Game #80 | April 12, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 117

  • 101

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS REBOUNDS ASSIST BLOCKS STEALS
27 9 10 7 2
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

Logo

26

21

32

22

101

LOGO

27

29

29

32

117


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – The final afternoon home game of the season for the Clippers had little implications in the standings.

But the return of Jamal Crawford from a lingering calf injury and two days off before they close the regular season with back-to-back games, offered the most realistic opportunity for something of a postseason tune up.

Doc Rivers played his starters regular minutes, Crawford got re-assimilated to his role as the team’s top sub and the Clippers knocked off the Kings, 117-101, Saturday at Staples Center.

The Clippers (56-24) matched the franchise record for wins in the regular season with 56, coincidentally doing so against a Kings team that they established the record against in the 2012-13 regular season finale last April. They also broke last season’s franchise record of 32 home victories. They are 33-7 at home, second best in the NBA behind the Indiana Pacers. 

“We’re still playing for something,” DeAndre Jordan said. “Every time we step on the court we’re trying to hit our stride and get ready for the Playoffs. We don’t want to have any lapses or take any steps back.”

The Clippers committed 26 fouls, equaling Sacramento’s total, the teams combined for 69 free throw attempts, and the Kings got a game-high 32 points from Clipper nemesis DeMarcus Cousins.

Still, the positives far outweighed the negatives in a game that rarely felt in doubt for the Clippers.

“It was good,” Rivers said. “I thought it was a little up and down, but overall I was pretty happy. I like that we had foul trouble and kind of had to maneuver through that.”

They held Sacramento to 42.7 percent shooting and got multiple players who put up significant all-around numbers. Blake Griffin had a team-high 27 points with nine assists and four rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 21 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots. Chris Paul scored 17 points with 10 assists and seven rebounds. And Matt Barnes added 12 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Crawford, playing for the first time since Mar. 26, scored 10 points off the bench on 3-for-8 shooting, including draining 3-pointers on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter. He played 20 minutes. J.J. Redick, who started for the third time since coming back from a 25-game absence on Apr. 3, had 13 points.

“This was good for us,” Paul said. “Getting Jamal back on the court, trying to get a rhythm going into the Playoffs and seeing what the rotation will be like.”

After the Clippers and Kings exchanged leads throughout much of the first quarter, the Clippers took the lead for good at 34-33 after Hedo Turkoglu made a step-back jumper from the left corner. They increased the lead to eight after a put-back layup by Jordan.

Shortly thereafter, Sacramento head coach Mike Malone elected to intentionally foul Jordan four times in the final 2:23 of the second quarter. Jordan went 2-for-8 in the span, but the Clippers still took a nine-point lead into halftime, two points greater than when Malone began calling for the so-called “Hack-a-Jordan” strategy.

The teams combined for 32 second-quarter free throws, including earning foul shots on 12 of the final 17 possessions of the quarter. The Clippers went on to outscore the Kings, 32-22, in the fourth putting away their record home victory and move two games away from the games that really count.

“I think we are in a good position,” Griffin said. “We still have some things to work on, but we’ve been preparing for this for the whole year almost.”

NOTES

The Clippers have defeated the Kings 11 of the last 12 meetings, including sweeping the four-game series this season… The Clippers clinched at least the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs Friday night when the Rockets lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves… They have two games remaining in the regular season… Redick scored seven points in the first quarter. He’s scored more than one-third of points in the first quarter this season (5.8 per game)… Danny Granger (hamstring) did not play for the seventh straight game… Former Clipper Reggie Evans scored 14 with a game-high 14 rebounds… Ben McLemore was ejected with 10:51 remaining in the fourth quarter after receiving his second technical foul. He was coming off a screen, bumped Redick and swatted at his chin as the whistle blew… No Clippers player reached double-digit rebounds, breaking a franchise-record streak of 55 consecutive games with at least one player grabbing 10 or more boards… 

QUOTES

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS


RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s performance
“It was good. I thought it was a little up and down, but overall I was pretty happy. I like that we had foul trouble and had to kind of maneuver through that. Their bigs are really tough and overall, I liked how we played.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS


RE: Transition points in the game
“We felt that because of their size and Mike [Malone] decided to stay big, that if we could rebound against their size then we could run; I thought we did a good job. [A] couple of my favorite breaks [were] when they scored and we took it out and threw it ahead and still made a basket. I love how we played that way.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN


RE: Playoff readiness
“We will be next week. We‟ve got a couple things we still need to work on but we‟ve been preparing for a while now, so we will be.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN


RE: Thoughts on today’s matchup versus the Kings
“They‟re a big team, and DeMarcus [Cousins] is obviously a very big, physical player, and Reggie [Evans] did a good job inside. When we got stops, got out, and moved the ball from side to side we were able to get what we wanted, so that‟s the key for us-- just playing our offense and playing our game, and not letting what they do dictate our game.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN


RE: Getting Jamal Crawford back
“Rhythm wise, I think it‟s nice to always play a few games and not just be thrown out there in the playoffs. And Jamal [Crawford] is an easy guy to play with. Sometimes we just throw him the ball and say „go do what you do‟, and so it‟ll be nice to have a couple games, or however many games it is, to have him kind of get a feel for everything again.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN


RE: Thoughts on entering into the playoffs
“You know it‟s interesting, certain games are a little tougher than others just because one team may not be playing for anything and another team might, but it‟s a necessary thing. You‟ve got to play the whole schedule and all that, but it would kind of be nice to start the playoffs when you‟re ready.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN


RE: Team’s position entering the playoffs
“I think we‟re in a good position, but we still have some things to work on, but we‟ve been preparing for this the whole year almost. We‟re excited for it.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL


RE: Overall thoughts on today’s game
“This was good for us. Getting Jamal [Crawford] back on the court, trying to get a rhythm going into the playoffs and seeing what the rotation will be like. Good win for us, we just have to use these last couple games to keep getting ready.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL


RE: Jamal Crawford performance
“Jamal [Crawford] looked great. We had a tough practice yesterday where we got after it, and those two three‟s he hit were Jamal Crawford style. Big shots for us, and we needed it.”

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL


RE: Execution down the stretch
“We started getting stops defensively and we pushed the tempo. Those two threes Jamal [Crawford] made were sort of backbreakers.”

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON


RE: What the team takes away from today’s game
“It means we have to keep growing. The playoffs are around the corner and we want to make sure we‟re playing at our best.”

CLIPPERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON


RE: Return of Jamal Crawford
“It is always good having Jamal [Crawford] back. It makes the game so much easier, scoring wise. Anytime Jamal is on the court we have that extra boost of scoring. Jamal has been great for us. He‟s been doing it all season long.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD


RE: Returning from injury
“I felt good – rusty, obviously, but my teammates did a good job getting me easy looks, things of that nature. You always feel a step slow when you‟re coming back, but I think as your wind and legs keep improving, I think you‟ll be in good shape.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD


RE: How this return compared to previous returns from injury
“I felt more prepared. I trusted [my legs] a little bit more. I think no matter how the game starts I‟m always going to feel it out and in the second half I get more comfortable.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD


RE: Mindset when playing a lottery-bound team such as the Sacramento Kings
“Really, we‟re trying to work on us. No matter who we play, we want to get guys healthy and continue to get our chemistry. We haven‟t had a healthy team all year, so we‟ll continue to work on us and end the season the right way going into the playoffs.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD


RE: Thoughts on first game back from injury
“I just was overly confident coming back. Last couple of days I was dunking, and I haven‟t dunked since before I got hurt so I trusted it a lot more. I was extra cautious, and had the opportunity to get it strong.”

 

VIDEO

PREVIEW

By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen


Before the postseason gets underway, the Clippers have three regular season games left. The Clippers (55-24) finish Pacific Division action against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday afternoon.

The Clippers clinched the No. 3 seed Friday night after the Rockets lost to Timberwolves. At this point, the Clippers main priority is preparing for playoff basketball, getting healthy and watching the standings to see who they will face at the No. 6 seed in the first round.

The Kings (27-52) cruise down the California coast looking to avoid the series sweep with the Clippers. Sacramento has lost all three games to date, but all three contests were decided by 10 points or less and occurred in November when both teams were significantly different in terms of their roster makeup. 

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP

Photo

Photo

Redick

G

PPG

APG

RPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

2013-14

33

15.2

2.3

2.2

.454

.383

.918

vs. SAC

14

9.4

1.0

1.4

.385

.286

.917

vs. McLemore

3

13.7

1.3

0.3

.500

.273

.909

 

McLemore

G

PPG

APG

RPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

2013-14

79

8.3

0.9

2.9

.370

.313

.812

vs. LAC

3

7.0

1.7

1.7

.381

.250

.600

vs. Redick

3

7.0

1.7

1.7

.381

.250

.600

 

THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET

- The Clippers and Kings cause opponents problems with their athleticism, especially at the power forward position. Doc Rivers wants the Clippers to push the ball to give Blake Griffin quick and easy opportunities. Griffin’s skilled dribbling allows him to make moves in space that few big men can match. For the Kings, Derrick Williams is their power forward and he is still searching for his niche in the NBA, but his high-flying leaps are tough to guard. Griffin and Williams are both versatile, and watching their wide-array of skills go at each other is intriguing.

- Rivers said the Clippers sluggish start against the Thunder was mainly due to a lack of ball movement. Normally that area is one of the Clippers strengths, claiming the third most assists per game with 24.5. The Kings are weak at passing, ranking No. 30 in the league. It only gets tougher for the Kings because they will be without their top assist man Isaiah Thomas, who averages a team-high 6.4 per game.

- Cousins may be the premier offensive center, averaging 22.4 points and 11.7 rebounds. Meanwhile, DeAndre Jordan is right in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year. If Jordan wants to make one final case for his candidacy, slowing down Cousins would be an impressive addition to his resume.

NOTES

The Clippers haven’t lost at home to the Kings since Dec. 6, 2010 (91-98)… With 107.7 points per game, the Clippers score more points than any team… The Clipers have defeated the Kings 10 of the last 11 games… Jordan had a career-high nine blocks against the Kings on Nov. 1, 2013…  The Clippers are the sole team in the NBA with four players averaging more than 15 points per game…

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Jamal Crawford: “Waking up tomorrow and not feeling anything after practice, that'll be the last thing to clear. So, it’ll be a game-time decision.”

INJURY UPDATE

LAC: Jamal Crawford (calf) is a game-time decision and Danny Granger (hamstring) is out.

SAC: Isaiah Thomas (quad) is out, and may miss the final five days of the season. Jason Terry and Carl Landry remain out.

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY

All Time: 79-111 (Home: 54-41, Road: 25-70)

2013-14: 3-0

Current Overall Streak: Won 4

Home Streak: Won 4

Last Win: Nov. 23, 2013 (103-102)

Last Loss: December 6, 2010 (91-98)

Largest Margin of Victory:

Home: 35 (116-81), Dec. 1, 2012

Largest Margin of Defeat:

Home: 32 (85-117), Apr. 11, 1995

SEASON SERIES

Nov. 1, 2013 at Sleep Train Arena: Clippers 110, Kings 101

Nov. 23, 2013 at Staples Center: Clippers 103, Kings 102

Nov. 29, 2013 at Sleep Train Arena: Clippers 104, Kings 98

Apr. 12, 2014 at Staples Center 

LAST TIME OUT


RECAP | BOX SCORE

Clippers Leaders:

Pts: Griffin 30
Reb: 2 Players 12
Ast: 2 Players 8

Last Time Out



101


107


SACRAMENTO KINGS

Kings Leaders:

Pts: Cousins 30
Reb: Cousins 12
Ast: McCallum 8

 

BOX SCORE »


100


99