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Clippers take Game 1 vs Spurs

Clippers take Game 1 vs Spurs

The Clippers beat the Spurs 107-92 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin did big things for the home squad in the win. Here’s the Orange County Register reporting:

Paul delivered on the all-around excellence fans of his are accustomed to, scoring 32 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists, and Griffin delivered four of the game’s most emphatic points on the way to 26, 12 and 6.

“They had it going,” Doc Rivers said. “And we noticed it and kind of rode it.”

With the game yet to be decided in the third quarter, Griffin hammered home two separate merciless slam dunks on the head of San Antonio reserve Aron Baynes, sending the Staples Center crowd into a state of euphoria.

And while the defending NBA champions fought back from a 20-point lead to get within single digits in the fourth quarter, Griffin and Paul were there again to answer, leading a 7-0 run that doused any sparks of a comeback.

With four days off since their regular season finale, the Clippers had a trio of practices to go over the Spurs and their multiple offensive sets and defensive schemes.

Austin Rivers gets taste of playoff basketball

Here’s the OC Register reporting on Clippers reserve guard Austin Rivers:

Austin Rivers gets taste of playoff basketball

Austin Rivers has watched NBA playoff games. He’s attended a few and was in the stands when the Boston Celtics hoisted the NBA championship trophy.

This was, however, the first time Rivers had played in an NBA postseason game. He entered Sunday’s game against San Antonio late in the first quarter and while Rivers saw limited minutes, it still was a first-in-a-lifetime experience for the Clippers coach’s son.

“Obviously, I grew up around it (NBA postseason) with my father, but it’s different when you’re out there,” said Rivers, Doc Rivers’ second son.

“At the same time, whether I was at the game or watching it like any other player, it’s still basketball but the stakes are higher.”

Austin Rivers said he didn’t expect to alter his playing style or experience any nerves, not even playing against the defending champion Spurs. The Clippers reserve guard said before the game that he was going to stick with what has gotten him playing time since being traded from New Orleans.

Glen Davis fined for kicking a seat cushion into the stands

Glen Davis fined for kicking seat cushion

Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen Davis has been fined $15,000 for kicking a seat cushion into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 4:16 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 119-106 win over the Boston Celtics on March 29 at TD Garden.

To view the play, click on this link.

Clippers sign Lester Hudson to 10-day contract

Clippers sign Lester Hudson to 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed guard Lester Hudson to a 10-day contract.

Hudson comes to the Clippers from the Chinese Basketball Association where he is a two-time MVP (2014, 2015) and three-time All-Star (2012, 2014, 2015). Most recently, Hudson played for Liaoning where he averaged 31.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 50 games.

Originally drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 58th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Hudson, 30, has played three seasons in the NBA. In 52 career NBA games, Hudson owns averages of 4.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 10.3 minutes with Boston, Memphis, Washington and Cleveland.

A Memphis native, the 6-foot-3 inch guard spent his final two years of college at the University of Tennessee-Martin. He is the only NCAA player to ever record a quadruple-double (25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals vs. Central Baptist College) in a college game. He was a two-time OVC Player of the Year (2008, 2009) at UT-Martin.

dwyane wade

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 22.

Wade led the Heat to a 3-1 week, averaging 24.5 points (second in the East), 4.0 assists and 2.25 steals (fourth in the conference). He shot 53.2 percent from the field, including a 13-of-18 performance during a 32-point outing in a 106-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 16. The All-Star guard also scored 32 points and added six assists in a 108-104 win against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 18.

chris paul

Paul powered the Clippers to one of the NBA’s two 4-0 weeks. He ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring (26.0 ppg) and second in the West in assists (11.3 apg). The All-Star guard had 30 points and 11 assists in a 116-105 victory against the Sacramento Kings on March 18, and two nights later he contributed 30 points and 15 assists in a 113-99 win over the Washington Wizards. Paul totaled 45 assists and seven turnovers in the four games.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Cleveland’s LeBron James, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson, Houston’s James Harden, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Orlando’s Elfrid Payton, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

Clippers find Nate Robinson fun to have around

Clippers sign Nate Robinson to second 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed guard Nate Robinson to a second 10-day contract.

Robinson has appeared in five games for the Clippers, averaging 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 14.6 minutes.

A nine-year NBA veteran, the Seattle native has played in 612 career games (106 starts) with averages of 11.1 points, 3.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes with New York, Boston, Oklahoma City, Golden State, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

Originally drafted with the 21st overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns before being traded to New York on draft day, Robinson is a three-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion (2006, 2009, 2010) and was a key contributor in helping Boston reach the 2010 NBA Finals. He spent three years at the University of Washington where he was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 performer.

Clippers sign Nate Robinson to 10-day contract

Clippers sign Nate Robinson to 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed free agent guard Nate Robinson to a 10-day contract. Robinson, 30, most recently played for the Denver Nuggets where he averaged 5.8 points, 2.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds over 33 games (one start) this season.

A 10-year NBA veteran, the Seattle native has appeared in 607 career games (106 starts) with averages of 11.1 points, 3.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes of play with New York, Boston, Oklahoma City, Golden State, Chicago and Denver.

Originally drafted with the 21st overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns before being traded to New York on draft day, Robinson is a three-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion (2006, 2009, 2010) and was a key contributor in helping Boston reach the 2010 NBA Finals. He spent three years at the University of Washington where he was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 performer.

Robinson will wear #8 for the Clippers.

Clippers sign Jordan Hamilton to second 10-day contract

Clippers sign Jordan Hamilton to second 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed forward Jordan Hamilton to a second 10-day contract.

Hamilton appeared in four games (two starts) for the Clippers averaging 3.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 11.5 minutes.

Hamilton, who was the 40th GATORADE call-up of the 2014-15 season, appeared in 27 games (22 starts) for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League and averaged 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 28.6 minutes.

Originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, Hamilton was traded to the Denver Nuggets on Draft Day. He has career averages of 5.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.2 minutes over 130 games (17 starts) with the Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Clippers.

The Los Angeles native spent two years at the University of Texas, earning second team All-American by the USBWA following his sophomore season. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists for his career at Texas over 70 games.

Blake Griffin may return fairly soon for Clippers

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on Clippers forward Blake Griffin:

Blake Griffin could return fairly soon for Clippers

Blake Griffin has intensified his workouts since undergoing elbow surgery and could return as soon as Sunday, which would qualify as perfect timing for the Clippers and the NBA.

The Clippers play the Golden State Warriors, the team with the best record in the Western Conference, that day in a nationally televised game at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

“I guess it’s possible, yeah,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Monday when asked whether Griffin could play against the Warriors exactly four weeks after learning he would need surgery to remove a staph infection from his right elbow.

Rivers described Griffin as going “full-tilt” in his workouts but cautioned that team doctors would ultimately need to clear the All-Star forward before he was allowed to play again.

Here’s TMZ reporting some bad news from Los Angeles:

An L.A. mansion owned by former NBA player Earl Watson was robbed Monday night by at least 4 men in ski masks — who handcuffed the occupants and ransacked the place.

While 35-year-old Watson owns the $4 million Encino home, he currently rents it out to a local elderly couple.

Officials say the men — at least one of whom had a gun — broke in through a back door and once inside, they handcuffed the couple and stole various items … including cash.

Los Angeles Clippers sign Jordan Hamilton to 10-day contract

Clippers sign Jordan Hamilton to 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed free agent forward Jordan Hamilton to a 10-day contract.

Hamilton, 24, comes to the Clippers from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League. He averaged 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists for Reno in 27 games (22 starts) and is the 40th GATORADE call-up of the 2014-15 season.

Originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, Hamilton was traded to the Denver Nuggets on Draft Day. He has career averages of 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes over 126 games (15 starts) with Denver and the Houston Rockets.

The Los Angeles native spent two years at the University of Texas, earning second team All-American by the USBWA following his sophomore season. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists for his career at Texas over 70 games.

Teams continue to employ Hack-a-DeAndre strategy

DeAndre Jordan is awful at shooting free throws. He’s hitting 40.8% FT this season, and is 42.2% FT for his NBA career. Opposing teams sometimes try to use this to their advantage. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Hack-a-Jordan. Deck-a-DeAndre. Jab-a-D.J.

Call it what you want, but the intentional fouling of DeAndre Jordan reached a new low on Monday as the Los Angeles Clippers center was sent to the free throw line a career-high 28 times, 14 in the fourth quarter alone. That was partly due to the fact that he made only 10 of those attempts.

“I dropped out of college,” Jordan said, “but percentage-wise I don’t think that’s good.”

Despite his struggles at the free throw line, Jordan scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, just two boards shy of his third straight 20-20 game as the Clippers beat the San Antonio Spurs 119-115, winning their third straight game against a Western Conference playoff team without Blake Griffin.

The story after the game, however, was Jordan’s constant trips to the free throw line and a strategy that dragged the game on for almost three hours. It is nothing new for Jordan, who has now been sent to the free throw line 54 times over the past two games.

Spurs visit the Clippers tonight

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting on the Spurs, who head to Los Angeles to visit the Clippers tonight:

The Spurs view their annual rodeo trip as an opportunity to bond and gear themselves up for the stretch run. They need that now more than ever as they enter the second half of the season still stuck in seventh place in the bloodbath that is the Western Conference despite winning 13 of their last 17 before the All-Star break.

If they’re going to climb up the standings, winning games against the six teams above them is critical. Especially when said teams are missing a key player, as the Clippers are without injured All-Star Blake Griffin. His absence didn’t prevent the Clippers from spanking Dallas and Houston by a combined 32 points in their most recent outings. But it leaves them perilously thin with Glen Davis as their primary backup big.

Unclear when Blake Griffin will return for Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers face a true test in the near future, as Blake Griffin won’t be around to dunk, rebound and all those other fun things that he contributes. It’s not yet known how long he’ll be out. Here’s the Orange County Register reporting:

Unclear when Blake Griffin will return for Clippers

“Tough.”

Chris Paul, not the happiest player right now, used that word 10 times in 96 seconds after the Clippers lost, 131-108, Sunday afternoon.

He undersold it.

Sure, the Clippers lost their fourth game in a row, but the team got way worse news Saturday night.

All-Star forward Blake Griffin will leave the team to fly to Los Angeles and undergo surgery Monday to remove a staph infection from his right elbow. Griffin, the team’s leading scorer, will be out between 10 days and six weeks.

He’s scheduled to be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.

Griffin, who has had issues with a burst bursa sac in that elbow since he was in high school, had fluid from the elbow drained as recently as last week while the team was in New York.

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that All-Star forward Blake Griffin will undergo surgery in Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 9 to remove a staph infection in his right elbow. Griffin will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.

Griffin’s procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and assisted by Clippers team physician Dr. Steven Shimoyama.

Griffin, 25, is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists while shooting 50.1 percent from the field in 35.3 minutes this season and was recently selected to his fifth NBA All-Star game.

Shortly after this news, it was announced that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver picked Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard as Griffin’s injury replacement on the 2015 Western conference All-Star team.

Chris Paul fined for criticizing referee

Chris Paul fined for criticizing referee

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Paul made his comments following the Clippers’ 105-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Feb. 5, at Quicken Loans Arena.

According to the Associated Press, “the penalty is in line with others the NBA has levied for being critical of officials. Paul was given a technical by Lauren Holtkamp on Thursday night and afterward said the call was ”ridiculous” and seemed to imply that one of the NBA’s two female officials may have been in over her head, saying ”this might not be for her.”

Clippers dropped by Nets in Brooklyn

Clippers dropped by Nets in Brooklyn

Do the Los Angeles Clippers play like a championship contender? For stretches, yes. Other times, certainly not. In general, serious title favorites show consistency, and that’s something the Clips have struggled with this season. They dropped a shocker to the Nets in Brooklyn Monday. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

When the regular season wraps up, the Los Angeles Clippers can look back at games like Monday’s meltdown in Brooklyn and won’t have to wonder for long why they don’t have home court advantage or can’t advance past the first round.

It may just be one game, but the Clippers’ inability to close out a Nets team that was 17-28 and out the East playoff picture is a larger problem than a one-game aberration. It is the perfect example of the Clippers’ consistent lack of consistency.

This same Clippers team that gets pushed around by the New Orleans Pelicans one night can blowout the Spurs by 20 points in San Antonio the next night. Then for an encore two nights later squander an eight-point lead in the final minute and lose to the Nets.

If it’s hard to figure out what kind of team the Clippers are from one night to the next, you’re not alone. They’re not entirely sure, either.

“I think that’s plagued us the whole season,” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said when asked about the inconsistent play. “I think that’s something we have to continue work on and continue to focus on and execute.”

Clippers set to begin tough road trip

Clippers set to begin tough road trip

Los Angeles has won eight of 10, including Wednesday’s victory at Utah, its 13th straight against the Jazz. The Clippers play their next seven games on the road, including stops in San Antonio, Cleveland, Toronto, Oklahoma City and Dallas. During the 8-2 stretch, DeAndre Jordan is averaging 12.8 points while shooting 79.1 percent from the field. He leads the NBA in field goal percentage (73 percent) and rebounding (13.3 rpg). He’s also blocked at least one shot in 33 straight games, the longest current streak in the NBA. Blake Griffin has also been on a tear, shooting 54.5 percent from field and averaging 23.0 points over his last 10 games.

The media spotlight is a powerful thing.  It is usually quite good for those who need publicity, but can also quite a distraction for others who are already well-known and would appreciate a little less attention once in a while. Such is the struggle of pro athletes who live the life we all dream of. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting:

Pau Gasol does not miss media glare of Los Angeles

Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls on Thursday morning talked about his emotional return to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Thursday night at Staples Center. He spoke of the memories he’ll realize once he steps onto the floor and all sorts of warm and fuzzy things.

He doesn’t miss the media scrutiny of Los Angeles, however. He made no bones about that.

“Obviously, when things were going well here, it was exceptional,” said Gasol, who spent seven seasons with the Lakers and helped them win NBA titles in 2009 and 2010. “They say L.A. and New york are two of the top cities, the best cities to win at. But they’re probably two of the tougher cities to lose and struggle because you get so much coverage that media have to create stories.”

Matt Barnes fined $25,000 by NBA

Matt Barnes fined $25,000 by NBA

Matt Barnes fined $25,000 by NBA

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes has been fined $25,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a fan, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 4:28 remaining in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 120-100 win over the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 25, at US Airways Center.

Barnes responded angrily on Twitter to news he was being fined. Here’s a series of his tweets all together: “Another 25k! The part of the story the nba hasn’t told you was my language wasnt directed at a fan, I was talkn to the owner of the Suns who was sitting on the baseline & I only said something to him AFTER he cussed at me, BUT because I didn’t SNITCH I get fined!! … You can take my money, I care about winning!! … I’ve been fined 50k in the last mnth for kicking a “PAPER”Gatorade cup that had alil bit of water in it that didn’t even hit anyone & responding to an OWNER who cussed at me first.. 50,000 dollars for that?? Come on now!”

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