Game #59 | February 24, 2014
Smoothie King Center | New Orleans, LA
NEW ORLEANS – After arguably their biggest win of the season over the Oklahoma City Thunder several Clippers were asked if it was something the team could build on in the final month and a half of the season.
A little more than 24 hours later, the answer appears to be a resounding, yes.
The Clippers picked up where they left off in Oklahoma City, dominating from the 3-point line, scoring in flurries that resembled a series of controlled haymakers, and wrapped up their three-game road trip with a 123-110 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Monday at Smoothie King Center.
“Sometimes you can have a letdown,” Darren Collison said. “I think it’s a good sign of maturity that we were able to win a big game yesterday and come out here and win another one.”
For the second game in as many days, all five Clippers’ starters scored in double-figures, led by Blake Griffin’s 22 points and Jamal Crawford’s team-high 24. Crawford connected on seven of his 12 shots from behind the arc. He’s made 12 in the last two games and came within two of tying Caron Butler’s franchise record for 3-pointers in a single game on Monday.
“The ball movement right now is just terrific,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “When you play that unselfish with that many good players a lot of good things are going to happen.”
The Clippers were 16-for-28 (57.1 percent) from 3-point range overall.
“At the beginning of the game, the execution was close to flawless,” Rivers said. “We were getting dunks and then we started making threes and then when you’re making threes it opens the middle back up. It’s just really nice.”
The Clippers made 11 of their first 14 shots and even after Griffin and Paul both picked up two fouls before eight minutes had elapsed in the first quarter, a group of three reserves, DeAndre Jordan and Matt Barnes scored seven of the next nine points, breaking open a game that was tied at 17.
The Pelicans (23-33) did not draw closer than four for the remainder of the game.
Jordan had 10 of his 14 points in the first quarter and added 16 rebounds and four blocked shots for his 29th double-double of the year. Chris Paul had 19 points and 13 assists. Barnes had 12 points and after getting just 16 points from the bench in the previous two games on the road trip, the second unit combined for 32, including a season-high 12 from Hedo Turkoglu.
“Everybody has a role to play,” Crawford said regarding the bench. “We all understand that and we’ve all bought in. And we all understand what we do well and if we understand what we do well it makes our team stronger.”
J.J. Redick (bulging disc in lower back) missed his eighth game in a row… The Clippers moved to 25-0 when they make at least nine 3-pointers… Crawford is seven 3-pointers away from passing Steve Nash for No. 11 on the NBA’s all-time list in 3-pointers made… Glen “Big Baby” Davis joined the Clippers in New Orleans, but did not play. He will take a required physical exam on Tuesday and likely suit up Wednesday against the Houston Rockets… Crawford is also the first Clippers player to have at least eight games of five 3-pointers or more… Pelicans reserve center set career highs in points (19) and rebounds (12)… Crawford extended his NBA record to 40 career regular season 4-point plays…
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers:
On the game:
“At the start I thought the execution was close to flawless. We were getting dunks, and then we started making three’s and opening the middle back up. It was really nice. Matt (Barnes) is playing terrific. He’s really buying in and defensively doing all the little things. He’s running to the deep corner and they’re finding him. I was really happy with Turk (Hedo Turkoglu) tonight. He was being aggressive. He didn’t play great or bad, he was just aggressive. I think when you miss the games that he missed, he’s been tentative to me, but tonight he was aggressive. Overall, we had five starters in double figures, and the ball movement on our team is terrific. When you play that unselfish with that many good players, a lot of good things are going to happen. In the beginning of the third quarter, I thought we set a defensive tone and that was nice to see. I thought that’s what stretched the game.”
On the bench play:
“They’re getting it. We’ve been changing the bench a little bit, like tonight we went small early. Honestly, I’m still figuring our bench out with J.J. (Reddick) being out. I do like that we are subbing Jamal (Crawford) early and getting him back in and I think that helped the bench with them more. We just need to keep working on it.”
Clippers Guard Jamal Crawford:
On how well the Clippers players complement one another:
“I think it opens the floor whenever you have CP (Chris Paul) and Blake (Griffin) demanding so much attention, and having DJ (DeAndre Jordan) rolling the way he's rolling opens up the floor if someone wants to get dunked on. It gives space to our shooters and our guys can knock down shots. Everybody is doing a good job passing the ball.”
On the team’s low shooting percentage:
“I think the good thing about us is that we don't worry about that particular stat. If we did, and I saw we were 25th (in three point field goal percentage), maybe we shouldn't take them. We just take what's there. We know at the end of the day things balance out and have a way of working out. We just have to continue to take good shots and continue to play for each other.”
Clippers Center DeAndre Jordan:
On setting the tone early:
“Especially with a young team like this, they’re going to continue to play hard throughout the whole game no matter what the score is. We had to come out and set the tone early defensively and just try to get the win.”
On the state of the defense:
“I feel like we’ve gotten a lot better, but we’re still not where we want to be yet. I feel like we’re doing a great job with the initial action. It’s just the second chance points and the offensive rebounds and things like that that keep teams in games. We just have to get better at that. We have time but we definitely need to hit our stride once the playoffs get here.”
Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams:
On allowing the Clippers to dictate the team’s spirit:
“They had one of their nights where the ball was going in for them. I was certainly not satisfied, but proud of the way our guys competed. There were a lot of shots that we had a hand up (to contest) and they (the Clippers) threw it up in the sky and it came down and went in the bucket. What I didn’t like was there were times when they made shots and I thought that we allowed our spirit to get down a little bit. When you are playing against a team like that, you can’t allow both things to happen, the stuff on the floor and your heart to go down. We just allowed their offense to dictate our spirit, especially in the third quarter. We cut it to six and then the next thing you know it’s up to 18 or 19. You’re trying to dig out of a hole after that.”
On giving up shots:
“A lot of the dunks came from breakdowns on defense. Our weak side wasn’t great tonight. That happens, but it can’t happen against a veteran team like that. Then we took that away and they started hitting shots. We just have to be better.”
Pelicans Center Alexis Ajinca:
On what was tough about tonight’s game:
“It was tough for A.D (Anthony Davis) to take on everybody by himself, Blake (Griffin) was being physical and it was hard to overcome that.”
On how they expect to get out of a four game losing streak:
“We have to be ready to bounce back and be physical. It’s a mental thing too. A lot of teams have a tough time a tough time on the road, we just have to prepare. It’s tough on the road, but we just have to block that pain.”
Pelicans Guard Brian Roberts:
On what was positive about this game:
They (the Clippers) made shots, and we kind of let that discourage us. We felt like we played “ok” defense and we kind of picked it up in the second half, but at that point in the game they were already in the rhythm and making shots. We really didn’t expect that coming off a back to back, but hats off to them.”
On how he feels about Chris Paul’s skills and leadership:
“He did a great job. He has a lot of control over the moment and over his team, and he gets guys in a position where they can be successful and as a point guard that’s what you have to do. He does a great job in leading his team, and you can always look to get some pointers from a person like him.”
- Postgame: Darren Collison | 2/24/2014Darren Collison talks about new bench rotation and what it means to close out trip with 2 wins.
- Postgame: Doc Rivers | 2/24/2014Doc Rivers nearly full presser. Talks about shooting, the game and Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes.
- Crawford to JordanJamal Crawford drives and lofts the alley-oop to DeAndre Jordan for the flush.
- Blake's BashChris Paul gives the rock to Blake Griffin for the high-flying two-hand slam.
- Clippers vs. Pelicans: First halfDeAndre Jordan has 14 points in the first half to lead the Clippers to a 61-53 halftime lead over the Pelicans.
- Big Oop to BlakeChris Paul takes off down the court and throws the alley-oop to Blake Griffin for the monster slam.
- Jordan Starts With a DunkDeAndre Jordan gets the ball down low and gets the first bucket of the game on a thunderous dunk.
- Oop And-OneBlake Griffin throws the alley-oop to DeAndre Jordan for the finish while picking up the foul.
- Glen Davis Pregame - 2/24/14Glen Davis talks about his decision to sign with the Clippers.
- Doc Rivers Pregame - 2/24/14Doc talks about the signing of Glen Davis and the matchup with the Pelicans.
- Weekly Top 10: 2/24/14Top ten Clippers plays of the week.
- LACtv Preview: Clippers at PelicansGlen Davis makes his debut as the Clippers visit the Pelicans Monday night in New Orleans.
- Postgame: Chris Paul | 2/23/2014Chris Paul talks about his thumb and the importance of today's win.
- Postgame: Jamal Crawford | 2/23/2014Jamal talks about clutch shooting and Matt Barnes.
- Postgame: Doc Rivers | 2/23/2014Doc Rivers talks about the game, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes.
- Clippers vs. ThunderJamal Crawford scores 36 points to help the Clippers beat the Thunder 125-117.
- Crawford Scores 36Jamal Crawford makes shot after shot en route to a 36 point performance in the Clippers win.
- Clippers vs. Thunder: First halfJamal Crawford has 17 points in the first half as the Clippers lead the Thunder at halftime, 72-66.
- Long Oop to JordanDeAndre Jordan catches the long alley-oop pass and throws down the dunk.
- Griffin to JordanBlake Griffin throws the long alley-oop to DeAndre Jordan for the amazing flush.
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By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen
After stumbling out of the All-Star break, the Clippers regrouped and earned a huge 125-117 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday. The Clippers (38-20) don’t have much time to think about their impressive outing, taking on the New Orleans Pelicans a day later.
“It’s definitely a good win for us [beating the Thunder],” Chris Paul said. “We were on the plane yesterday flying here and we were talking about how we hadn’t beat any really good teams on the road. And this would be the perfect time to start. Doc [Rivers] was on us telling us even in the playoffs you are going to lose a home game at some point, and you got to be able to win on the road. Hopefully, this is a win for us and it gets us going.”
The Pelicans (23-32) have lost three straight contests. The most recent shortcoming was against the Washington Wizards Saturday, falling 94-93 on a game winning dunk by Nene Hilario with 0.9 left on the clock. The Clippers beat the Pelicans 108-95 on Dec. 18, and that was the sole meeting between the teams. Two of the next three Clippers’ games are against the Pelicans, going at it again on Mar. 1 at Staples Center.
A trip to New Orleans means Paul and Blake Griffin are back in town after participating in the All-Star game last weekend. Paul and Griffin will be greeted by Anthony Davis, who continues to rapidly blossom in his second season. Davis is notching 20.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game compared to 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks as a rookie in 2012-13. For the Clippers to secure the series victory over the Pelicans, it starts with containing Davis.
Blake Griffin vs. Anthony Davis
THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET
- Every time Paul takes the court against his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the Hornets), it’s an intriguing story line. Since Paul got traded to the Clippers in 2011-2012, he has faced the Pelicans eight times. In those games, Paul sports averages of: 43.6 percent shooting, 18.6 points, 10.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Paul struggled shooting the rock in the Clippers Dec. 18 affair with the Pelicans, scoring a mere 12 points on 4-13 shooting. However, he still managed to accumulate a double-double with 11 assists.
- The Clippers high-powered offense separates themselves from the Pelicans. Paul, Griffin, Jamal Crawford and Co. tally 107.1 points per game, ranking No.2 in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Pelicans only put up 99.1 points per game, ranking No. 19 in the NBA. On the defensive side of the floor, the Clippers and Pelicans statistics are nearly identical, giving up 100.9 and 100.8 respectively. The Clippers are coming off a 125-point outburst against the solid Thunder defense. Conversely, the Pelicans haven’t scored more than 100 in three straight.
- There are five players in the league averaging 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds per game, and two of them will be in action at Smoothie King Center (Griffin and Davis). Technically, Griffin is just shy of joining the club by 0.1 rebounds. The power forward position posses plenty of elite talent, and Griffin or Davis can put a fight up with anyone. Griffin and Davis made tremendous improvements in the offseason, therefore this dual carries even more weight now.
The Clippers are .500 on the road, posting a 15-15 record… The Pelicans are .500 at home, by virtue of a 13-13 record… Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu were the Pelicans main acquisitions in the Chris Paul trade, and both players are integral pieces to New Orleans… Griffin hit a career-high two 3-pointers against the Pelicans on Dec. 18, 2013…Davis boasts the most blocked shots per game with 3.06, while DeAndre Jordan comes in at fourth with 2.40… The Clippers seized the second biggest point differential among Western Conference teams, outscoring opponents by an average of 5.9… The Clippers are 1-0 against the Pelicans after beating them on Dec. 18, 2013 and have won four in a row overall in the series, including two straight in New Orleans…
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Chris Paul: “I think the biggest thing is you see me and Blake’s relationship. We talk all game long. I think we both realized how much we need each other. When I was out, I got a chance to really see his growth and how dominant he is. I’m out there to facilitate and pick my spots. We are getting that chemistry at the right time.”
LAC: J.J. Redick (bulging disc, lower back) is not expected to play.
NO: Jrue Holiday (leg) remains out indefinitely, according to Pelicans.com. Jason Smith (knee) and Ryan Anderson (cervical stinger) are out for the season.
REGULAR SEASON HISTORY
All Time: 25-40 (Home: 17-16, Road: 8-24)
Current Overall Streak: Won 4
Road Streak: Won 2
Last Win: Apr. 12, 2013 (96-93)
Last Loss: Mar. 22, 2012 (90-97)
Largest Margin of Victory:
Road: 14 (105-91), Mar. 27, 2013
Largest Margin of Defeat:
Road: 34 (96-130), Nov. 15, 1997
Dec. 18, 2013 at Staples Center: Clippers 108, Pelicans 95
LAST TIME OUT
Pts: Crawford 36