Game #34 | January 1, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 112

  • 85

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS ASSISTS REBOUNDS STEALS BLOCKS
31 14 12 5 2
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

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27

29

13

16

85

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25

31

25

31

112


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – For 24 minutes, the Clippers’ first game of 2014 looked a lot like their final two of the past calendar year: an opponent below them in the standings holding a second-quarter lead and the Clippers struggling to get stops.

But an overwhelming defensive second half, some deadeye shooting from Jared Dudley and double-doubles by superstars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin turned a tie game into a 112-85 rout over the Bobcats New Year’s Day at Staples Center.   

It was their second win in the last five games, and helped wipe away their most lopsided loss of the season two nights earlier. 

Dudley scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, emerging from a three-game slump that somewhat mirrored the Clippers’ struggles. He burst out of it, though, when the Clippers (22-12) needed it Wednesday. Dudley made all four of his shots in the third quarter, scoring 11 points and helping the Clippers earn a 13-point lead after the scrappy Bobcats (14-19) hung around early.

Dudley’s hot streak coincided with a defensive effort from the Clippers that was as dominant as any this season. They held Charlotte to 29 points in the second half and just nine made field goals from the 52.6-second mark of the second quarter to the game’ final buzzer. Both numbers were season lows for a Clippers’ opponent.

“I thought the second half was the full standard that we want to play at where we score and get stops,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “We held them to 29. That’s who I want to be. The first half we were shooting 50-whatever percent but it was a tie game. I didn’t really enjoy that half, but the second half was fantastic.”

The Clippers made stops on seven of the first nine possessions of the third quarter and Griffin and Dudley scored a dozen of the Clippers’ points in their 19-6 run.

Griffin, who a year ago had a parade of dunks when Charlotte visited Staples Center, did most of his damage from the perimeter. He made four consecutive shots from outside in the fourth quarter and converted his seventh 3-pointer of the year a few possessions later. He finished with a game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds. It was the third game with 30 points or more in the last four outings for the two-time Western Conference Player of the Week.

“We have the utmost confidence in [Griffin],” Paul said. “It was great to see it all come together tonight because tonight that was unreal. [The Bobcats] didn’t know what to do.”

Paul added 17 points and 14 assists and Darren Collison had eight points and five assists off the bench.

NOTES

The Clippers moved to 6-5 all-time on New Year’s Day and 4-2 since they moved to Los Angeles… Guard Maalik Wayns was active for the first time since tearing his meniscus on Oct. 14 during a preseason game in Sacramento… Jamal Crawford, who had 11 points, addressed crowd prior to the game. “Let’s have a blessed new year and make this year better than last year,” he said… The Clippers are 13-1 when Dudley scores at least 10 points… All five starters scored in double figures for Charlotte, led by Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker who had 14 apiece… The Clippers have defeated the Bobcats six consecutive times and are undefeated against them since the start of the 2010-11 season…

QUOTES

  Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on the game:
“It feels better because we know how we felt playing last game and that’s not the type of ball club we want to be. We try to accomplish our goal but I feel tonight it was a lot better. We still have more work to do, we still have a couple lapses here and there in this game, we just got to be able to pick those up.”
  Clippers guard Jamal Crawford on Blake Griffin’s performance:
 “[Chris Paul] was feeding it to him in some great situations. Blake [Griffin] jumped up there and knocked them down. When he’s rolling like that, it’s fun to watch. Those two play so great together and we just feed off of it.”
  Clippers forward Jared Dudley on his mindset heading into Charlotte game:
“I think the ball movement, and for me personally I came in with the mindset of being aggressive. But we talked about in practice (we had a hard practice, and watched film) I think we were 20-for-59 on one side against the Phoenix Suns and 8-for-11 when the ball went side to side. So you’ve got to be aggressive, and obviously you’ve got to make shots. For me there are games where I’m 2-for-5 or 1-for-6, so for me it’s putting a couple down and having confidence in my teammates.”
  Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford on the Clippers:
“We played a championship-caliber team. They played a great second half. I thought we played well in the first half. Then they turned up the defense in the second half, our turnovers hurt us, and Blake Griffin shot the ball great. Sometimes against a team the caliber of this, they get it going. We’ll learn from it, watch the film, try to get better.”
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on whether or not the Clippers’ effort a reflection from Monday’s game:
“I think it’s the effort that we should play with. At the end, the other night was the other night. That’s gone, I don’t think about that anymore. You come out and play the next night? What if you have won by 15 the other night, do you not play the next night. We are trying to establish a standard of play and the other night was below the standard that we should play at. That’s the way I look at it.”



VIDEO

PREVIEW

By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten




LOS ANGELES – Of all the New Year’s resolutions the Clippers may have, shaking off a “disappointing” performance against the Phoenix Suns is likely high on the list.

Doc Rivers said he doesn’t believe in so-called bounce back games, but the Clippers’ Jan. 1 matchup with the Charlotte Bobcats, if nothing else, presents an opportunity to erase their poorest outing of the season.

“I don’t believe in the whole bounce back stuff because you have to play [the next game] anyway right,” Rivers said. “You want to win every game at home, so if we win the game, that doesn’t mean we bounced back. It means that we came and we played better and won the game. Let’s say [Wednesday], we play great and win, we’re not done. We still have a lot to work on. It never stops.”

The process of becoming a championship contender will proceed for the Clippers (21-12), even in losing. They come into Wednesday’s game having dropped three of four.
“We’ve lost three out of our last four, when you think about it that way and how bad we played [against Phoenix] with no energy and no sense of urgency, it’s definitely going to wake you up, knowing that nobody’s going to lay down in this league,” DeAndre Jordan said.

The Bobcats (14-18) have lost three straight games, including a three-point loss in Utah in Al Jefferson’s return to Salt Lake City on Monday. They have not defeated the Clippers since Feb. 2010 and have not won in Los Angeles in almost five years. But the Bobcats are much improved over the past few seasons.

“That’s not the same Charlotte team they’ve been the last year or two,” Jamal Crawford said. “They are playing with a lot of confidence. They have a pretty good record in the Eastern Conference. So, they’ll come out here confident and trying to play loose and have fun and we have to stop that.”

Crawford said the emergence of Kemba Walker, Charlotte’s top scorer, addition Jefferson and new coach Steve Clifford have all made a difference in the Bobcats’ turnaround.

“Kemba’s had a bigger role. I think Al Jefferson’s helped, their coaching staff has helped. I think guys understand their roles out there and they’re really doing what they’re supposed to.”

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP



DEANDRE JORDAN VS. AL JEFFERSON


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Jefferson and Jordan have met 14 times in their careers, but have only played comparable minutes since Dec. 2010. In those eight matchups, Jordan has held Jefferson to single-digit rebounds four times and worse than 50.0 percent shooting in three of the last four games. Perhaps, Jordan’s moment against Jefferson came when the former Jazz big man outscored him 26-3, but Jordan swatted away Jefferson’s game-tying flip shot in the final seconds to preserve a win during the Clippers’ 17-game winning streak.

This season Jordan is averaging career highs in minutes (35.3), points (9.0), and rebounds (13.4) and once again leading the NBA in field goal percentage (.604).

Jefferson, who is one of eight players averaging double figures in points and rebounds, has been his usual self since returning from an early season ankle injury. He presents problems for Jordan on the perimeter, often using a series of head fakes and nifty footwork to free himself or draw fouls. In four of the seven games Jordan has played 30 minutes or more against Jefferson he’s committed at least four fouls.

THINGS TO WATCH

1. Jump shooting. The Clippers defense has improved over the course of the season, and despite a flood of 3-point shots from Portland and Phoenix in two of their last three games, they remain one of the better perimeter defensive teams in the league. They are tied for second in 3-point defense and are holding opponents to 42.8 percent shooting since Nov. 19.

Ideally, the Clippers will force Charlotte into becoming a jump shooting team. According to Synergy Sports, the Bobcats are 30th in the NBA in points scored on jumpers and are shooting just 33.1 percent on jump shots in 32 games.

2. Ball movement. After their loss to the Suns, Jared Dudley said the Clippers’ ball movement has been “poor” in the last three games. They have only assisted on 53 percent of their field goals since Dec. 26 (61 out of 115), a number down from their 61.5 percent average on the season. Part of that may be due to the lack of contribution from anyone outside of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford. Other than the Clippers’ three leading scorers, only Matt Barnes (twice) and Darren Collison have scored in double-digits in the last three games. Dudley may be the primary difference maker. He’s the Clippers’ best spot-up shooter and has just 13 points (4-for-12) in the three games in question. On the contrary, the Clippers are 12-1 when Dudley scores at least 10 points.

NOTES

The Clippers are 5-5 in franchise history on Jan. 1, including winning three of their last four… Paul is 60 points away from 11,000 for his career… Newly signed forward Chris Douglas-Roberts has appeared in six games for the Bobcats… The Clippers are 5-0 against the Bobcats since 2010-11. It is the only team the Clippers are undefeated against in that span… Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had the cast removed from his fractured left hand on Dec. 27, but has yet to be cleared to practice, according to the Charlotte Observer… It is the final time the Clippers will play the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center. Beginning next season they will go by the Charlotte Hornets moniker…

THEY SAID IT

DeAndre Jordan: “We lost two tough games on the road that we thought we should’ve won, so I don’t really think that was a bad little stretch for us. But [Monday] night we got our [butt] kicked. It’s that simple. In Golden State or Portland I don’t think we got our [butt] kicked. We fought.”

LAST TIME OUT


RECAP | BOX SCORE
  • GAMEDAY ARCHIVE
  • Clippers Leaders:
    Pts: Crawford/Griffin 15
    Reb: Jordan 19
    Ast: Paul 7

    Last Time Out



    107


    88


    CHARLOTTE BOBCATS

    Bobcats Leaders:
    Pts: Henderson 19
    Reb: Jefferson 10
    Ast: Walker 4

    BOX SCORE »



    83



    80