GAMEDAY REPORT: CLIPPERS VS. BUCKS - 1/27/14
Game #47 | January 27, 2014
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI
MILWAUKEE – Finally the Clippers can put the ice and snow behind them. And go home.
Any concern Doc Rivers may have had that his team would be mentally packed to return Los Angeles in the finale of their seven-game road trip dissipated with about four minutes left in the second quarter Monday night at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Clippers ran off 12 consecutive points in the closing minutes before halftime against the undermanned and outmatched Bucks to spur a 114-86 blowout victory and close their annual Grammy trip with a third consecutive win.
“We all said this was going to be the hardest game,” said Jamal Crawford, who scored a game-high 25 points. “Mentally, we wanted to hurry up and get back home. We’ve been on the road a long time, but we found it mentally and did a good job.”
The Clippers (32-15) finished the trip 5-2 and moved to 9-3 without superstar Chris Paul by beating the Bucks (8-36) by the widest away margin in the history of the series between the two franchises. It was the second time in team history they won at least five games on a road trip, matching a mark set in Jan. 1990 when they went 5-3 on an eight-game trip.
Many of Crawford’s 25 points, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range, came in a flurry at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second. He scored seven points in a 9-0 run by the Clippers that turned a 36-34 lead into an 11-point advantage.
“I thought we were kind of trading baskets,” Rivers said of the stretch before the Clippers opened the game up. “I thought the defense is what won the game. We scored a lot of points, but we got stops.”
Blake Griffin added 20 points and five rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 18 rebounds. Darren Collison scored 15 points with seven assists and Willie Green added 13 points and five assists.
“We’re playing a lot better,” said Green, who has made 10 of his last 13 shots dating back to Friday’s win over the Bulls. “We continue to trust the system. We continue to trust one another and we knew we had to pull together when Chris went out. And guys are just playing real confident right now.”
Their confidence has shown in the gaudy offensive numbers the Clippers have produced lately, scoring at least 109 points in all five wins on the road trip and making at least 12 3-pointers in three straight games for the first time in franchise history.
On Monday in front of sparse crowd that bore record cold temperatures outside, it was a barrage of 3-pointers and an offensive outburst from Griffin that put the game away early.
After a dunk by rookie sensation Giannis Antetokounmpo, Griffin sandwiched a driving layup, breakaway slam, tip in off a Matt Barnes miss and 3-point play around a J.J. Redick 3-pointer in transition. Griffin’s final basket in the run gave L.A. a 57-36 lead and Collison made it 60-38 two possessions later with a step-back 3-pointer.
The lead would expand to 39 points late in the game when Griffin, Jordan and the rest of the starters had long been resting on the sideline, finally able to freely think about getting back to Los Angeles.
“For the past two or three nights, everybody has been talking about how much they can’t wait to get home and it’s easy to, not overlook a team, but almost look forward to getting home a little bit more,” Griffin said. “I’m proud of the way everybody buckled down and played, especially in the last three games after a disappointing loss in Charlotte. Coming back and winning the last three is big.”
With his first 3-pointer of the game, Crawford passed Kobe Bryant for No. 12 all-time in 3-point makes. Crawford has 1,645 and is 37 away from No. 11 Steve Nash… Jordan, the league’s top rebounder, had 16 or more boards for the 17th time this season… Crawford averaged 25.4 points per game on the seven-game trip… Caron Butler scored 11 points in his first game against the Clippers since being traded this summer… The Bucks shot 38.2 percent and just 18.2 percent (4-for-22) from 3-point range… Hedo Turkoglu had six points, seven rebounds and three assists in 19:06… The Clippers have scored at least 109 points in their last eight victories…
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford on winning fifth game on a road trip for second time in franchise history:
“On the last trip we were 4-3 on a seven-game trip and tonight we had a great opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done and continue to get better and continue to keep our momentum going and play good basketball.”
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on ending the road trip:
“That’s why we tried to take care of business early tonight. We wanted to get some guys that had been playing a lot of minutes some rest and some other guys in that weren’t playing in and [Hedo] Turkoglu his legs a little bit.”
Bucks head coach Larry Drew on former Clipper Caron Butler:
“He’s more than willing to show what it takes to be a professional and show some leadership in our locker room, especially for our young guys because these have never experienced this before. He’s been absolutely phenomenal.”
Clippers forward Blake Griffin on run that changed the game in the second quarter:
“We were just getting stops. We got to the foul line. We were getting good looks, open looks. But our defense is what allowed us to do that and that’s what we have to rely on.”
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on the team’s upcoming schedule:
“I look at this as a nine-game trip because we go home for 24 hours, play a game, and then we fly right back on the road. Then we have four in five [nights], so this is clearly a very difficult trip, tough teams. These are going to be tough games for us.”
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By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten
After the Clippers’ electrifying victory over the Toronto Raptors Saturday night, Doc Rivers said their game two days later against the Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the league’s worst record, might be the most challenging of their seven-game road trip.
“That will be the toughest one,” Rivers said, “because of traveling, fatigue, half of the guys will be packed and mentally in L.A. which is not a bad place to be mentally by the way. We’ve just got to win one more.”
The Clippers (31-15) are seeking to win a fifth game on the annual Grammy trip for the first time in franchise history. In fact, they have only won five games on a trip seven games or longer one other time, going 5-3 on an eight-game trip in 1989-90. If it happens it will mean beating the team with the NBA’s worst record. Milwaukee (8-35) is 27 games under .500, there lowest mark of the season, and are the only team in the league without at least 10 victories. They’ve lost nine of their last 10 games and five of their last six at the Bradley Center.
Blake Griffin vs. Ersan Ilyasova
Griffin is seeking to score 25 points or more in his fifth straight game after tallying 30 against the Raptors. He has averaged 26.1 points per game since Dec. 16 and has led the Clippers to a 15-6 record in that span. Ilyasova, on the other hand, has finally started playing well in spurts lately. He had a season-high 13 rebounds against Atlanta on Saturday and a season-high 29 points against the Raptors on Jan. 13. Still, he’s scored in double figures just twice in the last five games and is averaging 9.2 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season.
- The Clippers are wrapping up a trip that lasted 12 days and consisted of more than 11,200 air miles traveled. In the last three seasons, they have fared well on the closeout game of a road trip that lasted at least five games, going 4-1, including winning the finale of a seven-game road trip last month.
- Jamal Crawford, who is averaging 25.5 points per game off the bench on the road trip, will earn sole possession of No. 12 on the all-time 3-point list with one 3-pointer made against the Bucks.
- The Clippers are 25-for-43 from 3-point range in the past two games, making at least a dozen in each outing. If they make at least 12 against the Bucks, a team that has given up the 12th most shots from long distance on the season (349), it will establish a new franchise record for consecutive games with 12 or more.
- The Bucks are barren offensively. They score the fewest points in the league per 100 possessions (95.6), shoot a league-worst 42.2 percent from the field and are 26th from 3-point range. That could make keeping up with the Clippers a problem. In L.A.’s last four wins they have scored at least 109 points and are the league’s second highest rated offense in the past six games (the duration of the Grammy trip), averaging 113.5 points per 100 possessions.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is the youngest player in Bucks history to ever crack the starting lineup. At 19 years and 12 days on the day of his first start (Dec. 18, 2013), he is the youngest player in the NBA since Andrew Bynum started in 2006 at 19 years and four days old.
- The third quarter will likely be decisive. The Bucks are 1-25 when they are outscored in the third this season, while going 7-10 when they win the period. On average, the third has been the Clippers’ best quarter. They outscore opponents by 2.9 points per game and have led after the third in 32 of their 46 games, going 29-3 in those games.
The Clippers have defeated the Bucks three straight times by an average margin of 16 points per game… The Bucks have lost six games in overtime this season… Caron Butler who spent two seasons with the Clippers will face his former team for the first time since being traded in the summer… J.J. Redick will return to Milwaukee for the first time since playing the final two months of last season with the Bucks…
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Jamal Crawford: “I think we learned from that [last road trip]. Any time you can go over .500 on a road trip it’s good. We went 4-3, but we weren’t satisfied. Now, we’re 4-2 with an opportunity to go 5-2. It shows the growth. It shows we’re getting better. We’re doing it without an MVP candidate, without one of the best players in the world.”
Willie Green: “I think we’re in a good place going into the last game. Obviously, we’re going to play another tough opponent, we’re on the road, it’s going to be a hostile environment, but we’ve just got to stay doing what we’ve been doing.”
LAC: Chris Paul (shoulder) remains out. J.J. Redick was bothered by lower back spasms in the Clippers’ win in Toronto but is expected to play against the Bucks.
MIL: Carlos Deflino (foot), Zaza Pachulia (foot) and Ekpe Udoh (ankle) are all out.
REGULAR SEASON SERIES HISTORY
All-Time: 44-61 (Home: 30-23), Road: 14-38)
Road Streak: Won 1
Largest Margin of Victory:
LAST TIME OUT