Game #65 | March 10, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 105

  • 112

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS BLOCKS STEALS
37 17 11 3 2
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

Logo

23

22

31

29

105

LOGO

34

28

28

22

112


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – Blake Griffin seemed intent on making sure eight wins in a row happened, but he needed a little help along the way.

Griffin scored 29 of his 37 points in the first half before fouling out with 3:23 to go and the Clippers got a double-double from Chris Paul, another monster night on the boards from DeAndre Jordan and 20 points from Darren Collison to hold off the Suns, 112-105, Monday night at Staples Center.

The victory the Clippers (45-20) their third longest winning streak in franchise history and moved them to within 2.5 games of the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with 17 games to play.

But the game took 2 hours and 36 minutes and included an ejection, a lengthy video review of a ball knocked out of bounds and 53 fouls.

“I thought it was a hard game to focus through. There was a lot of stuff, a lot fouls,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “You have to play through that. You have to adjust to that and I thought both teams kind of got off rhythm a little bit.”

The Clippers led by as many as 25 points, and controlled nearly every aspect of the game early, including earning a 62-45 lead at halftime behind Griffin’s 29 points, a career high for any half. But Phoenix (36-27) battled back to pull as close as six in the fourth quarter.  

Their run began after forward P.J. Tucker was ejected with 5:28 remaining in the game for throwing a punch at Griffin’s throat after the two were entangled on the floor. Paul made the ensuing technical free throw putting the Clippers up by 15. But the play sparked a last-ditch effort from the Suns, who scored the next nine points and drew offensive fouls from Griffin on consecutive possessions, causing him to foul out with 3:23 left. 

“We got tangled up and went down,” Griffin said. “And I took a little forearm, but it happens”

Tucker was called for a loose-ball foul in addition to a technical foul that resulted in the ejection. Griffin did not retaliate as a brief scrum broke out.

“I don’t want to put my team in a bad situation. I don’t want to put myself in a bad situation,” Griffin said. “You’ve got to weigh the pros and cons. We were up by double-digits and to do something stupid to get kicked out, get suspended, doesn’t help.”

Paul, who had 17 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and two steals, made a jumper from straightaway that banked in to curtail the Suns’ run. Matt Barnes (13 points) made three of his four free throws in the last 20 seconds to finally put the Suns away.

“We withstood the run,” said Danny Granger, who had 14 points, including 11 in the first half, a week after making his Clippers debut against Suns in Phoenix. “It got a little closer than we would have liked but it’s a win.”

Jordan, who swatted away a Goran Dragic layup attempt to help preserve the Clippers’ eight-point victory over the Suns a week ago, grabbed 17 rebounds, including six in the final period. He added eight points and three blocks. Collison scored 20 points with four assists.

Until what amounted to a tense final six minutes, Griffin owned the evening. He went 14-for-16 from the floor, scored 37 points with six rebounds and three assists. He opened the game with 22 points in the first quarter and had 35 points or more in a game for the eighth time this season, something he did just once in the previous two seasons combined.

“It was crazy,” Paul said. “I didn’t even realize he had 22 in the first quarter until I think halftime. I felt like the biggest dummy because he probably should’ve got the ball even more than he did. I know he gets off to good starts and stuff, but tonight was crazy.”

NOTES

The Clippers scored 62 points in the first half. It was the 20th time they’ve had 60 or more in the opening half this season. They are 19-1 in those games… Griffin’s 29 first-half points were a career high… Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, Draya, Diplo and Skrillex were among those in attendance Monday… Barnes has scored 10 or more points in a career-high tying nine straight games… Griffin has scored 20 points or more in 23 consecutive games… The Clippers are 27-5 at home… They outrebounded the Suns, 42-36… The Clippers have committed 40 turnovers in the past two games…

QUOTES

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS
RE: Overall thoughts of tonight’s game
“I thought it was a hard game to focus through—a lot of stuff, a lot of fouls. The game was really called tight. There were good calls, but it was just a tightly called game. You have to play through that, and adjust to that, and I thought both teams kind of got off rhythm a little bit. With that, we had a big lead, and you could see it slipping away. Chris [Paul] tweaked his leg, so he came out, then Darren [Collison] got hit in a wrong place (I guess is the best way I can say that), so then he comes out... We have DeAndre [Jordan] in foul trouble, then Blake [Griffin] in foul trouble—it‟s just one of those games where you felt like you could get no rhythm in the game even though you were playing well. So give them credit. They are fighting for their lives right now, so you knew they were not going away, at least that‟s how I felt on the bench.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS
RE: Lead slipping away late in the game
“You can look at every team in the league, and they have had games where they have had leads and the game slipped away and they won. Some of them they have lost, and those are the ones that really bug you. And we have also had games where we have been out of it and won. We tend to forget those. We only remember the bad stuff, so I‟ll take the win. I thought it was a good win because you‟re playing a team where they need every win right now.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS
RE: Scuffle with Blake
“Well I thought what happened is what the ref said. They got tangled up. I haven‟t seen that replay yet so I don‟t want to comment on it. I really didn‟t get a great look. I was trying to look over Ralph [Lawler]‟s shoulder to see it. So I think they got it right. Again, Blake [Griffin] gets hit as much as anybody in the league. I think we‟ve all seen it and it gets old, it really does. I think he‟s doing the right thing, I really do. He puts his arms up because if he reacts the way some people say he should, then he gets thrown, gets suspended and it hurts the team. So I know it‟s very difficult for him. But he‟s doing the right thing for the team.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS
RE: Turnovers
“I don‟t like them, we have to take care of the ball. We‟re trying to make too many plays when plays aren‟t there. We‟ve got to get back to the hockey assist mentality, instead of the homeruns.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL
RE: Intensity of the final minutes
“I was actually telling Jamal Crawford and some of them in the back that when Blake [Griffin] fouled out I actually drew a blank. I almost forgot what to do because we‟ve been so dependent on him. I was seriously like, “who am I going to get a ball to?” because of how well he‟s been playing. But it was good for us to win a grind-out game like that.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL
RE: Blake Griffin’s performance
“That was crazy. I didn‟t even realize [Blake Griffin] had 22 in the first quarter until halftime. I felt like the biggest dummy because he probably should have got the ball even more than he did. I know he gets off to good starts and stuff but tonight it was crazy. And then, I don‟t even look at the stat sheet at halftime or anything so to look and see that he was 14 for 16 for 37 points, that‟s crazy. That‟s efficient. So we have to get him the ball more, that‟s what I‟m thinking.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL
RE: Adjustments made with a big lead
“You can‟t let up. Our defense is what gets us that lead, and then you sort of get a little lax, and that‟s what we can‟t do. We‟ve showed the ability to not do that some games, and then other games we do. We just have to get more consistent with it.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN
RE: Maintaining composure
“You just kind of assess the play as it happens. In the moment I don‟t want to put my team in a bad situation. I don‟t want to put myself in a bad situation. So you just have to weigh the pros and cons at that point. I don‟t know what we were up by, but I know we were up by double digits. Just to do something stupid, to get kicked out, to get suspended doesn‟t help. We already have injuries, we already have guys who are banged up, we don‟t need that. ”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN
RE: Personal shooting performance
“When shots are falling, honestly just keep shooting. But at the same time, we were all hitting shots. Guys were scoring, our offense was going. Just kind of one of those zones that you feel like everything you‟re throwing up is going in.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
RE: Personal performance
“Just keep on building, that‟s the goal. Finding a rhythm, I‟m understanding the way they play a lot more now, offensively and defensively. It‟s a lot of fun.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
RE: Nearly giving up a large lead
“There‟s a saying in the NBA: „Early leads never last.‟ When you get up 20 on a team, it‟s rare that you‟ll go up 40, go up 60. We‟re all NBA players, so you expect a team to make a run. We withstood the run. It got a little closer than we would have liked, but it‟s a win.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
RE: Playing against Blake Griffin
“[Blake Griffin] is one of those players that you can‟t stop. He had a jump shot going on tonight, and a lot of times he just bullies people. Push them under the rim and lay the ball up or dunk it. That makes some people mad, when you have a force like him. I‟ve played against him plenty of times, and sometimes you just throw your hands up and there‟s not much you can do.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD WILLIE GREEN
RE: Overall thoughts on the game
“We would like to win by blowing teams out or whatever, but we just know that‟s not the case sometimes. Sometimes you‟ve got to be able to grind out and win games. When you‟re playing a team like Phoenix, they get up and down and want to score a lot of times, and grinding out a win can be tough. But any win in the NBA is a good win.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD WILLIE GREEN
RE: Fourth quarter skirmish
“Blake [Griffin], he‟s to be commended. It takes a lot to turn the other cheek. I thought he handled himself well in that situation, and I think the referees got it right. They have got to make sure guys are not taking shots at each other.”

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON
RE: Being successful on home court
“I just think that a lot of times, the fans have been great. We understand how important it is to take care of home court and it‟s important in the playoffs. These are the games that you got to win and you have to take advantage of home court especially when you‟re playing against good teams like Phoenix tonight and other good teams as well.”

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON
RE: Overall thoughts on Blake Griffin’s performance tonight
“I don‟t know. Blake [Griffin] has been doing it all year long, dominating all year long, he‟s being consistent. I think we‟re used to it which is a good thing. Anytime that you have a player that you‟re used to being that dominant, it‟s a good luxury to have. He‟s just reading the defense, if they‟re pressing on him, he‟s using his strength, if they‟re playing off him, he‟s taking that shot. He‟s playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON
RE: Overall thoughts on upcoming game against the Golden State Warriors
“It‟s a pretty good match up for us for the simple fact that they are one of the top teams in the West too. Regardless of who we are playing, we have to play our style of basketball. The Warriors are good and they going to try play their brand of basketball. We have to continue to just stay focused and stay disciplined and play our brand of basketball.”

VIDEO

TICKETS


DATE OPPONENT TIME BUY TICKETS
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Golden State Warriors 7:30 PM BUY NOW
Sunday, March 16, 2014 Cleveland Cavaliers 6:30 PM BUY NOW
Saturday, March 22, 2014 Detroit Pistons 7:30 PM BUY NOW
Monday, March 24, 2014 Bucks 7:30 PM BUY NOW
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


After two consecutive undefeated weeks, the Clippers (44-20) head into Monday’s matchup with the Phoenix Suns (36-26) riding a season-best seven game winning streak.

That doesn’t mean they are satisfied.

After Saturday’s one-point win over the Hawks several players, including Chris Paul, said it felt somewhat like a loss. They committed 18 turnovers and bemoaned their execution down the stretch. Rewind to their Mar. 4 game against the Suns at U.S.

Airways Center and it was the opposite. The Clippers dominated Phoenix in the second half and made all of the needed plays with the game on the line, including DeAndre Jordan swatting away a shot by Goran Dragic in the final minute and converting a pair of free throws on the other end.

Monday is the third game of the season between the Suns and Clippers. Phoenix, who comes in on the second night of a back-to-back, dismantled the Clippers in L.A. on Dec. 30 and the Clippers returned the favor in a 104-96 win six days ago. A victory for the Clippers this time would move them back into a virtual tie with the Houston Rockets for third place in the Western Conference and move them eight games ahead of Phoenix in the Pacific Division.

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP

Photo

Photo

Darren Collison vs. Gerald Green

Collison

G

PPG

APG

RPG

SPG

FG%

3P%

2013-14

64

10.6

3.6

2.3

1.1

.469

.378

vs. PHX

13

11.5

5.7

3.3

1.3

.440

.429

vs. Green

5

11.6

6.0

2.0

0.6

.400

.400

Green

G

PPG

APG

RPG

SPG

FG%

3P%

2013-14

62

15.7

1.6

3.5

0.9

.444

.392

vs. LAC

9

8.9

1.0

3.8

0.8

.411

.441

vs. Collison

5

11.4

1.2

3.8

1.6

.431

.440

THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET

- In last week’s game, the Clippers used a 37-18 third quarter to turn the game around. The Suns were victimized in the third again on Sunday night’s loss at Golden State when the Warriors outscored them 38-17. In all the Clippers outscore their opponents by 2.8 points per game in the third quarter and are 24-0 at home when leading after three. On the contrary, the Suns only have 0.3-point advantage on their opponents in third-quarter scoring.

- Clippers forward Matt Barnes scored 17 points on Mar. 8 against the Hawks. He’s had 10 points or more in eight consecutive games, one shy of matching his career best for double-digit scoring outings (set Dec. 11-27, 2012). He had a season-high 28 points in the Clippers’ previous matchup with the Suns and has averaged 17.3 points per game over the eight-game stretch, which has included seven Clippers victories. In that stretch, Barnes has made 26 3-pointers, including four against the Suns.

- The Clippers are 13-0 when all five starters score 10 or more points. They have done so in five of the last seven games, including on Mar. 4 in Phoenix. It has become increasingly necessary for the starters to make an impact with injuries to J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Jared Dudley. In all five of the aforementioned games, the starters tallied at least 87 points. 

NOTES

Gerald Green has scored 10 points or more in 12 straight games. Matt Barnes has done so in eight straight, one shy of tying his career high… The Suns have alternated wins and losses in four March games… The Clippers are 26-5 at home, but one of the five losses came at the hands of Phoenix… Griffin is 11 rebounds away from 3,000 for his career…. Danny Granger has 17 points in the last two games after making his Clippers debut against the Suns on Mar. 4… The Clippers are seeking their eighth straight win, which would match the third longest streak in franchise history…

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Chris Paul: “We’re still getting there. Obviously, we have two new guys that we’re incorporating, but our biggest thing is going to be execution. When it gets to the playoffs, everybody is going to know all our calls and know what plays we’re going to run; but run them hard and it doesn’t matter if they know what you’re running.”

INJURY UPDATE

LAC: Jamal Crawford (calf) is day-to-day. Jared Dudley (back) is a game-time decision. J.J. Redick (back) is expected to miss his 14th game in a row.

PHX: Eric Bledsoe (knee), who has not played since Dec. 30, is targeting Wednesday against the Cavaliers as his return date, according to Jeff Hornacek. He did not play Sunday at Golden State. Leandro Barbosa (hand) and Emeka Okafor (herniated disc) are out.  

 

REGULAR SEASON SERIES HISTORY

All Time: 70-128 (Home: 47-53, Road: 23-75)
2013-14: 1-1
Current Overall Streak: Won 1

Home Streak: Lost 1
Last Win: Apr. 3, 2013 (126-101)
Last Loss: Dec. 30, 2013 (88-107)

Largest Margin of Victory:
Home: 30 (124-94), Mar. 2, 1974
Largest Margin of Defeat:
Home: 26 (2) (101-127), Mar. 3, 2010

SEASON SERIES

Dec. 30, 2013 at Staples Center: Suns 107, Clippers 88
Mar. 4, 2014 at US Airways Center: Clippers 104, Suns 96
Mar. 10, 2014 at Staples Center
Apr. 2, 2014 at US Airways Center

LAST TIME OUT


RECAP | BOX SCORE

Clippers Leaders:

Pts: Griffin 27
Reb: Jordan 12
Ast: Paul 10

Last Time Out



109


108


PHOENIX SUNS

Suns Leaders:

Pts: Green 25
Reb: Tucker 9
Ast: Dragic 6

 

BOX SCORE »


113


107