Game #68 | March 16, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 102

  • 80

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS STEALS BLOCKS
21 11 15 3 1
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

Logo

18

20

21

21

80

LOGO

27

25

24

26

102


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – Eleven in a row.

Down three of their top rotation players, the Clippers’ winning streak continued Sunday night in a, 102-80, wire-to-wire win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center.

It matched the second longest winning streak in franchise history and tied the Spurs and Trail Blazers for the longest winning streak in the NBA this season. More importantly, however, the win pulled the Clippers (48-20) to within a game of the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference after the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Mavericks earlier in the night.

Darren Collison was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a stomach virus. Willie Green, who has scored 35 points, including 10 Sunday, in the last three games, started in his place.

Without Collison, J.J. Redick (back) or Jamal Crawford (calf), the Clippers opened the game scoring 17 of the first 20 points, including 11 straight as Cleveland head coach Mike Brown burned two timeouts in a four-minute span.

“They don’t use any excuse,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “Think about it. We had three of our top four guards out. And no one talked about it. I didn’t hear any of our guys talking about it. That’s good, though, they still feel like every night we have a chance to win the game. And that’s all we need every night.”

The opening run set up what was the 12th victory of more than 20 points this season. Blake Griffin scored 21 points with 11 rebounds and eight assists. Chris Paul had 16 points and 15 assists, including making five of his final six shots. DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 11 rebounds. And Reggie Bullock scored a career-high 14 points, playing extended minutes in reserve of Green.

Even after the Cavaliers (26-41) strung together 12 consecutive points to cut the Clippers’ lead to seven midway through the fourth quarter, Paul, Griffin and Matt Barnes returned to answer with 10 points in a row. It started with a jumper by Griffin and ended with Paul connecting from the right corner on a 3-pointer to make it, 86-69.

It all started with defense, something that has characterized the streak. The Clippers held Cleveland to 34.9 percent shooting and did not allow more than 21 points in a period.

“I think we know how important defense is,” said Barnes, who had 11 points, marking his 12th game in a row with 10 points or more. “Last year our offense was great and we got bounced in the first round. We know that to have any success in the Playoffs we’re going to have to stop teams. I think our attention to detail has been a little better on that this year and we’re starting to show it.”

The defensive effort was made more prolific by the way the Clippers’ offense executed.

It was clear that the message was received that the somewhat lethargic start two nights earlier in Utah needed to be rectified. All five starters touched the ball on the game’s opening possession, and the first nine points were scored by four different players, including an alley-oop from Griffin to Jordan and a 3-pointer from Green.

In all the Clippers, had 32 assists on 42 made field goals and committed just seven turnovers.

“We moved the ball,” Paul said. “We moved the ball, and had a lot of unselfish plays.”

And for the 11th time in row it led to a victory.

“It’s a great run, you know,” said forward Danny Granger, who scored 11 points off the bench. “I think we picked a really good time to start hitting on all cylinders.”

NOTES

The Clippers are 5-1 in their “Back in Blue” short-sleeved jerseys… It was only the second win against the Cavaliers at Staples Center in the Clippers’ last seven home games… All-Star Kyrie Irving left the game in the first half with a bicep injury and did not return… Luol Deng led Cleveland with 23 points… Griffin and Bullock celebrated their birthdays Sunday. Griffin turned 25, while Bullock turned 23… Seven players scored in double-digits for the Clippers… Jordan, Paul and Griffin had double-doubles in the same game for the eighth time this season…

QUOTES

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Winning streak

“11 in a row—I guess, I don‟t even know how that feels. But it‟s good, obviously. You‟d rather do it than lose. It was a good win, I thought when all the Darren [Collison] getting pulled right before, you know Willie [Green] in a crunch, I thought it was good concentration. I thought we came out great too.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Consistency

“I still think we play in spurts at times. I was really happy with our pick-and-roll defense today. Usually in our league, if your pick-and-roll defense is good, then you have a very good chance of at least being good defensively, and I thought tonight it was great.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Team resiliency

“They don‟t use an excuse. Think about it. We [have] 3 of our top 4 guards out today, and I mean no one talked about it (I didn‟t hear any of our guys talk about it). That‟s good though—they still feel like every night we have a chance to win the game, and that‟s all you need, every night.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Chris [Paul]’s performance in 4th quarter

“I‟ve been on him pretty hard about it. I‟m sure he‟s getting sick of it. He‟s [Chris Paul] such a great shooter, I think there are times where he‟s so focused on running the team, he comes off wide open and he‟s still looking to run the team, and then he‟ll shoot, and those are hard shots. It‟s hard to make a shot when you‟re thinking about passing while you‟re shooting. At the point guard spot when you decide to shoot, it‟s your shot, and I thought he did a great job of that in the 4th quarter. He was calling plays; he even called a pin down where he came off on the weak side to get a jump shot. That was great.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Personal goals before this season

“Honestly, to improve across the board. I concentrated on my shot and really put a lot of work in there. But every year, I try to not just make improvements about one area, but really do it across the board. One thing is leadership, every year taking another step, because with every year you obviously have more experience. With younger guys coming in, you kind of take on that role and that‟s something I look to be every year.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Whether he considers himself this season’s Most Valuable Player

“No, I think the MVP race is a two-man race. This stretch of games that we‟ve played and we‟ve been successful has been a huge team effort. Jamal Crawford was playing out of his mind until he got hurt. Guys have stepped up and really done their part, so on our team I don‟t think it‟s one guy that‟s making us go. I continually believe it has been a total team effort.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Defensive consistency

“That‟s our biggest thing right now, is defensive consistency. At times we‟ve been good, but when we‟re bad, we‟ve given up a lot of easy buckets and things like that. So being good defensively is very high on our priority list.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Improving defensive consistency

“I think we‟re better, but I think we can still become even better. Our rotations can be better, sometimes we‟re still not there. Tonight we did a good job, but we can definitely take it to another level, and I anticipate us doing that.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Team assists

“We moved the ball. We had a lot of unselfish plays. I think one thing that really changed for us was when I was out, Doc [Rivers] talked to me about kicking the ball ahead, and it‟s been fun kicking the ball ahead to Blake [Griffin], and letting Blake push it and makes plays. It‟s not always about the assist. Doc says something about the hockey assist. The pass that leads to the next pass; that is where our team is at its best.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Offensive aggressiveness

“I finally saw the ball go through the net. I said the last game, I keep trying to go to the next play, and my teammates are on me, DJ [DeAndre Jordan] and Blake [Griffin] were in my ear saying „keep shooting it, keep shooting,‟ and luckily I finally made a few shots.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Reggie Bullock’s performance

“Reggie [Bullock] was huge for us. Not knowing that DC [Darren Collison] wasn‟t going to play until right before the game, that‟s what‟s special about our team. We have so many pros. Willie [Green] is the ultimate pro, and Reggie [Bullock] gets to see Willie day in and day out. As you can see it rubs off on him because he‟s another guy who doesn‟t know how many minutes he‟s going to play, but comes right in and does what he has to do.”

CLIPPERS GUARD REGGIE BULLOCK

RE: Team defense

“I feel like we‟re starting to believe in each other, trust in each other, and trust in the system that coach [Doc Rivers] wants us to play on the defensive end of the floor. I just try to come in and bring my defensive energy and knock down spot up shots. My teammates believe in me to shoot the ball and on defense, so I just try to keep that defensive energy.”

CLIPPERS GUARD REGGIE BULLOCK

RE: Increased playing time

“All I just thought about was we have so many guards out and who‟s going to play the two, and I‟m the next guy in line. I just try to be confident and try to just go out and just play my game. I see the things that Willie [Green] does. Like CP [Chris Paul] says, he‟s definitely a pro. He goes some games without playing and he still comes in and is consistent at playing his game. I just try to follow his footsteps and see the things he does when he‟s out on the court.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

RE: Recovering with players being injured

“It‟s tough. I think it speaks to the professionalism of this team, everybody stays ready. We‟ve got guys going down with food poisoning, Jamal [Crawford]‟s hurt his calf and J.J. [Redick]‟s back, it‟s always something every night but for the most part we always have people stepping up. Reggie [Bullock] came in and gave us a huge lift so that‟s just always being ready.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

RE: Reggie Bullock’s career high in points

“That‟s awesome for him. I told him as soon as they said that DC [Darren Collison] had food poisoning, I said Reggie [Bullock] be ready, you know, these [are] opportunities that you get. I remember going back to when I was a rookie. I was on the [Indiana] Pacers that had just won 60 games the year before; I had no chance of playing but when I did, I took advantage of it. So he took advantage of his opportunity tonight.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

RE: Improvement of Blake Griffin

“You know what, I played against him a lot and I know he was a freak of nature, his athleticism but what I didn‟t know was that his skill level has really elevated over the past three years. His ability to shoot the ball, his ball handling ability, the way he passes. He‟s a very, very unique player with the package of skills that he has.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD MATT BARNES

RE: Consistency of the team

“I just think that we know how important it is to play defense. We had a great offense last year and we got bounced in the first round so we know to have any success in the playoffs we would have to stop teams. I think our attention to detail is a little bit better on that this year and we are starting to who that.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD MATT BARNES

RE: Confidence in his performance

“Just playing with them myself, playing hard, being a little bit more aggressive on the offensive end and with J.J. [Reddick] and Jamal [Crawford] down we need a little bit more scoring. I was just being a little bit more aggressive looking for my shot.”

CLIPPERS GUARD WILLIE GREEN

RE: Thoughts on Reggie Bullock’s performance tonight

“Reggie [Bullock] is just a good young guy. He‟s always staying ready, works hard, and listens to whatever advice we give him. It‟s not coincidence that he comes out and stays ready and performs the way he did tonight.”

CLIPPERS GUARD WILLIE GREEN

RE: Overall thoughts on upcoming game against Denver

“They beat us last time on a buzzer beater so that‟s in the back of our minds. We have to go out there tomorrow and play those guys and be ready to execute.”

CAVALIERS HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

“[The Clippers] came out in the first half and they did what they do. I thought they got out in transition and their transition offense really hurt us in the first half. Blake [Griffin] was terrific. He got out and exploded in transition. Chris Paul did what Chris Paul does. He got the ball up the floor so quickly that it converted some easy buckets in transition, got a little separation, and their confidence grew from there. I thought in the second half, our guys came out and they fought, brought it to within six, something like that, then Chris Paul stepped up and made plays down the stretch.”

CAVALIERS HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

RE: Clippers’ defense

“They know that they don‟t have to sink and help as much because [Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan] are going to clean up everything in the paint. When you‟ve got two athletic guys like that that make that type of difference, you can take chances in guarding the three-point line a little bit closer. We had some opportunities to score at the rim, where we tried to go on the other side or we tried to flip it up this way or that way, and it was all because of their bigs.”

CAVALIERS HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

RE: Los Angeles Clippers’ success this season

“They‟ve got a chance to win it all. You look at how deep their roster is, Doc [Rivers] is a great coach, and they‟re experienced. They‟ve got playoff experience. They‟ve got NBA All-Stars. They‟ve got NBA All-Stars coming off the bench.”

CAVALIERS HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

RE: Kyrie Irving’s injury

“It‟s a bicep injury. [Kyrie Irving] is going to get reevaluated when he goes back to Cleveland.”

CAVALIERS GUARD JARRET JACK

RE: Overall thoughts on the game

“As long as there is time on the clock, we always feel like we have an opportunity to be successful. We just can‟t come out and start games like that. We just had a lull period for almost a quarter and a half where we didn‟t go out there and compete. When we did, the game started to kind of turn in our favor. But fighting an uphill battle against a team like that is a very tough task.”

CAVALIERS GUARD JARRET JACK

RE: Playing without Kyrie Irving

“That‟s the nature of the business, to go out there and try to contribute. [Kyrie Irving] is our key guy. Leading the team, fueling the break, so a number of us have to step up in his absence.”

CAVALIERS CENTER SPENCER HAWES

RE: Overall thoughts on the fourth quarter

“We got stops and got out in transition, made life easy on ourselves. They made some adjustments, and when you give yourself that big a deficit, you waste too much energy just trying to get back in the game.”

CAVALIERS CENTER SPENCER HAWES

RE: Fourth quarter ejection

“I have given up enough money tonight, so I won‟t say anything more beyond that.”

VIDEO

TICKETS


DATE OPPONENT TIME BUY TICKETS
Saturday, March 22, 2014 Detroit Pistons 7:30 PM BUY NOW
Monday, March 24, 2014 Bucks 7:30 PM BUY NOW
Thursday, April 3, 2014 Dallas Mavericks 7:30 PM BUY NOW
Sunday, April 6, 2014 Los Angeles Lakers 12:30 PM BUY NOW
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Oklahoma City Thunder 7:30 PM BUY NOW
Saturday, April 12, 2014 Sacarmento Kings 12:30 PM BUY NOW
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Denver Nuggets 7:30 PM BUY NOW

PREVIEW

By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten


The Clippers are in the midst of their second historic winning streak in as many seasons. But to win their eleventh and twelfth games in a row, they will have to survive a home-road back-to-back with Cleveland and Denver.

It starts Sunday night at Staples Center against the Cavaliers (26-40), who have won two in a row including a road win Friday over Golden State in the middle game of a three-game West Coast trip.

It is the second to last “Back in Blue” home game for the Clippers (47-20) and a victory would be their 11th straight, tying the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves for the second longest streak in franchise history and matching San Antonio and Portland for the longest in the NBA this season.

The Clippers enter Sunday’s game just two games behind Oklahoma City for the No. 2 seed in the West. The Thunder host Dallas Sunday.

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP

Photo

Photo


BLAKE GRIFFIN VS. TRISTAN THOMPSON


Griffin

G

PPG

RPG

APG

Dbl-Dbls

FG%

FT%

2013-14

67

24.4

9.7

3.6

37

.535

.698

vs. CLE

6

22.2

9.0

3.3

4

.495

.821

vs. Thompson

3

15.3

9.0

4.0

2

.500

.615

 

Thompson

G

PPG

RPG

APG

Dbl-Dbls

FG%

FT%

2013-14

66

12.0

9.4

0.9

29

.471

.670

vs. LAC

3

12.0

11.0

2.3

2

.382

.526

vs. Griffin

3

12.0

11.0

2.3

2

.382

.526


3 THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET

- The Clippers will wear their “Back in Blue” short-sleeve alternate uniform for the sixth time in the regular season. The jerseys have been worn on Sunday home games throughout the 2013-14 season. The alternate uniforms were unveiled on Media Day (Sept. 30) and made their on-court debut on Oct. 19 during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. They are 4-1 this season in the jerseys and are averaging 117.8 points per game.

- Spencer Hawes’ season was transformed when he was traded from Philadelphia to Cleveland at the trade deadline. Since being acquired on Feb. 20, Hawes is shooting 49.0 percent from 3-point range, including making three or more 3-pointers in six of his 11 games. The Clippers still own the best 3-point defense in the league holding opponents to 33.1 percent on average. In 16 career games against the Clippers, Hawes has made just one shot from beyond the arc. He’s 1-for-16, and went 0-for-5 in his previous two games (with the Sixers) this season.  

- Even without J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford, the Clippers’ starters have been able to keep up the Clippers’ league-best points per game. The five-man group has topped 87 points in six of the last 10 games. All five starters reached double figures in six of those 10 as well. They have done that 14 times this season and are undefeated when all five starters reach double-digit scoring. Cleveland counters the Clippers’ starting group with the eighth highest scoring bench in the league (35.2 points per game). 

NOTES

The Clippers have not defeated the Cavaliers in Los Angeles since 2011… They are just 5-17 against Cleveland overall since the start of the 2002-03 season… Cleveland has defeated the Suns and Warriors on the first two games of their three-game road trip… They are 11-23 on the road… The Clippers are 28-5 at home… Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan played on the Team USA Select team this summer in Las Vegas…

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Doc Rivers: “We’re just trying to win. If we win by one or 30 or two points, I’m good with that. Every game is a game, an individual game, and there’s a lot of pros on that team as well. Our job is to win the game.”

INJURY UPDATE

LAC: Jamal Crawford (calf) is not expected to play. He’s sat out five of the past six games. J.J. Redick (back) will miss his 17th game in a row.

CLE: Anthony Bennett (patellar tendon strain) and Carrick Felix (patellar stress fracture) are out. C.J. Miles is a game-time decision with a sore left ankle. 

REGULAR SEASON SERIES HISTORY

All Time: 48-69 (Home: 32-25, Road: 16-44)
2013-14: 0-1
Current Overall Streak: Lost 1

Home Streak: Lost 1
Last Win: Mar. 19, 2001 (100-92)
Last Loss: Nov. 5, 2012 (101-108)

Largest Margin of Victory:
Home: 37 (125-88), Dec. 5, 1975
Largest Margin of Defeat:
Home: 32 (79-111), Jan. 19, 1971

SEASON SERIES

Dec. 7, 2013 at Quicken Loans Arena: Cavaliers 88, Clippers 82
Mar. 16, 2014 at Staples Center

LAST TIME OUT


RECAP | BOX SCORE | PAUL LEADS

Clippers Leaders:

Pts: Griffin 20
Reb: Jordan 10
Ast: Paul 7

Last Time Out



96


87


CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Cavaliers Leaders:

Pts: Hawes 22
Reb: Hawes 13
Ast: Jack/Irving/Waiters 4

 

BOX SCORE »


103


94