Game #56 | February 18, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 113

  • 103

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS
REBOUNDS ASSISTS STEALS BLOCKS
35 18 9 4 6
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

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24

32

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31

113

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26

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27

103


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – Doc Rivers sat down in front of the media following Tuesday night’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs and let out a bellowing sigh.

A return from the All-Star break, coming off one of their most important victories of the season, and Rivers’ Clippers had no answer for the undermanned Spurs, falling, 113-103.

It was just the fifth loss of the year at Staples Center for the Clippers (37-19) and could prove costly down the road. The Spurs (39-15) claimed the season series, earning the tie-breaking advantage should both teams finish the season with the same record and win their respective divisions, and moved four games ahead of the Clippers in the loss column for the West’s No. 2 seed.

“We were slow. We didn’t play very well so there are not a lot of excuses,” Rivers said. “I thought they were more ready for the game than we were. I thought they played with more energy. I thought they stayed focused throughout all the ‘stuff’ or whatever was going out on the floor and we didn’t do a good job of that. And we didn’t play well. I thought we played a very flat basketball game.”

Blake Griffin scored 35 points on 14-for-24 shooting with 12 rebounds, two days after a spectacular performance in Sunday’s All-Star Game and nearly matching the game he put up in last week’s five-point win over the Trail Blazers. Jamal Crawford, who started his fifth game in a row in place of J.J. Redick (bulging disc in lower back), scored 25 points, and DeAndre Jordan had seven points, 18 rebounds and six blocked shots.

But the Clippers got little else. Other than Griffin and Crawford, the team shot 13-for-42 (31.0 percent). They also had 12 turnovers that led to 18 points from the Spurs and were outrebounded 48-38.

“We never really set the pace,” Chris Paul said. “They almost beat us at what we wanted to do them. We wanted to push it at them and play fast. And they sort of pushed it at us and picked us up full court.”

Paul scored 11 points with nine assists and four steals, but finished 1-for-10 from the field. It’s only the fourth time in his nine-year career, and first as a member of the Clippers, that Paul has made just one field goal on 10 or more attempts.

“I didn’t know I was 1-for-10 until I looked at [the box score],” Paul said postgame. “It felt like I didn’t really make anything but I didn’t know it was that bad. It just felt like I couldn’t make a shot.”

Griffin said despite his 10th game of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds he felt fatigue set in as the game wore on.

“I don’t quite have the legs, not feeling refreshed,” he said. “That’s not an excuse. I don’t want to act like it is so I’ve just got to find a way to be better.”

Undermanned or not, the Spurs have proven dangerous over the years. On Tuesday’s final game of the regular season against the Clippers they were missing Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter.

Marco Belinelli scored 20 points and reserve point guard Patty Mills filled in with a team-high 25 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter.

“He killed us,” Rivers said of Mills. “I don’t know if Parker could have been much better.”

The Spurs outscored the Clippers, 31-27, in the fourth, but took command of the game with an 8-2 run to close the third quarter after Griffin tied it at 74 on a layup.

Playing the Spurs for the second season in a row following the All-Star break, the Clippers were not down by 20-plus points in the first half, but exhibited a number of the same problems. They struggled to score the ball, turned it over, allowed San Antonio to shoot 50.0 percent and gave up open 3-pointers and layups.

It was hardly the start to the “stretch run” that Rivers, or anyone for that matter, would have hoped for, particularly against a team they are chasing in the Western Conference standings and missing three starters.

“They wore us down a little bit,” Jared Dudley said. “I kind of think we were just a step too slow and it’s one of the best teams in the NBA. If you’re not ready to play four full quarters, that’s’ going to be a tough team to beat.”

NOTES

Willie Green, who was unable to play on Feb. 12 against the Blazers due to a sore right hip, appeared for four minutes Tuesday and did not score… Griffin reached 6,000 points for his career, becoming just the eighth active player to reach 6,000 before the end of his fourth season… Before the game Rivers said Redick is out indefinitely… The Clippers went 6-for-21 from 3-point range, including missing all seven of their attempts in the third quarter… After returning from All-Star Weekend, Griffin had fluid drained from his elbow for the second time this season…

QUOTES

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“We were slow, we didn’t play very well, so there’s not a lot of excuses. They were more ready for the game than we were. I thought they played with more energy. I thought they stayed focused throughout all the stuff—whatever was going on out on the floor and I don’t think we did a really good job at that. We didn’t play well. I thought we played a very flat basketball game. I don’t think we came out to do that, but that’s the way the game turned out.”

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Performance of Patty Mills

 

“He killed us, I mean really. We started blitzing and even then he made shots. I don’t know if [Tony] Parker could’ve been much better, when you look at it. He [Patty Mills] played terrific. But I thought them as a group—they are who they are, they do it every night. Every cut is hard, they trust their system, and they run it whether it is working or not, until they believe it’s going to work at some point. I thought they did that better than what we did with ours.”

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Play of Chris Paul

 

“He struggled, he’s probably getting his timing back, still and he may have been tired. He looked tired tonight. I mean, it happens.”

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Gregg Popovich’s coaching system

 

“They trust their stuff. They have been together longer, they know it, everybody else who is new comes in and falls into it. He demands it, and he has leaders—they have been together for a long time.”

 

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Process of bringing in new guys

 

“I was in Boston a long time, we ran the same system, and it worked. Not because of the new guys. Because you have the old guys and everybody falls into place. [Tim] Duncan is such a great leader. He does it every night, in the same way every night. [Tony] Parker does it every night, [Manu] Ginobili does it every night, and so from that point on, it’s pretty easy for everyone to fall into it. Because if they don’t—I mean if those three guys are doing it, everyone else almost has to.”

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Energy on defense

 

“Sometimes you can’t control if you’re shooting the ball well or things like that. But you can always control your energy on defense. Even when you’re tired, you can still bring a little bit more. We just didn’t do it tonight. It’s on me. I think I have got to show a little more energy at the start, especially defensively.”

 

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Comparing the Clippers to the Spurs

 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do to get to where they [San Antonio Spurs] are and accomplish what they’ve accomplished. But the goal is to eventually have that core group of guys and everybody else, when you come in and play, you fall right in line. They kind of have the model of the NBA and how you want to run things. Guys can be sitting out, they can have guys injured, and it doesn’t matter. Guys are going to come in and do exactly what they’re supposed to. If they don’t, they don’t play on that team. It’s impressive.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Coming off of the All-Star break

 

“I didn’t know I was one for ten tonight. I felt like I didn’t make anything, but I didn’t know it was that bad. I just couldn’t make a shot, you know what I mean.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Reason for struggles tonight

 

“I never really set the pace. Those guys, they almost beat us in what we want to do to them. You know, we wanted to push it at them, play fast. And they sort of pushed it as us, picked us up full court. And Patty Mills was unbelievable. We never could really slow him down.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Tony Parker’s absence affecting energy

 

“I felt like that’s almost a discredit to them if you say that. They played hard, they played well. They played really well. They ran their stuff, as we knew they would. And our rebounding is still pretty bad. We still have to continue to work on our defense.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD CHRIS PAUL

RE: Success of Spurs system

 

“It’s no secret. I was just talking to Doc [Rivers] about it. They just change other guys around. They have a foundation in Timmy [Duncan], Manu [Ginobili], and TP [Tony Parker]. So you just bring in other guys, and they fall in line.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Forming a core group of players

 

“[You have to] go through the fire. Even in Miami, the first year they were together, they lost to Dallas. They kind of went through the fire that year. I think it shows that sometimes you have to go through it. You won’t always come out on top, but you learn to go through that struggle.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Starting the process of forming a core group

 

“I think going through it last year kind of helped this process and I think it will help this process, because we went through that fire. We went through something that didn’t go our way. So we had to come together.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Adjusting to a new coaching staff

 

“We’ve all really bought in. There’s been no excuses. We’ve been a no-excuse team no matter who was out there, who wasn’t. We’ve learned a lot about each other, so we’ll continue to keep growing.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD MATT BARNES

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

“We have to play harder, that’s it. We didn’t play hard tonight, they played harder than us and they beat us.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD WILLIE GREEN

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“I think that they’re a team that executes. That’s what they did. They imposed their will on us tonight. We just didn’t have it, we didn’t have it tonight, it’s one of those nights and I give credit to the Spurs.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD WILLIE GREEN

RE: Danny Green’s performance tonight

 

“Well that’s what he’s been doing the last couple years. He’s been making shots and you know, the whole team did a good job cutting and getting open. They executed well and as a result, they came out with a win.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD WILLIE GREEN

RE: DeAndre Jordan’s performance tonight

 

“DJ [DeAdnre Jordan] has been great for us. We just need him to continue on what he has been doing. He’s been doing a good job on defensive end; obviously his free-throws are getting better. He’s been great for us; unfortunately we couldn’t come up with this win.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JARED DUDLEY

RE: Being unable to pull through in the second half

 

“They wore us down a little bit. They had great ball movement throughout the whole game and made extra passes, got the extra rebound(s). [I] kind of think we were just a step a little bit too slow and it’s one of the best teams in the NBA. If you are not ready to play four full quarters, that’s going to be tough to beat them.”

 

CLIPPERS GUARD JARED DUDLEY

RE: Overall thoughts on DeAndre Jordan’s performance tonight

 

“DJ [DeAndre Jordan] is getting better. He has taken the leadership role of coming in and being a defensive stopper, getting every rebound. I thought he did a good job on Tim Duncan and confidence at the free- throw line. We know that he’s going to get fouled and he’s got to be able to keep improving on that but he played a good game. I just think for us its being a step too slow, missing a couple shots we normally miss and defensively not talking and not being in the right positions that we normally are, cost us tonight.”

 

SPURS HEAD COACH GREGG POPOVICH

RE: Play of guard Patty Mills

 

“What Patty [Mills] gave us tonight is what he’s been giving us all year. He came back a totally different physical specimen this season in training camp and he’s carried us in a lot of games. Coming off the bench, he’s been really important to us winning games. He’s a feisty, aggressive, skilled player. He’s really important for us.”

 

SPURS HEAD COACH GREGG POPOVICH

RE: Difference in the game

 

“Well, I think the guys just believe in each other. They communicate well and like I said before the game, we fill guys in when somebody’s hurt. It doesn’t mean you’re going to win every game, but I thought the guys that played tonight in place of those three guys did a fine job.”

 

SPURS HEAD COACH GREGG POPOVICH

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“Yeah, actually I think Chris [Paul] was hurting tonight. He probably won’t tell anybody that, and I don’t know that for a fact, but we didn’t get the whole Chris Paul tonight. That helped us a lot. Obviously, Patty Mills had a hell of a night, but I think as a team, I’m really proud of our effort. With the guys that were out, I thought people stepped up. We played hard. We communicated. It’s a great win for us.”

 

SPURS GUARD MARCO BELINELLI

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“I think everybody tonight was great. Patty Mills was fantastic in the fourth quarter. I think everybody was great on defense, and we got rebounds; we ran the floor. I think that’s why we won the game. So, [that was a] good way to start the second part of the season after the All-Star break.”

 

SPURS GUARD MARCO BELINELLI

RE: Rebounding

 

“I think everybody was… especially in the last two quarters of the game, everybody was on the boards. Patty [Mills], CJ [Cory Joseph], Boris [Diaw], Timmy [Duncan] of course. So, I think everybody was great tonight.”

 

SPURS GUARD MARCO BELINELLI

RE: Pulling away in the second half

 

“I think [it was because] they didn’t score a lot of three point shots. So everybody was running them down. We got a lot of rebounds, offensive rebounds, [and] defensive rebounds. We ran the floor, we scored each basket, and I think that was important for us.

 

SPURS GUARD MANU GINOBLI

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“Especially considering after the break, with Tony [Parker] out, Tiago [Splitter] out, Kawhi [Leonard] out, my first game… I knew and I thought it was going to be really hard to win. But, we played a great game. Of course what Patty [Mills] did in the early fourth [quarter]…it was incredible. That always helps when it’s a close game. Boy, 10, 12 points in a row, it was incredible. Great, great win. We are very proud of what we accomplished today.”

 

SPURS GUARD MANU GINOBLI

RE: Lingering effects of injury

 

“I felt good. I’m stiff, a little tired and out of rhythm…things like that, but the injury itself didn’t hurt. The rest of the body hurts. I’m a little bit tired, [and am] working out, trying to get my body ready. But, as I said before, I am very happy to be playing and that I contributed a little bit to the win.”

 

SPURS FORWARD TIM DUNCAN

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

 

“Yeah, down a couple guys, not able to practice yesterday…to come in here and to put together a 48 minute performance was great for us. We’re getting healthier and I think we’re starting to understand exactly what we have to do. It’s a big win for us; especially on the road, especially against a very good ball club. We’ve got another big one tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens there.”

 

SPURS FORWARD TIM DUNCAN

RE: Play of guard Patty Mills

 

“He was great for us. That fourth quarter there; he really stepped up over that five minutes and gave us the lead that we needed. We were struggling…looking around trying to find a point [of weakness], trying to keep the pressure on them. He just took the ball game over. It was great for us. It was a great stretch for him.”

 

SPURS FORWARD TIM DUNCAN

RE: Foul trouble

“I think my fourth and fifth ones were not very smart. I didn’t realize where I was foul-wise and I kind of got myself in trouble there. They weren’t able to take advantage of it, luckily. And, we played all through it, so Pop [Coach Popovich] left me in there.”

 

SPURS FORWARD TIM DUNCAN

RE: Containing Blake Griffin

 

“Contain him? He scored like 60, didn’t he? Blake [Griffin]’s great. He’s been playing the best basketball of his career thus far and I tried to do exactly that, just contain him. Being very physical with him, I know he got frustrated at a point there, but we’re doing what we can. Still played great, still shot the ball well. But all-in-all, we worked it to our advantage.”

VIDEO

CROWN ROYAL SHOT OF THE GAME

PREVIEW

By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen


There is no easing back into game action for the Clippers, who begin their post All-Star break by hosting the most consistent NBA team of the last decade, the San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers (37-18) are in a virtual tie with the Rockets and Trail Blazers for the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference, while the Spurs (38-15) are two games ahead at No. 2.

Tuesday will be the last time the Clippers and Spurs face off this season. The teams split the earlier two games, meaning Tuesday’s winner will own the season series. The Clippers have the opportunity to move one game behind the Spurs with a victory.  In the event of a tie in the regular season standings, head-to-head results take precedent if both teams wind up as division winners.

“They’re good, but we’re good, too,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said of the Spurs. “It’s like I said before Portland, both teams are good, so you have to be ready to play the game.”

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP

Photo Photo

Chris Paul vs. Tony Parker

It will be the 40th career meeting, including postseason games, between Tony Parker and Chris Paul. While fairly evenly matched stat-wise, Parker has a sizeable advantage in career victories.

                                    Parker                    Paul

Wins                         26                              13

PPG                          17.9 (700/39)      18.6 (725/39)

FG%                          .515 (279/542)   .457 (279/610)

3PT%                        .361 (13/36)       .330 (29/88)

RPG                           3.2 (124/39)        4.4 (171/39)

APG                          6.3 (245/39)        8.8 (342/39)

SPG                           0.9 (36/39)           2.1 (82/39)

TPG                           2.4 (94/39)           2.8 (108/39)

 

THINGS TO WATCH FOR ON PRIME TICKET

- Blake Griffin continues the best month of his career, posting 33.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in six February games. Those lofty numbers are accompanied by a .591 field goal percentage.. His hot run was on center stage at the All-Star Game, scoring 38 points on 19-for-23 shooting, including 12 dunks. If the Western Conference would have prevailed, TNT broadcasters Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr thought Griffin deserved MVP honors. On Tuesday, Griffin will be seeking his ninth game of 25 points or more in the regular season. He has had a great deal of success against San Antonio in his career. Since 1985-86, Griffin is one of just four players with career averages of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds against the Spurs.  

- The Spurs are 32-9 this season when scoring 100 points or more. However, seven of those nine losses have come against the Thunder, Heat, Pacers, Rockets and Blazers. It continues a trend for the Spurs, which has seen them go 1-10 against the top six teams in the league. The lone win came against the Clippers on Jan. 4 in the first game after L.A. lost Paul to a separated shoulder.

- Spurs guard Marco Belinelli is fifth in the league in 3-point shooting (44.6 percent) and the Spurs are 14-7 when he makes at least two 3-pointers. In a way, he’s similar to Jared Dudley for the Clippers. The Clippers’ forward is shooting 35.8 percent from distance (the second lowest mark of his career), but the Clippers are 14-1 when he makes at least two 3-pointers.

NOTES

The Clippers lost to the Spurs by 26 points in the first game after the All-Star break last year. They have lost five years in a row overall in the game immediately following the break… Griffin is 18 points away from 6,000 for his career… Tim Duncan, 37, is one of just two players averaging at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks (Anthony Davis is the other)… At 20-9 the Spurs own the best road record in the NBA. The Clippers are 23-4 at home (third in the NBA)… The Clippers have won two of the last three games against the Spurs at Staples Center and are 4-3 in their last seven games overall against last season’s Western Conference champions…

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Jamal Crawford: “[Last year’s loss after the All-Star break] sticks with you for sure. I remember that game and they beat us handedly. It was a convincing win on their part, but this is a different team. We have a different group.”

Darren Collison: “Everyone always says you want to play your best basketball around this time. I think this second half of the season, if we get off to a good start, then it should carry us right into the Playoffs.”

INJURY UPDATE

LAC: J.J. Redick (hip), who has missed four straight games, is doubtful and Willie Green (hip) is day-to-day. 

SAS: Manu Ginobili (hamstring) will likely take the floor alongside his teammates, per the San Antonio Express-News. Kawhi Leonard (hand) remains out. Tiago Splitter’s (shoulder) status is still up in the air.

REGULAR SEASON SERIES HISTORY

All-Time: 33-118 (Home: 24-52, Road: 9-66)

2013-14: 1-1                                          

Current Overall Streak: Lost 1

Home Streak: Won 1

Last Win: Dec. 16, 2013 (115-92)

Last Loss: Feb. 21, 2013 (90-116)

Largest Margin of Victory:                                                                  

Home: 23 (115-92), Dec. 16, 2013

Largest Margin of Defeat:

Home:   29 (67-96), Jan. 29, 2001

SEASON SERIES

Dec. 16, 2013 at Staples Center: Clippers 115, Spurs 92

Jan. 4, 2014 at AT&T Center: Spurs 116, Clippers 92

Feb. 18, 2014 at Staples Center

LAST TIME OUT


RECAP | BOX SCORE

Clippers Leaders:
Pts: Griffin 36
Reb: Griffin 10
Ast: Paul 12

Last Time Out



122


117


SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Spurs Leaders:
Pts: Duncan 25
Reb: Belinelli 11
Ast: Belinelli 8

BOX SCORE »



104



92