CRAWFORD REACHES MILESTONE IN NEW ORLEANS
NEW ORLEANS – Jamal Crawford was not in any mood to talk about two milestone shots he made against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night. All he was focused on was one that he missed.
Crawford surpassed Steve Nash for No. 11 all-time on the career 3-point list in the third quarter and with 9:53 left in the fourth he broke the Clippers’ single-season franchise record for 3-pointers with his 150th. It was the same record the potential Sixth Man of the Year broke on the final day of the regular season a year ago.
But when asked about nearing the top 10 in 3-pointers or setting the record again, Crawford was more focused on two other facts. The Clippers lost 98-96 and his shot to win the game as time expired fell short.
“It would have been much sweeter in a win. I would have enjoyed it more,” Crawford said after emerging from the trainer’s room a few minutes after the Clippers’ locker room opened to media. “I play with great teammates and coaches. I thank God for the talent and try to make the most of it, but it would have been a lot sweeter.”
Crawford, who scored 31 points including seven 3-pointers, blamed himself for missing the final shot, even though it was thrown to him with less than 3 seconds to go and a defender glued to him.
“If I get it in that position, I feel like I should make that shot, broken play or whatever,” Crawford said. “I take the blame for that.”
He has prided himself on the willingness and ability to take and make similar shots throughout his career. It just fell short Wednesday.
The good news coming out of the game, though, besides the two career benchmarks, was that is ailing left calf that cost him eight of the first nine games of March, appeared fully healed.
“I think it started last game, honestly, in the fourth quarter,“ Crawford said. “Doc was like, ‘Be aggressive to get the rust off. The more aggressive you are the faster it will come back.’”
In the fourth quarter on Monday against the Bucks, Crawford made a jumper from the elbow after dribbling past his opponent and drawing a foul as he released the shot. Later, he drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to help put the game away. Two nights later, on the start of the Clippers’ five-game road trip, he carried the team in an otherwise seemingly uninspired first half. He scored 19 points and made four of five 3-pointers in one stretch.
He looked like himself again, coming off the bench for his third 30-point game as a reserve and slowly climbing up the career 3-point ladder. He finished the night with 1,687 3-pointers in his career. The only thing better would have been if he had made one more.