Preseason Game #7 | October 23, 2013
STAPLES Center | Los Angeles, CA

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RECAP

Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten


LOS ANGELES – For the first time in seven preseason games, the Clippers starting lineup resembled what it may look like when the regular season opens less than a week from now.

Shooting guard J.J. Redick made his debut with the team, scoring 14 points in 19 minutes, and helping lead the Clippers past the Jazz, 103-99, Wednesday at Staples Center.

Redick, who missed 15 days, and six games, with a left quad contusion, joined Chris Paul, Jared Dudley, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the starting five.

“It’s good [to have the starters together],” Griffin said. “You’d like to think you can insert somebody into the starting lineup and not miss a beat, but the reality is that [Redick’s] missed some significant time. He plays hard. Everybody else, Chris is so unselfish, always looking for other guys. So, hopefully it won’t show the signs of missing him.”

Paul added:  “It felt good to have J.J out there. It’s tough after sitting out as long as he has been. Practice is one thing, but the game is tough. He’s one of those guys that don’t make excuses, and he pushes through.”

For a stretch in the opening few minutes, the Clippers (5-2) resembled the team that was originally conceived over the summer. On the first three possessions of the first quarter, Griffin and Jordan got dunks and Redick knocked down a long jumper from the top of the key. There were glimpses of what that group could look like throughout the night.

Redick knocked the ball loose midway through the third quarter, found Paul and migrated to the right wing for a an open 3-pointer. He made three in the game and outside of an air-ball on his first attempt his four misses looked true. Griffin was in a position to make plays, something Doc Rivers said he wanted to see more of during his pregame meeting with the media.

At the end of the half, after the Clipper erased a nine-point deficit, Rivers drew up a play for Griffin to push the ball up the floor in the final seconds. It did not go as planned, with Griffin losing control of the ball and turning it over, but the idea showed the confidence Rivers has in Griffin’s playmaking ability.

“I was going to give him the ball and told him, ‘Just go, go do something with it,’” Rivers said. “That’s probably not the way I wanted it to work out. But he has that in him, especially against bigger bigs.”

While Griffin dished out a pair of assists in 24 minutes, his biggest play came in the third quarter as rookie Rudy Gobert, who finished with five blocked shots and 12 rebounds, rotated over too late and Griffin launched from a step outside of the paint for a ferocious right-handed dunk. Paul made the pass, one of his 10 assists.

Paul finished with 14 points. Griffin had 15 with six rebounds and Jordan went for nine points and seven boards. Jamal Crawford scored a team-high 16 points off the bench.

As for Redick he said it is no just a matter of improving his cardio. “My body feels great,” Redick said. “I think the biggest thing is being in better game shape. You can’t simulate that by conditioning and you can’t really simulate that in practice. You have to get out there and play.” 

BULLOCK DEBUTS

Rookie Reggie Bullock, who the Clippers selected No. 25 in the 2013 Draft, played five second-quarter minutes. It was Bullock’s first action of the preseason after missing the first six games and all of training camp with a sore right knee. He did not attempt a shot.

“I just wanted to get him in today,” Rivers said of Bullock. “I’ll play him a lot more on Friday, but that was good for him to see him get going a little bit. He kind of broke down a little bit defensively. He kept getting off the body, you know, first game. And I don’t know that putting him on Hayward would be the right way to start my career. I think that would be pretty hard, but he was okay.”

NOTES

Darren Collison scored 16 points off the bench. In the last three games, Collison has 74 points and is averaging 16.4 (second on the Clippers) in the preseason… Matt Barnes (sore left calf) did not play. Rivers said he hopes Barnes can practice Thursday… The Clippers shot 38.6 percent from the field. In two home games they have failed to shoot at least 40 percent... It is the second time this preseason the Clippers have defeated the Jazz (1-6)… It was the fourth time in seven games the Clippers have topped 100 points…  Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 24 points and 17 rebounds… L.A. was 9-of-13 on fast-break opportunities, scoring 29 points. They also went 34-of-47 (72.3 percent) from the foul line…

QUOTES

Griffin Clippers forward Blake Griffin on Clippers’ team defense:


“It has not been as good. I think we need to get back to really talking and really being active defensively and that we don’t give up easy baskets. Hopefully we can iron those things out in the next four to five days.”
 Redick Clippers guard J.J. Redick on returning to the lineup after missing six games with a left quad contusion:

“It felt good to play and felt good to be part of the game. It’s frustrating to watch six games. I have a little bit of ways to go cardio wise.”
 Corbin Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin on the Clippers’ defense and his team committing 22 turnovers:


“This team is a good defensive team, they had their hands out, playing the passing lanes, but we made a couple careless turnovers there. I thought the effort and execution from the offense was there tonight.”
 Paul Clippers guard Chris Paul on the game:


“Our defense, our second unit came in and they played an outstanding game. Those guys came back with their starters and I think our guys did a great job of weathering the storm and winning the game.”

VIDEO

NOTES


Click here for complete game notes »

• RECENT PRESEASON RECORD: In the last 11 seasons the Clippers have played 78 preseason games, compiling a record of 42-36 (.538). They have opened the last four preseasons on the road. The 2013-14 preseason marks the third time in that span the Clippers have played at least their first three games to open the exhibition schedule on the road. Last season, the team played a “home” game in Las Vegas before traveling to China to face the Miami Heat in Beijing and Shanghai as part of the NBA’s Global Games. Overall, the Clippers have opened the preseason in six of the last nine years with at least three-straight road games.

• PRESEASON ALL-TIME: The Clippers are 11-5 in their last 16 preseason games, but the franchise owns a 112-136 (.452) record since their preseason debut on Sept. 29, 1978 against the Milwaukee Bucks in San Diego.

• SWEET JAZZ: The Clippers and Jazz have met nine times in the preseason since 1978 with the Clippers amassing a 5-4 record. The Clippers defeated Utah, 106-74, at EnergySolutions Arena on Oct. 12, 2013 to break the series tie. Oct. 23 is the fourth time they have played each other in the last calendar year during the preseason. The teams played five times in the preseason from 2009 to 2012 with the 2009 meeting being the first preseason contest between the Clippers and Jazz since Oct. 14, 1987.

• BACK HOME: After opening the preseason with four-straight road games, the Clippers returned to STAPLES Center for their preseason home opener, losing 94-84 to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Oct. 18 game was the latest October home game for the Clippers in the preseason since they played the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 20, 2006.

• DAVIES WAIVED: The Clippers waived rookie forward Brandon Davies on Oct. 21. In five preseason games, he averaged 3.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.2 minutes.

• CLIPPERS BACK IN BLUE: The Clippers unveiled a new “Back in Blue” short-sleeve alternate uniform on Media Day that will be worn for Sunday home games throughout the 2013-14 season. The alternate uniforms will debut on-court on Oct. 19 during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Designed by adidas, the uniforms are inspired by heritage of the Clippers organization and the Nautical culture of the southern California area. The “Back in Blue” uniform features light blue color for the first time since the team was based in San Diego. Light blue has a rich history with the organization and has been a part of the team’s identity since they were the Buffalo Braves in the 1970’s. The lightweight woven shorts feature three iconic nautical flags to represent each of the team’s letters – L-A-C- to stand for Los Angeles Clippers.

• TWO WAIVED: On Oct. 8, the Clippers waived training camp invites JaMychal Green and Mustapha Farrakhan, leaving the roster with 16 players remaining.

• TRAINING IN SAN DIEGO: The Clippers held training camp for the 2013-14 season on the campus of University of California, San Diego. The team traveled to UCSD on Sept. 30, following Media Day at the Clippers Training Center, and conducted practices at RIMAC Arena from Oct.1-4, before returning to Los Angeles. They held morning and evening practices on Oct. 1 and 2 before practicing in the morning only the following two days.

• L.A. RIVERS: On June 24, Glenn “Doc” Rivers was named the Clippers’ Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. The Clippers signed Rivers after the Boston Celtics agreed to release him from his contract in exchange for a first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft as compensation. Rivers spent nine seasons with the Celtics, compiling a 416-305 (.576) record and guiding the Celtics to the 2007-08 NBA Championship with an NBA-best 66-16 regular season record. Rivers led the Celtics to six Atlantic Division titles, the 2009-10 Eastern Conference Championship and a 59-47 (.556) Playoff record during his tenure. A former Clippers point guard (1991-92), Rivers returns to Los Angeles to be the 16th head coach in Los Angeles Clippers history (1984-Present) and is the fourth Clippers coach to have previously earned the NBA Coach of the Year Award (1999-2000), joining Gene Shue, Bill Fitch and Mike Dunleavy. He is the first coach in Clippers history to have previously played for the team.


Click here for complete game notes »

PREGAME REPORT

Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen


The regular season tips off for the Clippers in less than one week, and they are still looking to accomplish a lot over their final two preseason matchups.

The Clippers (4-2) return to Staples Center to face a familiar foe in the Utah Jazz (1-4), who enter on the second night of a back-to-back. DeAndre Jordan posted 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocks in a 106-74 win over the Jazz earlier in the preseason. Wednesday matchup will be the fourth time in the last two preseasons the Clippers and Jazz have faced off.

As the 2013-14 preseason has progressed, the Head Coach Doc Rivers and staff have put in more sets on both ends of the floor. Point guard Chris Paul believes the process has been very productive.

“Training camp has been great other than the injuries. We’ve missed a few guys,” Paul said. “Honestly, it’s a lot different. I keep saying it, just so much attention to detail. [Rivers] understands not only our bodies but our time as players. Understands there is no dead time, there is no unnecessary running or anything like that. We come in and as soon as practice starts, everything is about preparation.”

THING TO WATCH

1. Rebounding. The Clippers and Jazz both hauled in 40 rebounds in their preseason clash on October 12. In that game, the big men duos of Jordan and Blake Griffin against Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter panned out equally on the glass, each combining for 11 total rebounds in similar minutes. Rivers has said rebounding is one area he hopes the Clippers can clean up a little in the final two preseason games.

2. Paul looking more aggressive. Over the first two games of the exhibition run, Paul attempted 13 shots. Over his last three games, he has attempted 48 shots. Paul just launched 21 shots in Las Vegas against the Denver Nuggets, which he only did three times during the 2012-13 campaign. Regardless of Paul looking for his own buckets more often, the priority remains setting up his teammates with easy opportunities.

“Me and JJ [Redick] haven’t had an opportunity to play a lot together, just like [Jared Dudley]. I pride myself on where I give those guys passes,” Paul said. “Shooters they have a job to shoot. And I have a job to get them the ball on time and in the right place.”

3. Green provides quality depth. With Redick and Jamal Crawford expected to be ahead of Willie Green on the depth chart, his number may not be called upon regularly. But Green proved his worth while Chauncey Billups was in and out of the lineup last season.

“I think all of our pieces are pretty much interchangeable,” Crawford said. “On this team, the two and three do a lot of the same things. You’re really spacing the court. You’re in the corners. So, the two and three are pretty much doing the same things and we’ll all have an opportunity to play together on the wings.”

Having interchangeable pieces off the bench isn’t a luxury most teams enjoy. In case of an injury, like Redick in the preseason, Green can smoothly transition into the starting lineup to keep Crawford in his usual sixth man role. Green got the nod with the first unit in 60 of the Clippers 82 games and ranked eighth in the NBA in 3-point accuracy at 42.8 percent.

NOTES

J.J. Redick (left quad contusion) and Reggie Bullock (sore right knee) have practiced the previous two days. Redick, Bullock and Matt Barnes (sore left calf) are all listed as questionable... On October 12 against the Jazz, Byron Mullens began a streak of three-straight games with 15 or more points… The Jazz are 0-2 on the road in preseason and went 13-28 outside of EnergySolutions Arena in 2012-13… Gordon Hayward led the team with 27 starts for the Jazz in 2012-13, as four of the five projected starters are new to that role… The Clippers swept the Jazz 4-0 in 2012-13… Four players did not play in Utah’s game Tuesday against the Lakers: Marvin Williams (Achilles rehab), Brandon Rush (knee rehab), Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff) and rookie Trey Burke (finger). Rudy Gobert, Scott Machado and Mike Harris are all nursing injuries as well, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

THEY SAID IT

Chris Paul on where the team currently stands: We are not trying to be championship ready right now. I think that’s going to take some time. As far as being ready for the season, I think we should be ready by next Tuesday.

ClippersJazz

2013-14 SERIES: 1-0

Clippers 106, Jazz 74

LAST TIME OUT


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Clippers Leaders:
Pts: Paul 40
Ast: Paul 11
Reb: Griffin 8

 

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UTAH JAZZ (1-5)

Jazz Leaders:
Pts: Cook 18
Reb: Favors 13
Ast: Burks 6

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