 2nd quarter, sparked by a 29-12 run, which included a stretch of 5 3-pointers.  That gave LA as 54-40 lead at the half.

Atlanta was led by Dennis Schroder with 15 points, along with Dwight Howard, who had 11.  However, they trailed by as many as 22 in the 3rd quarter.

Both teams rested their starters in the 4th quarter, but the Clippers defense had another great night.  They held Paul Milsap to just 8 points, and Kent Bazemore to 2.

Its a nice run for the Clippers but things won’t be easy after the All-Star break.  They’ll have to play the 1st place Golden State Warriors in Oakland on February 23rd.  They can worry about that another day, and enjoy their streak for now.

Clippers Pound The Jazz

February 13th, 2017

Blake Griffin could not be stopped.  The Clippers star Power Forward led the way with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists, as LA routed the Jazz 88-72.

The Clippers played some of the best defense they have all season.  The Jazz shot a season low 33 percent from the field, and just 20 percent from 3-point land.

DeAndre Jordan chipped in with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Austin Rivers added 15 points of his own.

LA has now won 9 straight games in Utah since 2012.  Griffin took control in the 3rd quarter, scoring 12 points, while beating up the Jazz inside and out.

Griffin knew it was all about the defense.  “I thought we just did a great job of giving them the shots that we wanted to give them, making them take tougher shots than they probably wanted,” he said.  I just liked our intensity to start. It was good from beginning to the end.”

Rudy Gobert had 10 points and 14 rebound for the Jazz, but Gordon Hayward was just 2-12 from the field, for 7 points on the night.  Hayward was hounded all night by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.  George Hill was just 2-11 from the field as well.

The Clippers finished their five game trip with a 3-2 record, but have won their last three games.  They also moved a half game ahead of the Jazz for fourth place in the Western Conference.

Clippers Drop The Hornets

February 12th, 2016

The Clippers made it two in a row with a 107-102 victory over the Hornets on Saturday night in Charlotte.  Blake Griffin had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Austin Rivers added 18 points of his own.

The Clipps got off to a slow start, missing their first six shots, as Charlotte jumped out to an 11 point lead in the first quarter.  However, Griffin’s 11 points sparked the Clippers to a 29-27 lead at the end of the 1st.

LA’s bench did most of the damage after that, outscoring Charlotte 47-30, behind Jamal Crawford’s 22 points and 5 three pointers.  Crawford passed Vince Carter for the fifth-most 3-pointers made in NBA history.

Nicolas Batum had 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists for the Hornets.  Charlotte has now lost 9 of their last 10 games.

The Hornets came as close as 3 points in the final minute, but Blake Griffin rebounded a miss from Austin Rivers to help seal the win.  It was the Clippers first two game win streak since January 14th-16th.

The Clippers wrap up their road trip on Tuesday with a game against the Utah Jazz.  Then they’ll host the Hawks on Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star game.

Clipps Get Redick and Dudley

jj_redick-picdudley

July 3rd, 2013

The Clippers continued their busy off-season on Tuesday, acquiring guards J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley in a 3 team trade.  In exchange for Redick and Dudley, the Clippers sent forward Caron Butler and guard Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix Suns, while the Milwaukee Bucks received two 2nd round picks from LA and Phoenix.  Surprisingly, many Clipper fans think their team got worse, but they are more mistaken than Chris Broussard and his multiple sources.

Since the end of the season, Eric Bledose’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors more than a hooker in Vegas.  Bledsoe has great athleticism, and is only 23 years old, but is extremely unproven.  He averaged 8 points and 3 assists in 20 minutes of playing time this year, but when Chris Paul went down with an injury, he failed to prove he can be a reliable starter.  In other words, Bledsoe’s value is more inflated than the stock price of Facebook.

In return, the Clippers acquired two potential starters who are very good shooters in Redick and Dudley.  Redick is a career 39% three point shooter, who averaged 14 pts and 3 assists with the Magic and Bucks last season.  Dudley may play some small forward for the Clippers, he’s 6 years younger than Caron Butler, and a reliable 40% shooter from 3 point land.

The Clippers had some discussions with Orlando for Aaron Afflalo, and Toronto about Demar DeRozan.  However, in typical Clipper front office fashion, they leaked to every media outlet possible all the big names they were chasing, even though it probably was never realistic to acquire those players.  It isn’t very often you will be able to trade a backup point guard and an aging small forward for a player who can score 20 points a game.  The Clippers were trying to make everyone think they could swap a Volvo for a Porsche, which caused much of this disappointment.  Coincidentally, this blabbing probably led to collapse of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade to the Clippers as well.

Remember, the Clippers still have their full mid-level exception of $5 million to spend on another free agent, and they could also bring back small forward Matt Barnes to add depth.  LA has also been talking to free agent power forward Carl Landry, who was an effective bench player for the Warriors last season.

Although the Clippers are doing a good job of adding quality role players and depth around Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, their success will largely depend on how much Blake Griffin’s post game  improves, as well as their half court execution.  Still, good organizations that are proven winners usually don’t blab about all the big names they are chasing to give them credibility.  That’s something the inexperienced and unproven Clipper organization is still learning.

Clippers InDOCtrinated

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets

June 23rd, 2013

I just have one question for Chris Paul:  How did you do it?  How did you convince Donald Sterling to pay Doc Rivers $7 million per year?  You must have slipped some roofies in his drinks at dinner the other night.  Maybe you called Charlie Sheen and he supplied you with some of his cheap hookers for the night to show Donald a good time which softened him up?  Well, whatever it was, it worked.  The Clippers have agreed to a deal in principle with the Celtics for Doc Rivers to become their next head coach.  Rivers will be paid $21 million over the next 3 years.

The Clippers will send the Celtics a first round pick in the 2015 draft as compensation for Rivers. The deal still needs to be approved by the NBA, but that isn’t expected to be an issue.  However, acquiring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce could prove to be another challenge for the Clippers, as the league will likely frown upon adding players in a separate deal.  The NBA has a policy against making deals that are contingent upon one another, and David Stern has shown he will institute his ridiculous rules whenever he damn well pleases.

This saga has dragged on for over a week now, with a great deal of posturing back and forth.  The Clippers tried to put pressure on the Celtics by leaking that they had begun to discuss the financial parameters of a contract with Byron Scott.  The Celtics countered by calling a press conference for Monday announcing that Doc Rivers was staying in Boston.

The bottom line however, is that Chris Paul had more leverage than anyone in this deal.  If the Clippers had any hope of keeping Paul, they had to get this deal done, and Paul urged Donald Sterling to make this happen.  One always has to wonder how Sterling will screw things up, but this time, it was Paul who saved the day.

Is Sterling Trying To Bamboozle Us?

donald-sterling

 

June 21, 2013

The Clippers on again, off again trade with the Boston Celtics is off again.  In this bizarre saga that has unfolded over the last week, the Clippers were initially trying to acquire Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and 2 1st round picks.  However, NBA Commissioner and Dictator David Stern would not allow the deal because it is against NBA rules to trade coaches.  It is also against NBA rules to make two trades that are contingent upon one another, which further complicates the Clippers ever acquiring both Rivers and Garnett.

Nevertheless, the Clippers claim their focus shifted to acquiring just Doc Rivers and worry about Garnett later.  But if that’s the case why wasn’t this deal done days ago?  The Clippers were going to give up two 1st round picks in the initial proposal, and now they are reportedly only offering one 2nd round pick.  Really?  This deal is being held up over draft picks that will eventually be terrible first round picks anyway?  This smells fishier than a Florida election, and Donald Sterling is behind it.

The Clippers had initially called off the negotiations earlier in the week, until Chris Paul urged the front office to keep negotiating.  Paul also sat down with Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler this week, and Lawler tweeted he was informed by Paul that he badly wanted to play for Rivers.  Despite these pleas from the team’s franchise player, Sterling never had any intention of giving any coach a 5 year deal, let alone paying him nearly $7 million per season.

Donald Sterling simply does not value his coaches.  When Sterling fired Bill Fitch in 1998, he refused to pay him, and even sued him when he claimed he wasn’t looking for another job.  When he fired Mike Dunleavy in 2010, he refused to pay him, and was eventually forced to pay $13.5 million after an arbitrator made him.   When he hired Vinny Del Negro in 2010, the Bulls were paying part of his salary.  Now he’s got Byron Scott high on his list or replacements because the Cavs are paying part of his salary.

This saga won’t officially end until the Clippers actually hire a new head coach, however, Donald Sterling thinks were as dumb as Miss Teen South Carolina.  Sterling and the Clippers front office will come to Chris Paul and tell him they tried really hard to bring in Doc Rivers, but they’ll claim the league stopped it.  Now, Paul has the right to do whatever he wants because he’s a free agent, and if he leaves town the Clippers will be bombed back to the stone age.

The Clippers had a chance to completely alter the trajectory of their franchise for the next decade over the coming weeks, starting with making Doc Rivers their head coach.  Hiring Rivers would not only guarantee that Paul would re-sign with the team, but he would give the team instant credibility, and rid them of all the previous skepticism about the franchise.  The acquisition of Garnett and eventually Paul Pierce would have made them the favorite to win the Western Conference next season, and an instant championship contender.  Even after Garnett and Pierce retire, free agents would be lining up to play with the Clippers.

Instead, Donald Sterling is finding a way to screw this up.  Throughout the negotiations, several members in the Celtics organization were reportedly baffled by the Clippers erratic demands, and were unsure where the decisions were coming from.  To make matters worse, the Clippers have slowly begun to alienate Blake Griffin, when their front office started rumors of a potential sign and trade to the Lakers for Dwight Howard.

The Clippers are at a pivotal point in the history of their franchise.  If someone in the organization could actually convince Sterling to step up and spend money, they could actually have a championship contender next season and beyond.  However, it doesn’t even seem that Chris Paul can convince him.  Soon enough, they could return to being the same old Clippers.

Clipper Catastrophe

Randolph Choking Blake

 

May 4th, 2013

Just another typical night on the LA sports scene.  The Clippers were expected to make a nice playoff run to build upon last season’s success, and then get punked in the first round by Memphis.  Oh there’s much blame to go around in this one!

It starts with Blake Griffin, who looked more like Kathy Griffin in this series.  Griffin averaged a pedestrian 13.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in this series, while only shooting 45%.  His counterpart, Zach Randolph, ate him for lunch by averaging 20.8 points, 8 rebounds, while shooting over 56% from the field.  For good measure, Randolph, also put his exclamation point on the series by putting Griffin in an MMA style choke hold in the 3rd quarter.

Then there’s Vinny Del Negro, who will likely be the first to take the fall for this debacle.  It took 5 games and 3 more quarters for Vinny to realize that his team should play some zone defense to try and slow down Z-Bo and Marc Gasol, who were beating his teams brains in.  For some reason, Del Negro thought it was a good idea to play Jamal Crawford only 12 minutes, which seems strange for a team desperate for some play makers outside of Chris Paul.

I guess it’s also pretty tough to win when you’re starting center is making $10 million a year, and is averaging 3 points and 6 rebounds.  You would think by year 3, Blake and DeAndre would be able to develop some real basketball skill, as opposed to just dunking.

Now there’s the real threat of CP3 leaving the Clippers in July, and bombing them back to expansionism.  Funny how Dwight Howard and Chris Paul have both refused to answer questions about their free agency all year, yet Howard is viewed by most people as a bad guy, and Paul is viewed as a good guy who will probably stay.  Both of these guys are definitely going to evaluate if there is a better situation for them elsewhere, and their identical post game comments after their final game suggest they are leaving the door open for a departure.

I still think Howard and Paul would probably even like to play with each other if the opportunity presents itself.  Depending on where the salary cap number is for next year, the Rockets may be able to come close to offering both of these guys max contracts.  So can the Atlanta Hawks, which are located in Howard’s hometown, and much closer to Paul’s home in North Carolina.  Be afraid Laker and Clipper fans….be very afraid.

Clipps On The Ropes

Griffin Towel

May 1st, 2013

The Clippers are blowing it.  Now that the Lakers have been eliminated, the Clipp Show has the chance to completely dominate the Jock Talk LA headlines for the next month.  Now it’s starting to look like they might only be getting attention for another week.

Lionel Hollins is coaching circles around Vinny Del Negro.  Since the Clippers took a 2-0 lead, Hollins has played more through Z-Bo and Marc Gasol, and managed to get the ball out of CP3′s hands on pick and roll plays.  Del Negro has been unable to adjust to the Grizzlies new game plan, and now his team, and his job, are on on the verge of elimination after getting punked on their home floor.

Those that say coaching means nothing in the NBA, and that it’s all about the players have no idea what they are talking about.  The playoffs are where we get to see who can actually coach and who can’t.  How about playing a little bit of zone to slow down the Grizzlies big men?  What about moving Chris Paul off the ball so he’s not so easy to double team? Del Negro needs to get creative quickly or else he’s going to be the first one to take the blame for the Clippers downfall.

As if things weren’t bad enough, now the Clippers have to deal with injuries to both Blake Griffin’s ankle and Chris Paul’s thumb.  Although both will probably play through the injuries, it certainly won’t help their chances.

The bigger issue for the Clipps is the lack of development that is now apparent in Blake Griffin’s game.  Griffin looks like a human highlight reel during the regular season, but is getting exposed as a player with limited basketball skill in the playoffs, especially when going up against two highly skilled big men.  Until Griffin learns to develop some post moves, and is a bigger threat in the pick and roll, the Clippers half court offense will continue to be ineffective.  By his third year in the league, there should have been more development.  That’s an adjustment that Vinny Del Negro can’t make.

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