Game #71 | March 24, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 98

  • 106

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS STEALS BLOCKS
27 14 7 3 3
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

Logo

25

27

22

24

98

LOGO

35

22

22

27

106


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – Things were not expected to be this difficult, but at this point all that matters are wins.

The Clippers allowed the league-worst Milwaukee Bucks to hang around for most of the first three and a half quarters, but pulled away late for a wire-to-wire win, 106-98, at Staples Center Wednesday night.

It was the 50th win of the season for the Clippers (50-21), marking the second season in a row they have reached the vaunted 50-win plateau after failing to do so in the first 41 seasons the franchise existed. It was also the Clippers’ 13th win their last 14 games and season-high eighth in a row at home.

But it did not come as easy as some may have expected against the 13-win Bucks. After jumping out to a 15-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee outscored the Clippers for the remainder of the game, closing to as close as four with less than five minutes to go.

“We’re not pleased with the effort tonight,” said Darren Collison, who had 15 points and six assists. “We know we’ve got to do better. We know we’ve got to come out here and we’re playing for something bigger.

“I thought we made some mistakes throughout the game, but at the end of the day as long as we win that’s all that matters.”

Jamal Crawford drained a corner 3-pointer, his first of the game, and Chris Paul made a pair of free throws to make it 101-92 and allow the Clippers to head off an a five-game road trip a game and a half ahead of the Houston Rockets for No. 3 in the Western Conference.  

“[Crawford’s] shot was huge,” Paul said. “That’s the Jamal that we’ve come to know, just making timely shots, big shots. Even that And-1 he made early in the fourth quarter was huge. We need that.”

Paul finished with 14 points, seven assists and three steals. Crawford, in his second game since returning from a strained left calf, had 14 points and five assists off the bench. And Blake Griffin, who earned his third career triple-double against the Bucks a season ago, had 27 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots.

Griffin appeared to be on his way to a fourth triple-double in the opening minutes. He notched a pair of assists on the game’s first two possessions, including threading a bounce pass between two defenders for Paul for a fast-break layup. It was part of a nine-point, five-rebound and four-assist opening period for Griffin.

“I think Blake’s been a big part of getting us going in every quarter,” Rivers said. “We had an advantage on the post with them and they started to half double-team to take us out of that. I wasn’t real happy with us offensively tonight. I thought we didn’t move the ball well and we were careless with the ball a lot.”

The Clippers led 35-25 after one. The Bucks hung with them the rest of the way.

The first half mimicked two nights ago, when the Clippers took off to a double-digit lead in the first quarter only to squander all or most of it before halftime. Against the Pistons, they gave up the lead. On Monday, the Bucks closed to within one after a Khris Middleton layup made it, 47-46. Matt Barnes responded with a 3-pointer a possession later, but the Bucks remained close the rest of the half, and for the most part the rest of the game.

“It was an ugly one for us,” Griffin said. “We’ve got to do a better job, but like I said we’ll take the win.”

In the end, though, allowing the Bucks, a team that has not defeated an opponent with a winning record this season, to shoot near 50 percent and never taking control of the game, hardly matters. As Rivers would say there is always a “human” element at play, no matter the opponent or their record.

“I think as a team you just want to keep looking and getting better as much as you can, stay healthy, learn and improve when you don’t play well and hope you can win on nights when you don’t play well,” Rivers said. “I guarantee you everybody in this room’s had bad days when they’ve wanted to have good days. It’s called being a human being. You get through it and move onto the next day.”

NOTES

Griffin scored 20 points or more for the 29th consecutive game… The Clippers are one home win away from matching the franchise record of 32. They are 31-5 with five home games remaining… Ramon Sessions led the Bucks with a game-high 28 points… The Bucks have lost 10 consecutive road games…  The Clippers bench scored 36 points… The Clippers outrebounded the Bucks, 40-38… They had 29 assists, including at least five each from Crawford, Griffin, Paul and Collison… When the Clippers return from their five-game trip they will have five of their last six games at home…

 

QUOTES

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

―At the end of the day, we won the game, and I‘ll take that. Sometimes guys are ready for these games, sometimes they are not. I thought we went in and out and I thought they played extremely hard. They got blown out last night, and when a team gets blown out, it doesn‘t matter what their record is, usually they play better the next night.

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: 2ndchance points and points in the paint

―We have to be better, obviously. And a lot of it is dribble penetration to me. I thought the guards hurt us with their penetration. I thought our bigs were in help, that‘s what we were doing earlier in the year if you remember, and our rebounds went down, so we have to fix that. We have to do a better job, and a lot of it is pick-and-rolls. We have to get our bigs up, so they can‘t penetrate, and we never get our guards into the ball. I thought they saw that that was working early, and give Larry [Drew] credit, they stayed with it. And one thing they do have is they have guards that can penetrate, and I thought that hurt us.

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Offensive performance

―I wasn‘t really happy with us offensively tonight. I didn‘t think we moved the ball a lot. And then I thought we were careless with the ball at times as well. But you know I‘ll take the win.

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: 2nd unit

―Our second unit has to be better. I think it was a 9-2 run right when they walked on the floor. I thought we started out the game right, we got out to a 12 point lead, and then our bench came in and gave it up. Then you have to come back in, and that‘s when I thought we never got back up. But when we were really rolling, our bench was a reason we one so many games, so it‘s a give and take. And tonight, bench-wise, it was a take. And starters wise, they gave, they were good.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Milwaukee’s 54 points in the paint

―I wish I knew. You know, we haven‘t done a great job on the boards. We‘re giving up some offensive rebounds, a little too many. We just have got to be better, and hopefully it‘s just kind of a lag from the four day break and all that. But we have to be better, especially going on this road trip.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Importance of upcoming road trip

―I think it‘s important, obviously you know, for the standings and all that, but it‘s also important for our

own mental state. You know, winning games on the road and things like that. We haven‘t really accomplished what we wanted to on the road, so this would be a good opportunity for us to really play against quality teams; obviously, teams who are fighting for a playoff position and also fighting to get into the playoffs.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Preparation for playoffs

―I mean, without getting too specific, I mean, just [implementing] schemes we have to use in the playoffs, adding some sets that we probably won‘t use until the playoffs, adding a couple defensive covers that we probably won‘t use until the playoffs, things like that. But really, all season long that‘s kind of been the mindset. Every time we mess up in practice or we have a bad stretch, Doc [Rivers] is always on us about, this is what is going to happen in the playoffs, this is what we have to do to beat that.‘ So really, that‘s kind of been our whole focus all year, but now, we really picked up the emphasis on it.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Thoughts on tonight’s game

―I mean you always want to play well, but you want to win well. It‘s not going to be pretty every night. Tonight it was, do whatever you have to do to win.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Importance of game

It‘s all about playoff preparation. The regular season—it is what it is. You want home court advantage. But I guarantee you when the playoffs start, no one will remember this game.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Upcoming road trip

―It‘s a big road trip for us, starting off in New Orleans, who‘s playing really well, after beating Miami and beating Brooklyn. As a team they‘re always going to play hard. Anthony Davis has been unreal. So big trip for us, all the teams except for maybe one or two are jockeying for playoff position.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Importance of home court advantage

―Well we‘ve been saying since the early part of the season we want to make this a tough place to play. So we‘re going to keep needing the crowd, and that energy. We want this to really be home court advantage, if we get home court advantage.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

―We‘re not pleased with our effort all night. We know we‘ve got to do better. We know we‘ve got to come out here, and we‘re playing for something bigger. No disrespect to Milwaukee, and what they do over there, but we know what we have to do. I thought we made some mistakes throughout the game. But at the end of the day, as long as we win, that‘s all that matters.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON

RE: Improvement on jump shot

―Yeah, I mean that‘s always been the story with me. I think a lot of teams try to play me for my speed, and they know I like the drive. I worked extremely hard in the off season to work on my jump shot and it became an asset—you go on the screen and I‘m going to make you pay. I‘m just trying to read the defense out there, and Blake [Griffin] is causing a lot of attention out there, Chris [Paul], and just playing off those guys. But I definitely worked on my jump shot and a lot of it has to do with them.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON

RE: Two consecutive 50 win seasons

―It‘s definitely a good thing. You look at some the top teams in the NBA that‘ve been around for a long time—San Antonio [Spurs], Oklahoma [City Thunder], they experience 50 wins pretty much every season. It‘s a good thing, it‘s a starting point, but I think that‘s not the end goal. The end goal is to win it all, and that‘s just a start.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Ball movement

―I think we‘re pretty unstoppable when that happens. Obviously having the best point guard in the game helps, but when the ball moves around and we pass up good shots for great shots, usually good things happen.

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Growing comfortable after returning from injury

―Doc [Rivers] told me to be more aggressive and all my teammates also told me to be more aggressive. For me, it‘s just finding that rhythm, trusting the calf more. I felt really good with the calf, but I have to continue to get my legs and be more aggressive.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD MATT BARNES

RE: Milwaukee’s 54 points in the paint

―That‘s one thing we have got to clean up. We know it‘s been kind of a weakness of late. We tightened it up for a little while, but we know we‘re starting to have a little bit of slippage. But we know how important this road trip is, and we‘ll clean it up on the road.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD MATT BARNES

RE: Significance of Clippers’ back-to-back fifty win seasons

―It doesn‘t mean anything if you don‘t advance in the playoffs. This team has come a long way, but we‘re not taking moral victories, we‘re not taking winning-streak victories, we want to advance and we know we have a good enough team to win a championship.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

RE: Overall thoughts on the second unit

―It‘s a work in progress. We switched people in and out – we added me and Baby [Glen Davis], Jamal [Crawford] is back now. When you have a bunch of guys that haven‘t really played with each other, it‘s definitely a work in progress.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

RE: Developing chemistry with the second unit

―Players play together for a whole year and then you really develop good chemistry. We‘re trying to do it in about fifteen, twenty games to get ready for the playoffs. It‘s a challenge. We hit and miss sometimes, but we‘re watching a lot of film and working off the court. We‘re going to figure it out.

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

RE: Upcoming five game road trip

―It means a lot, considering we‘re playing teams that are fighting for playoff position, good teams. It‘s not like the East [ern Conference] where you can just walk over teams all day. You‘re playing a good team every night out west.

 

BUCKS HEAD COACH LARRY DREW

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

―Yeah, I was very pleased with our effort. As you said, after last night‘s performance in Sacramento, I thought our guys came out and really competed hard [and] put ourselves in a good position in the fourth quarter. Again, it comes down to making plays down the stretch, which we were not able to do. We had a couple of defensive mistakes, a couple turnovers, and the game got away from us at that point, but the effort was there.

 

BUCKS HEAD COACH LARRY DREW

RE: Play of guard Ramon Sessions

―He [Ramon Sessions] played really well. I thought he played well on both ends of the floor. Ramon is one of those guys. You can put him in as a starter; you can put him in as a sub and he comes to the game ready to play. I thought he did a really good job tonight attacking. I thought his jump shot was there. He had an overall good game.

 

BUCKS HEAD COACH LARRY DREW

RE: Effort of forward Jeff Adrien

―He [Jeff Adrien] really battled him [Blake Griffin] really hard. Jeff gives up a little size at that four spot, but I thought he took on the challenge with Blake. I thought [Blake Griffin] made some really nice plays, but I thought [Jeff Adrien] had a magnificent game.

 

BUCKS HEAD COACH LARRY DREW

RE: Clippers’ strengths, specifically Blake Griffin

―He [Blake Griffin]‘s good. That team is a really good team. They‘ve got size; they‘ve got post-up game in Griffin now. He‘s improved his perimeter shot. They have speed. Chris Paul does a phenomenal job in quarterbacking that team. You‘ve got a guy like Jamal [Crawford] come in and give you instant points. They‘re a very, very, very good basketball team.

 

BUCKS GUARD BRANDON KNIGHT

RE: Recent shooting slump

―You have games like that throughout the season. I just continue to do what I‘ve been doing, play how I‘ve been playing. Like I said, you‘re going to have games like that throughout the season. I‘m not really worried about it.‖

 

BUCKS GUARD BRANDON KNIGHT

RE: Play of guard Ramon Sessions

―He [Ramon Sessions] played very well tonight. He made a lot of shots for us and really controlled the pace out there and gave us a scoring option. He had a great game.

 

BUCKS GUARD BRANDON KNIGHT

RE: Play of forward Jeff Adrien

―He [Jeff Adrien] did the best he could. He played a physical game, and he did a good job.

 

BUCKS GUARD BRANDON KNIGHT

RE: Goals for the remainder of the season

―Just to finish strong, play hard, and play the game the right way. No matter what our record is, [we have to] make sure we‘re playing the right way, and playing hard, and putting the effort in to try and win the game.

 

BUCKS GUARD GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

RE: Nickname

―At the beginning, I was a little bit [skeptical] about Greek Freak, ‘like, [I didn‘t like] Freak, ‘but now, I like it because my brother is also the Greek Freak. We‘re the Greek Freak Nation; you know what I‘m saying?

 

BUCKS GUARD GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

RE: Clippers’ athleticism

―It‘s very hard because they have big guys; [they‘re] very athletic. I think when you drive in [towards] the basket, it‘s really hard to finish. So, you‘ve got to be sometimes a little bit sneaky with them. [You have to be] faster than them in transition and try to go [at a] faster [pace] than them.

 

BUCKS GUARD GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

RE: Necessary improvements

―It‘s not just about getting stronger. It‘s about getting stronger, getting better on defense, being in the right position on defense, [improving] my jump shot, everything… my explosiveness; everything.

 

BUCKS GUARD GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

RE: Adjusting to NBA pace

―Yeah, for sure the speed of the game was an adjustment at the beginning, but now, I‘m used to it. I even like it. I love it now: running up and down, trying to block shots and get dunks.

 

BUCKS GUARD RAMON SESSIONS

RE: Starting role

―It was one of those things that we didn‘t know anything about until this morning at shootaround. It was one of those things where you have to prepare. It‘s a different role being a starter [compared to] coming off of the bench. You have to adjust too, because I‘m used to coming off of the bench. It was one of those things that I just had to adjust to and I think we both played well and did our best.

 

BUCKS GUARD RAMON SESSIONS

RE: Play of forward Jeff Adrien

―He [Jeff Adrien]‘s a lot shorter but he‘s one of those guys… he‘s underrated. People don‘t understand how strong, how physical, how athletic he really is. In Charlotte, he played [in] spurts, but when he played, he did exactly what he‘s doing now. He‘s just showing that he can do it for a long period of time. He‘s taking advantage of the trade. People kind of thought that he was a throw-in, but he‘s been playing just as good as I‘ve been playing.

 

BUCKS GUARD RAMON SESSIONS

RE: Blake Griffin’s improvement

―He [Blake Griffin] improved. I think another year has just helped him out a lot, but they‘re going to him now. It‘s not one of those things where if he‘s not on, they‘re backing off and letting Chris Paul take over. They both can dominate the game, and in the long run, that‘s going to be good. He [Blake Griffin]‘s a great player. Words can‘t express how good that guy is, and he‘s just getting better and better.

 

VIDEO

TICKETS


DATE OPPONENT TIME BUY TICKETS
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 on the verge of their second 50 win season in a row after 41 years without ever winning more than 49 games in a season.

On Monday, with a five-game road trip looming, they face the Milwaukee Bucks (13-57). They have lost seven in a row and own the NBA’s worst record. Last time, the Bucks visited Staples Center the Clippers (49-21) won by 16 and capped it off with Jamal Crawford throwing a between-the-legs alley-oop to Blake Griffin.

Their trip to Milwaukee in January had a similar feel. The Clippers won, 114-86, and pulled away in the final three quarters after the Bucks were within one point early in the second.

Entering play Monday, the Clippers are 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Rockets in the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and trail the Oklahoma City Thunder by 2.5 games for No. 2. The Thunder host the Nuggets on Monday night. 

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP

Photo Photo

Barnes

G

PPG

RPG

APG

SPG

FG%

3P%

2013-14

51

9.4

4.4

1.9

0.9

.435

.343

vs. MIL

17

6.8

2.8

1.7

0.9

.471

.375

vs. Antetokounmpo

1

3.0

4.0

2.0

1.0

.111

.167

 

Antetokounmpo

G

PPG

RPG

APG

SPG

FG%

3P%

2013-14

64

6.9

4.4

2.0

0.8

.412

.311

vs. LAC

1

8.0

7.0

3.0

0.0

.429

.000

vs. Barnes

1

8.0

7.0

3.0

0.0

.429

.000

THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET

- The Bucks tend to put themselves in a hole early in games. They allow 26.4 points per game in the first quarter, their worst quarter defensively in terms of points per game. Against the Kings on Sunday, they trailed 39-16 after the first and allowed 66.7 percent shooting. The Clippers, on the other hand, are a first-half team, not just a first quarter. On average, they typically score 2.0 points per game more in the first half than the second.

- The Clippers have had one of the lowest scoring benches in the league over the last five games, averaging just 25.4 points per game. Due to injuries to Crawford, Darren Collison and J.J. Redick, the bench has also been one of the least utilized in that span. They have played just              13.7 minutes per game, second fewest in the league. However, that could change with return of Crawford and Collison and the further integration of Danny Granger and Glen Davis. If Monday’s game goes according to form, the bench may have an opportunity for extended playing time.

- Crawford returned from a strained left calf on Saturday and scored nine points, including one 3-pointer. He is approaching a number of all-time 3-point marks. He has 1,679 3-pointers in his career and is now six away from passing No. 11 Steve Nash (1,684). With 143 makes this season, Crawford is also seven away from breaking his own franchise record of 149 3-pointers made in a single season, which he set in the regular-season finale in 2012-13. 

NOTES

The Clippers are 30-5 at home. They are two wins away from tying the franchise record for most home wins in a season… The Bucks are 5-30 on the road. They have seven road games remaining, the most in the NBA, including five against teams over .500… The Clippers are 29-0 when making at least nine 3-pointers and are 37-3 when scoring 104 points or more… Milwaukee has a +4.6 scoring margin all-time against the Clippers, the most against any opponent… Brandon Knight is one of 23 players in the NBA averaging 20 points or more this month. Blake Griffin is among that group as well… Griffin has scored 20 points or more in 28 straight games. It’s the second longest streak in the NBA and along with Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony one of only three active streaks longer than 15 games…

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Doc Rivers: “I look at what we have to do. I don’t even look at the game. I mean, I want to win the game. I want to win every game, but I just feel like if we take care of what we do it will take care of itself. If we stay focused on our process, it will take care of itself. We shouldn’t even look at the scoreboard. It’s the process.”

INJURY UPDATE

LAC: J.J. Redick (back) will likely miss his 20th game in a row.

MIL: Carlos Delfino (foot), Larry Sanders (orbital) and Nate Wolters (hand) are out. 

REGULAR SEASON SERIES HISTORY

All Time: 45-61 (Home: 30-23, Road: 15-38)
2013-14: 1-0
Current Overall Streak: Won 4

Home Streak: Won 5
Last Win: Mar. 6, 2013 (117-101)
Last Loss: Dec. 4, 2007 (78-87)

Largest Margin of Victory:
Home: 36 (145-109), Feb. 19, 1974

Largest Margin of Defeat:
Home: 32 (103-135), Feb. 16, 1971

SEASON SERIES

Jan. 27, 2014 at BMO Harris Bradley Center: Clippers 114, Bucks 86
Mar. 24, 2014 at Staples Center

 

LAST TIME OUT


RECAP | BOX SCORE

Clippers Leaders:

Pts: Paul 28
Reb: Jordan 12
Ast: Paul 15

Last Time Out



112


103


MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Bucks Leaders:

Pts: Mayo 21
Reb: Antetokounmpo 6
Ast: Knight 7

 

BOX SCORE »


124


107