Game #33 | December 30, 2013
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 107

  • 88

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS ASSISTS REBOUNDS STEALS BLOCKS
15 7 19 2 2
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

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30

31

27

19

107

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24

16

19

29

88


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – The Clippers got off to an ominous start Monday: three turnovers, one miss and a nine-point deficit in less than two minutes.

It didn’t get any better from there. The Phoenix Suns, in Eric Bledsoe’s return to Los Angeles, blew out the Clippers, 107-88, at Staples Center, ending a five-game home winning streak and handing them their widest margin of defeat of the season.

It was the third loss in four games for the Clippers (21-12), who hold a tenuous lead in the Pacific Division over the upstart Suns (19-11).

“We were awful,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought the first three plays of the game basically showed the difference in the two teams tonight. We couldn’t even make a simple entry pass, so give them all the credit.”

The Clippers committed 20 turnovers, including five in the first quarter when the Suns earned an 11-1 lead before most fans settled in their seats. And even after the Clippers pulled ahead by one a few minutes later, things never seemed in order. They fumbled passes, missed layups and allowed Phoenix to beat them in transition and from distance.

“They beat us in everything,” said Chris Paul, who had 11 points, seven assists and two steals. “We can’t say we beat them in anything, fast-break points, anything, and that doesn’t happen too many nights in the NBA. It was just an old fashioned butt whooping and they did it from beginning to end.”

Blake Griffin scored 15 points with five rebounds in 28 minutes and did not return to the game after being subbed with 2:16 left in the third quarter and his team down by 27. The Suns would push their lead to 88-59. The 29-point deficit was the largest of the season for the Clippers, who had not trailed by more than 14 points at home at any previous point this season.

Darren Collison had 11 points off the bench and Matt Barnes added 13 points and four rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 19 rebounds and Jamal Crawford matched Griffin with a team-high 15 points. But the Clippers were buried by the Suns, who outshot them by nearly 12 percent from the field and went 12-for-31 from 3-point range. Goran Dragic scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the first half and Gerald Green added 21 off the bench.

Bledsoe had seven points and four assists in 31 minutes in his first regular-season game against the Clippers since he was traded along with Caron Butler for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley in July.

“It just seemed like everything was going so right for them and so wrong for us,” Collison said. “It’s nothing but our fault. We take full [responsibility]. But it’s back to the lab and get ready to work.”

For the second game in a row, the Clippers put up their lowest scoring first half at home. They shot just 30.4 percent, made one 3-pointer and trailed, 61-40, at halftime. Turnovers, missed shots, and an inability to match Phoenix’s energy all plagued the Clippers.

Against Utah on Saturday, they mustered enough to pull out a 98-90 victory. They had no such push in them Monday.

“They completely got into us, were far more physical and took us out of everything,” Rivers said. “And we didn’t have a lot of fight back tonight.”

NOTES

Ryan Hollins, who missed the Utah game due to personal reasons, was back on the bench Monday. He did not play… Stephen Jackson made his first 3-pointer of the season after missing his first 12 attempts… It was the Suns’ first victory on the road against the Clippers since a 91-87 win on Mar. 15, 2012… The Clippers are 13-3 at home this season… Jordan had 16 or more rebounds for the tenth time this season. His 19 boards moved him into second in the NBA in rebounds per game (13.4)… It was the first time the Clippers trailed by 29 points or more by the end of the third quarter since Apr. 12, 2010 when they were losing 99-69 to Dallas… Griffin’s 15 points and five rebounds snapped a streak of six 20-10 games in a row and back-to-back games with 35 points or more…

 

QUOTES

 

Clippers guard Chris Paul on the game:


“If you look at the game sheet, it’s going to say that [we turned it over three times and missed one shot] and that they were scoring every time, and fouls, threes and stuff like that. 9-0, come out of a timeout and I think we might have gotten bailed out on a foul or something like that. Even to start the third quarter, we wanted to try and make a run. Not cut the 20-point lead away immediately, but chip away at it and they just increased it.”

 

Clippers forward Jared Dudley on the offense:


“Overall, our ball movement the last couple of games has been actually poor. The ball’s sticking on one side and not going side-to-side.”

 

Suns guard Eric Bledsoe on his improvement this season:


“Just the opportunity. I’m playing a lot more than I was with the Clippers. Coach Hornacek and my teammates give me confidence every night to go out and lead this team.”


Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek on the difference in the game:


“It was one of those nights when they had a bad night and we played pretty well. We came in from the start of the game and moved the ball, which is good for us. We really pushed the ball.”


Clippers forward Blake Griffin on his overall impressions of the game:


“It’s just a really embarrassing game for us—offensively, defensively. Really every category of the game. We didn’t do the things we talked about coming in, and it starts with me. We’ve got to do a better job from the beginning. We’ve got to set the tone. We didn’t do that tonight and they walked all over us.”

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on whether or not the game was the worst loss of the season:
“It’s not the worst loss. Portland and Golden State are the worst losses. This is the worst we’ve played.”

VIDEO

CROWN ROYAL SHOT OF THE GAME

PREVIEW

By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen




After two straight losses the Clippers got back on track by defeating the Utah Jazz 98-90 on Saturday. The Clippers are 13-2 at home and hope to improve that mark against the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.

The Phoenix Suns (18-11) come into Los Angeles as arguably the most surprising team in the NBA. Many pundits predicted the Suns to be in the lottery. Instead they have the sixth best record in the Western Conference. The Suns are also only a game and a half behind the Clippers (21-11) for control of the Pacific Division.

“Phoenix is tough,” said Clippers forward Matt Barnes, who played for the Suns in the 2008-09 season. “[Eric] Bledsoe is coming back, he‘s going to play well.

[Goran] Dragić is tough, so we‘re going to have our hands full and be ready to play better [than we did against Utah].”

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP



CHRIS PAUL VS. ERIC BLEDSOE


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Since the offseason trade between the Clippers, Suns and Milwaukee Bucks that brought J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley to L.A. and shipped Bledsoe and Caron Butler back to Phoenix, there was an abundance of anticipation to see Chris Paul line up against his former understudy. They used to be teammates. They used to share advice. They used to cheer each other on. They used to go head-to-head in practice. And they remain friends.

Paul and Bledsoe, who met the preseason, are going to face off for the first time in meaningful action Monday. Paul mentored Bledsoe and was instrumental in Bledsoe’s current success. Bledsoe had limited opportunities to shine playing behind Paul. Now in Phoenix, Bledsoe runs the show and averages 18.4 points, 5.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game (more than 12 minutes greater than his career average).

Few players in the league are capable of containing Paul. However, Bledsoe may give his former teacher problems. Paul won’t back down to any opponent and continues to post MVP-caliber statistics with 19.9 points, 11.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

THINGS TO WATCH

  • 1. Star Power or Balance? When the Clippers light up the scoreboard Paul, Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford are usually responsible. For the Suns, the damage comes from its balanced attack.
  • The Clippers have three active players notching 16-plus points per game.. No other member on the Clippers surpasses the 10-point plateau (Redick does, but remains out with a torn ligament in his wrist and fractured right hand). Paul and Griffin have combined for 48 double-doubles, which is the most in the league by any tandem.

    The Clippers rely heavily on their stars, while the Suns are the complete opposite, sporting seven players with double-digit averages.

  • 2. Rebounding. There’s nothing glorious about coming down with a rebound. On the contrary, the glass routinely decides outcomes. The Clippers and Suns are right around the league average in the category at No. 16 and No. 14. Center Miles Plumlee is the sole Suns player providing 7-plus per game, yet team-wide contributions from the guards, particularly Bledsoe, and wings are paying dividends. In the previous three games, the Clippers were on the short end in rebounds, but are 10-2 when they win the rebounding battle with their opponent.
  • GAME NOTES

    Clippers Associate Head Coach Alvin Gentry was the Suns head coach for four-plus seasons, from 2008-09 to January of the 2012-13… Clippers forward Jared Dudley played the last five seasons for the Suns, scoring 9.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists… The current 21-11 start for the Clippers is their second best in franchise history…In 2012-13, the Clippers won the series versus the Suns, 3-1…The Clippers and Suns have not played this season…

    LAST TIME OUT


    RECAP | BOX SCORE
    GRIFFIN'S DOMINANCE
  • GAMEDAY ARCHIVE
  • Clippers Leaders:
    Pts: Griffin 40
    Reb: Jordan 12
    Ast: Paul 9

    Last Time Out



    98


    90


    PHOENIX SUNS

    Suns Leaders:
    Pts: Plumlee 22
    Reb: Plumlee 13
    Ast: Dragic 5

    BOX SCORE »



    115



    101