Game #72 | March 26, 2014
Smoothie King Center | New Orleans, LA
NEW ORLEANS – Doc Rivers has said all season he thinks the Clippers are a better 3-point shooting team than their numbers may tell.
On Wednesday, the first night of a five-game road trip, the Clippers had one of their best shooting nights of the season from long distance, but could not overcome an energized and undermanned Pelicans team, falling, 98-96, at Smoothie King Center.
It was the first loss of the season against the Pelicans (31-40) and only the second loss in a month for the Clippers (50-22).
New Orleans had just nine available players, but got key baskets from Darius Miller, who had 16 points, and Anthony Morrow, who scored a team high 27 points, down the stretch. Yet even with a five-point deficit and 46 seconds remaining the Clippers had a chance to win in the game at the buzzer.
“When you turn a team on and you’re on the road, you can’t turn them back off, at least we’re not that good to do that, but I thought we turned a lot of their guys on and now at the end, we’re trying desperately to turn them off, you can’t,” Rivers said. “These are pro players. The only thing I thought, we didn’t execute very well either. There’s a lot of good lessons for us out of this and hopefully we learned them.”
DeAndre Jordan tipped in a missed layup by Paul and Blake Griffin, who scored 21 points, was fouled on a layup a possession later. He missed a potentially tying free throw, though. And after Anthony Davis went 1-for-2 from the line on the other end, the Clippers inbounded the ball with 8 seconds to go down by two.
Paul got stuck coming around a screen and flipped the ball back up top to Jamal Crawford, who heaved up a long 3-pointer at the buzzer that bounded off the front of the rim.
“It was supposed to be a double screen and I wanted to pull it and try to turn the corner and I picked up my dribble,” Paul said. “I figured they were going to switch the ball screen. I’m going to watch it again. I really didn’t have any room. I probably shouldn’t have picked the ball. Jamal was an option on it, too. So, that’s probably the most frustrating part is knowing that we still could have won.”
Despite the final attempt coming to him with time winding down, Crawford placed the blame on himself.
“If I get it in that position, I feel like I should make that shot, broken play or whatever,” Crawford said. “I take the blame for that.”
It was one of the few errant shots from behind the arc for Crawford on the night. He scored 31 points off the bench and went 7-for-15 from 3-point range. Paul scored just two points, going 0-for-12 from the field, the most misses without a single make in Clippers’ history. He added 12 assists, four rebounds and three steals.
“0-for-12 or 12-for-12 I’m telling Chris to keep shooting,” Griffin said. “There’s not really a better guy I’d rather have on our team or have the ball in his hands down the stretch. This game couldn’t be close to being put on him. It’s on all of us.”
The Clippers entered the night shooting 35.1 percent from 3-point, averaging slightly over eight a game. They went 13-for-30 overall (43 percent) on Wednesday and were previously unbeaten when they made at least nine in game. But that streak looked in jeopardy throughout as they could never slow New Orleans down.
They trailed by seven with 5:46 to go and Crawford broke up a lob, then drilled a 3-pointer, his seventh of the game, from the left wing trailing the play to cut New Orleans’ lead to four. The Pelicans turned it over on the following possession and Matt Barnes hit a 3-pointer from the right corner six seconds later to make it 90-89. The Pelicans scored five of the next six points, including a 3-pointer from Miller out of timeout to make it 95-90 with 2:46 to play.
Still, the 3-point shooting for the Clippers kept them afloat. And it was like that for most of the night. It seemed whenever the Pelicans would put together enough hoops to start gaining some distance on the scoreboard, the Clippers responded with a barrage of 3-pointers.
Most of them came from Crawford and Barnes, who made 11 combined. Crawford established a new single-season franchise record when he connected on his 150th of the year early in the fourth quarter.
“It did [keep us in the game],” Rivers said. “But our offense was not very good tonight. I didn’t think we trusted our offense tonight. We were trying to make plays instead of allowing it. You need a little bit of making plays, but you need a lot of trust in your offense.”
Glen Davis, who grew up in Baton Rouge, LA, had 20 guests in attendance including 14 members from his foundation. Granger, who is from nearby Metairie, had 13 family members in attendance. Both players were playing their first game in New Orleans as members of the Clippers… New Orleans had a 22-10 advantage in second-chance points… Griffin scored 20 points or more for the 30th game in a row. It’s the fifth longest streak in the NBA in the last six years… The Clippers are even in the loss column with the Rockets, but remain a game ahead in the standings for the No. 3 seed in the West. The two teams play each other on Saturday night in game three the Clippers’ trip…
Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers:
On the final possession of the game:
“I wanted to see better execution. We didn’t execute the play, but the game didn’t come down to the final play. I really thought they deserved the win. I felt like that all game. We played well for 24 minutes, played hard and played with a great focus and they played hard for 48 minutes and I really thought they deserved to win the game. If we had won, we would have taken it, but I think sometimes the basketball gods punish you for messing around and I thought that’s what we did. They kept playing hard. We saw, in my opinion, it felt like we saw all their guys out, no point guards on the floor and that’s how we played. The team that plays the hardest for 48 minutes should win and I thought they deserved the win.”
On attempting to lift the team:
“I tried. I wasn’t very successful. In the second-half, I thought we did a great job. Our defense lifted and was great, but to me, when you should beat a team and when they have all these guys out and they’ve been struggling, you should win the game. And that’s not putting them down, but you should. When you turn a team on and you’re on the road, you can’t turn them back off, at least we’re not that good to do that, but I thought we turned a lot of their guys on and now at the end, we’re trying desperately to turn them off, you can’t. These are pro-players. The only thing I thought, we didn’t execute very well either. There’s a lot of good lessons for us out of this and hopefully we learned them.”
Clippers Guard Chris Paul:
On his game:
“From here on out its just about winning. If I go 0- 15 or 0- 20 and we win, I could care less. Like I’ve said in the past it’s more than this game. It’s about playing the right way going into the playoffs.”
On with 10 games left in season what was the reason of the loss:
“That team (Pelicans) moves the ball well, and they made a lot of tough shots tonight. It’s not more so than we played bad, they played a good game, and I don’t want to take anything away from them.”
Clippers Forward Blake Griffin:
On the game:
“It’s disappointing because we knew how we played these last two games, and we knew coming in what type of team they were, on how hot they were, and how well they’ve been playing. We didn’t fight in the 1st half.”
On if there is any concern about the way the team is playing:
“Yeah there is a little bit of concern, just our sense of urgency. We knew coming into this game how we played the last two games and we didn’t do anything about it. That’s a little disturbing, but at the same time this is the NBA, and the best thing about that is that you get another chance to prove yourself.”
Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams:
On what contributed to the win:
“We’ve got a great group of guys who continue to compete at a high level with a number of things against us. No Eric (Gordon), no Austin (Rivers), no B-Rob (Brian Roberts), Tyreke (Evans) steps up and plays point guard for the majority of the game. Darius (Miller), he’s a guy that I didn’t know was going to be able to play at that kind of level because he just hasn’t done it. To his credit, he stepped up when we needed him. He played point guard, knocked down big shots, and played great defense. Not only did we beat a good team, we beat a team that’s got a chance to win a title.”
On limiting the opponent’s level of physicality:
“There’s an appropriate fear that you have to have of your opponent but then there’s a line that you don’t cross which is too much respect. I thought we’d given them way too much respect. They’re a great team, they’ve got the best point guard in the game. I know A.D. (Anthony Davis) wanted to prove that he and Blake (Griffin) are on the same level. But at the same time, we put our jerseys on, we pray before we go out there on the floor, we believe in our talent and the work we put in. You just have to let that be your guide as opposed to guessing whether or not you’re going to win the game before it even starts.”
Pelicans Guard Anthony Morrow:
On defeating a playoff caliber team with a depleted lineup:
“That’s a huge win for us. I can’t tell you how proud of my teammates I am. That was great. We came out and competed all night. Forty-eight minutes. We need forty-eight minutes from everybody, not forty-seven. Doesn’t matter if you are playing a lot or not. Darius Miller came in, hadn’t played in a while, his confidence wasn’t right, but he stuck with it. I’m glad that he had a huge game and helped us out a lot. We never believe we are out of a game. We don’t go into any game like that because with that mentality we already lost. We came in here tonight and knew what we were against. Coach (Williams) brought us in and told us there are no excuses. I reiterated that with the team before the game, and everybody took that to heart. We had great energy. That was a great win and I’m just proud of everybody.”
On his strong performance:
“I just thank God for the opportunity. My teammates found me. We had some mismatches and stuff like that. Of course they have Chris Paul and guys like that, so we tried to take them out of their speed game. It was tough obviously, but we took advantage of what we had over them, which is size and height. Tyreke (Evans) did a great job running the team, Anthony (Davis) did a great job with two fouls. He came in the second half and was really aggressive. He got huge rebounds and altered shots. I’m really proud of this team.”
Pelicans Guard Darius Miller:
On the key to tonight’s victory:
“Coming out and competing. We just wanted to give it our all, play hard and not really think about who we were playing against. We just wanted to come out, compete and play as hard as we could.”
On his strong effort:
“I just knew I had an opportunity. I wanted to come out and play aggressively on both ends of the court. I just so happened to have a good game. I think everybody did though, everybody stepped up and that is the reason why we won.”
On the possibility of repeating his performance:
“Hopefully. We’ll see. Like I said, I had an opportunity tonight and wanted to take advantage of it. I’m a day-by-day guy, so I have to get back to work tomorrow.”
Crawford's 31-point NightJamal Crawford goes 10-for-23 from the field scoring 31 points in a tough loss to the Pelicans.
Blake Griffin Postgame - 3/26/14Griffin's postgame comments from New Orleans.
Jamal Crawford Postgame - 3/26/14Crawford's postgame comments from New Orleans.
Chris Paul Postgame - 3/26/14Chris Paul's postgame comments from New Orleans.
Doc Rivers Postgame - 3/26/14Rivers addresses the media following the game vs. New Orleans.
Clippers vs. Pelicans: First halfJamal Crawford has 19 points but Anthony Morrow's 20 points leads the Pelicans over the Clipper by three at the half.
Doc Rivers Pregame - 3/26/14Doc Rivers pregame talks about differences between the Clippers now and 4 weeks ago and much more.
Paul's Backboard Feed to GriffinChris Paul picks up the loose ball and dishes to Blake Griffin off the backboard for the alley-oop jam.
LACtv Preview: Clippers at PelicansClippers begin their final multi-game road trip of the season Wednesday at New Orleans.
DeAndre Jordan Talks Defense on Inside StuffDeAndre Jordan models his tenacious defensive style after one of the league's legends. Check out more from DeAndre this Saturday on Inside Stuff.
DeAndre JordanDeAndre Jordan talks about the growth he's seen in himself and this Clippers team.
Blake Griffin Postgame - 3/24/14Blake Griffin addresses the media following the win over Milwaukee.
Doc Rivers Postgame - 3/24/14Doc Rivers addresses the media following the win over Milwaukee.
LACtv Postgame: Clippers vs BucksThe Clippers edge out a win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, notch 50th win of season.
Oop to DeAndreJamal Crawford tosses it across the lane to DeAndre Jordan for the nasty rim-bender.
DeAndre Climbs the LadderBlake Griffin drives and floats it up to DeAndre Jordan who throws it down over Zaza Pachulia.
Clippers get 50th win, 106-98 over BucksBucks vs. Clippers: Blake Griffin has 27 points and 14 rebounds, and the Clippers made it consecutive 50-win seasons with a victory over the Bucks.
Blake on the MoveJamal Crawford throws it ahead to Blake Griffin who maneuvers around the defense and packs down the one-hand slam.
Bucks vs. Clippers: First halfThe Clippers lead Bucks by five at the half.
Griffin finds PaulBlake Griffin gets the steal and delivers the long outlet to Chris Paul for the bucket.
|Chris Paul and Blake Griffin Named to 2014 All-NBA Team June 04, 2014||Chris Paul All-Defensive First Team June 02, 2014||Spirit Dance Team: Clippers vs. Thunder | Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 16, 2014||Game Action: Clippers vs. Thunder: Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 16, 2014|
|Clippers vs. Thunder: Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 15, 2014||Game 5 | Clippers vs. Thunder | 5/13/2014 May 13, 2014|
By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen
The regular season is winding down for the Clippers with 11 games remaining. The Clippers final extended road trip, comprised of five contests, starts on Wednesday at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
The Clippers (50-21) have prevailed in 13 of their last 14 games after defeating the Bucks 106-98 Monday.
The Pelicans (30-40) head into Wednesday’s game destined to break one of their current streaks: six straight losses to the Clippers or three consecutive wins overall. All three of the Clippers victories over the Pelicans this season have been by 13 points or more, including a 32-point rout on Mar. 1.
"It's a big road trip for us, starting out in New Orleans,” Chris Paul said. “They're playing well after beating Miami and beating Brooklyn.”
The standings in the Western Conference are close as the Clippers battle for the No. 2 seed with the Thunder, while trying to hold off the Rockets for the No. 3 seed. The Clippers are still 2.0 games back of the Thunder and 1.5 games ahead of the Rockets.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET
- Due to Eric Gordon being in and out of the lineup, the Pelicans are forced to make adjustments. Head coach Monty Williams has recently elected to play big, sending out no traditional shooting guard. Tyreke Evans and Al-Farouq Aminu are both labeled as small forwards, but both start alongside each other. The Clippers, as of late, are going smaller with Darren Collison receiving the starts at shooting guard. Collison has held his own in similar situations this season against bigger shooting guards. The Clippers are undefeated with Collison starting next to Paul (9-0).
- The Clippers offense sits atop the NBA rankings in points scored at 107.5. Despite injury problems, Los Angeles has accumulated 100-plus points in 10 of their 11 games in March. The Pelicans defense is going to have its hands full. New Orleans has surrendered 100-plus points in their six previous games, yet overcame that issue to derail the Celtics, Hawks, Heat and Nets during that period.
- Players play and coaches coach. It’s more complicated when Doc Rivers strategizes against his son, Austin. The elder Rivers saw his son notch a season-high 19 points on Mar. 1. Doc owns the family bragging rights with a narrow 3-2 lead over Austin in head-to-head showdowns. Doc went 0-2 against Austin as the Celtics coach, and is 3-0 versus Austin with the Clippers.
The Clippers are 19-16 on the road, and only have one more road game (at Trail Blazers) after this current five game trip… The Pelicans are 18-17 at home. They have six remaining games at home… Tyreke Evans is averaging a season-high 22.5 points in March, compared to a previous high of 15.7 points in January…. Jamal Crawford continues to search for his rhythm, going 8-for-24 in his first two games back after a calf injury… Paul returns to his former home, New Orleans, for the third time in 2013-14 including All-Star weekend…
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Doc Rivers: “It’s a big trip for us. I don’t know if it is for the Playoffs, but winning on the road helps. I just think winning helps. Wherever you win, it helps. We want to win all of them and focus on one at a time. If we do win them all does that help us win in the Playoffs? I’m going to say, ‘No.’ It really doesn’t. It doesn’t hurt you and it helps you in the fact that it will definitely put you in a great position Playoff-wise as far as home court.”
Jamal Crawford: “We always like to go over .500 [on road trips]. But why not be greedy and see if we can win them all?”
LAC: J.J. Redick (back) is expected to miss his 21st game in a row.
NO: According to the Times-Picayune, Ryan Anderson (back) needs surgery to fix a herniated cervical disc and will be out the rest of the season. Gordon (knee) is day-to-day and his status is in doubt. Jason Smith (knee) and Jrue Holiday (shin) remain out.
REGULAR SEASON HISTORY
All Time: 27-40 (Home: 18-16, Road: 9-24)
Current Overall Streak: Won 6
Road Streak: Won 3
Last Win: Feb. 24, 2014 (123-110)
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
Feb. 24, 2014 at Smoothie King Center: Clippers 123, Pelicans 110
Mar. 1, 2014 at Staples Center: Clippers 108, Pelicans 76
Mar. 26, 2014 at Smoothie King Center
LAST TIME OUT
Pts: Griffin 27