Kings hand Clippers another loss

Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, the Kings came to town and beat the Clippers, 112-103. In the win, Sacramento got 20 or more points from starting guards De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic as well as backup forward Kent Bazemore. The Clippers were still without starters Patrick Beverley and Paul George. Here’s the Sacramento Bee:

The Kings went nearly two years without beating the Los Angeles Clippers. Now they’ve done it twice in three weeks…

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points for the Kings (23-33), who have won eight of their last 12 games. De’Aaron Fox finished with 19 points and eight assists. Harry Giles III recorded his first career double-double, posting 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Kawhi Leonard had 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Clippers (37-19). Lou Williams came off the bench to score 24 points.

The Kings made a franchise-record 21 3-point goals in a 124-103 victory over the Clippers on Jan. 30 in Los Angeles. The Kings snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Clippers with the win, beating them for the first time since March 26, 2017.

And the LA Times:

Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 31 points and was even serenaded with “MVP” chants less than a week after the Clippers’ star was named the most valuable player of the NBA All-Star game. His dunk with 57 seconds remaining trimmed the Clippers’ deficit from eight to six, but Kings guard De’Aaron Fox answered with a layup of his own with 39 seconds remaining to effectively shutter the Clippers’ comeback and continue his torture of the Los Angeles defense.

The Clippers added a lot of depth recently, but a clear picture of the team as a whole won’t be visible until Pat and PG13 are back in action.

Clippers sign Reggie Jackson

The L.A. Clippers signed free agent guard Reggie Jackson today.

“Reggie is a proven playmaker and scorer, and we are looking forward to adding his experience and creativity to our team,” said Frank.

Jackson, 29, appeared in 14 games for the Detroit Pistons this season, averaging 14.9 points, 5.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 27.2 minutes. The 6’3”, 208-pound guard holds career averages of 12.9 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 544 appearances across eight NBA seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit. Before being selected by Oklahoma City with the 24th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Jackson played three collegiate seasons at Boston College, where as a junior he was named first-team All-ACC.

Kawhi Leonard and Clippers play Raptors in Toronto tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Clippers (18-7) visit the Raptors (16-7).

And it isn’t just a visit to say hello. They’ll play a basketball game. Against each other. And it’ll be televised nationally on ESPN. You should watch.

Here’s the OC Register on Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, who tomorrow will be playing his first game in Toronto since leaving the team in free agency this past summer after helping the Raptors win the 2019 NBA championship, their first-ever league title in franchise history:

In recent years, the 6-foot-7 forward has been hampered by lingering effects of a quadriceps injury that limited him to only nine games in his final season with the San Antonio Spurs in 2016-17. After being traded to Toronto, he was put on a “load management” schedule last season and played only 60 regular-season games before suiting up for all 24 games in the postseason, when he averaged 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists, and claimed his second NBA title and second NBA Finals MVP.

Now, he’s averaging 25.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.9 steals in 18 games for the 18-7 Clippers (who are 14-4 with Leonard in the lineup). In the first meeting with Toronto on Nov. 11, Leonard had 12 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals in a 98-88 victory.

And here’s the Toronto Star:

It’ll be surprising if the vast majority folks who make it to their seats by the appointed time don’t shower Leonard with an unequivocally raucous welcome back. He’s the reigning NBA Finals MVP, after all — Toronto’s first and only. He’s the bringer of rings, the elite addition to Masai Ujiri’s carefully curated collection of talent that transformed a perennial playoff pretender into a title defender.

Even though his time in Toronto was brief, he’ll probably be showered with cheers. At least, as he receives his championship ring.  He arrived in Toronto, was easily the team’s best player as they won the championship, then packed his things and kept it moving. Fans wish he had stayed. But he made history, and for that reason, for Raptors fans he’s a hero.




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Lonzo Ball likes Earl Watson as candidate for UCLA coaching job

Here’s the OC Register getting Lakers guard Lonzo Ball’s opinion on UCLA head coach candidates:

The only Bruin on the Lakers has an opinion on whom the next UCLA basketball coach should be.

Lonzo Ball said after Wednesday morning’s shootaround that he would like to see Earl Watson, a former Bruin himself, get the head job.

“I know Earl personally,” Ball said. “I think he has coaching experience in the league. Obviously he went there, he’s alumni, so I think he’s a good fit.”

Even if you don’t follow college hoops or UCLA, it’ll be interesting to see who actually gets the job.

Clippers set a three-point shooting record in loss to Warriors


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The Warriors are so good that you can literally set a shooting record against them and still lose. It was a close game, though. Here’s the O.C. Register reporting on an impressive Clippers performance, even if it resulted in an L:

After Sunday’s 129-127 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Clippers forward Tobias Harris joked with reporters in Oakland that he knew he and his teammates were going to have a spectacular shooting night.

“Oh, I definitely felt it, right before the game,” Harris said with a chuckle.

Once the game began, the Clippers definitely were feeling it: They shot 78.3 percent (18 for 23) from 3-point range, an NBA record for a team with 15-plus makes or 20-plus attempts in a single game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Their 18 makes from deep — including an NBA-record 13 on 14 tries in the first half — tied a franchise record for second-most in a game.

The Warriors host the Lakers today, while the Clippers on Wednesday will host the Kings.

Full article

Trial date set for those accused of murdering Lorenzen Wright

Here’s the LA Times with an update on the murder of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright:

More than eight years after the bullet-riddled remains of former Clippers player Lorenzen Wright were found in Memphis, Tenn., a trial date has been set for his ex-wife and another man charged with the killing.

During a hearing Thursday, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Lee Coffee ordered the trial of Sherra Wright and Billy Ray Turner to start on Sept. 16, 2019.

“Unless there is some unavoidable act of God that makes it impossible to try this case, this case will be tried on that date,” Coffee told the defendants.

Lorenzen was a 6-11 center who played in the NBA from 1996-2009, spending real time as a member of the Grizzlies, Hawks and Clippers, while also playing briefly for the Cavs and Kings.

Blake Griffin says he is happy on Pistons

The 9-7 Detroit Pistons are the East’s 5th seed through Friday’s games. Power forward Blake Griffin is leading the team in scoring at 25.3 points per game, and he’s second in rebounds at 10.4 per game, but surprisingly he’s leading the squad in assists, dishing 4.8 per contest. While that’s a very low assist average to lead an entire NBA team, it’s still impressive on Griffin’s part. For more on him, mostly on his transition from the Clippers to Pistons, here’s the LA Times:

Yes, he chose to sign a five-year contract worth more than $170 million to remain in Los Angeles with the Clippers. Yes, the Clippers balked less than eight months into the deal and sent him to the Pistons. Yes, there are things Griffin misses in Los Angeles. He wishes he was closer to his children on a full-time basis. He misses some Clippers fans and people in the organization.

But being in Detroit instead of playing for the Clippers, Griffin is fine with it.

“Yeah, I’m glad it happened,” Griffin told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m not saying I don’t miss certain people. There were some awesome fans that I got to know and I felt like I was very close with them. And there are some people you miss over there, but it was just time for a fresh start.

“I’m glad to be here.”

Griffin, who turns 30 in March, is really happy — it’s something everyone says when you ask about him. Detroit and the surrounding suburbs are more like his native Oklahoma than Los Angeles, so he’s more comfortable. Teammates say he’s thriving in a role of being the lead voice in the locker room. Staffers say he’s been terrific to deal with. Others love that he seems to know everyone in the organization by name. The mood swings that at times in Los Angeles could be volatile haven’t been an issue.

The Pistons seem good, but definitely not great, and will need more consistent play from guys other than Griffin and Andre Drummond if they want to raise their status as an actual East contender. Griffin, this season, is doing his part.

Clippers 8-1 at home so far this season

The Clippers have been a success so far this season, especially when playing as the Home team — they are 8-1 when hosting the contest. Here’s the Daily Breeze reporting:

Their eight consecutive wins since that opening-night loss to the Denver Nuggets represent the best current home winning streak in the NBA.

“You always hear people say, you have to take care of home,” said Avery Bradley, whose late-game steal against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday secured the victory to elevate the 12-6 Clippers to first place in the Western Conference. “We say it before every game.” …

The Clippers’ early success hasn’t been without drama. Their three overtime victories — all at home — are the most in the NBA.

They rank second in the NBA in “clutch wins,” or those defined by as games played within a five-point margin in the final five minutes of regulation, with nine. (The Philadelphia 76ers have 10.)

The West is incredibly close up top, but through Friday’s games the Clippers, via tiebreaker rules, are the No. 1 seed in the conference.

Boban Marjanovic scores 13 points in 16 minutes for Clippers

Whenever Boban Marjanovic makes an appearance on the court, it’s a fun event. And it needs to happen more often, because he has a habit of scoring around a point per minute when he gets to string a bunch of minutes together. At least, that’s what it feels like. Normally we’d go check the stats and give an exact number, but in this case just enjoy the magic of the Boban and read what happened yesterday. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Trust him, Coach Doc Rivers told his Clippers before Friday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they’ve got stuff worth sticking to.

In a 108-92 victory against the Thunder – who were without superstar guard Russell Westbrook, who continued his recovery from arthroscopic right knee surgery – the Clippers looked secure in their sets until they didn’t … and then they did again when it mattered most.

The coalescing that needed to hurry and happen for the Clippers (1-1) to close out games was found Friday, at least, with a lineup that featured Luc Mbah a Moute, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lou Williams, Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris, whose 14 fourth-quarter points led the late charge before 14,816 fans at Staples Center…

After being mostly stymied in three minutes of first-half action, Marjanovic entered the game late in the third quarter to cause some of the havoc Clippers fans have come to love from him.

The 7-foot-3 center plucked five rebounds off the rim and scored 13 points in 15 minutes, picking up for Gallinari, who cheered enthusiastically from the bench alongside fellow starters Bradley and Patrick Beverley.

Clippers trade Wesley Johnson to Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired forward Wesley Johnson from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for center Alexis Ajinca.

In a subsequent transaction, the Clippers then waived Ajinca.

“Wes is a versatile player and a consummate professional who impacts the game on both ends of the court, and brings a strong, positive presence to the locker room,” said Frank. “We want to thank Wes for his contributions to the Clippers organization, and wish him, and his family, the best of luck in New Orleans.”

Johnson, 31, averaged 5.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 17.8 minutes across 222 appearances (52 starts) in three seasons with L.A. The eight-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 22.7 minutes through 571 games (321 starts) with the Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. The Corsicana, Texas native was originally drafted by the Timberwolves with the 4th pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-7 forward played his first two years of collegiate basketball at Iowa State before transferring to Syracuse.

Ajinca, 30, holds career averages of 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds across 293 appearances in seven NBA seasons with Charlotte, Dallas, Toronto and New Orleans. A native of Saint-Etienne, France, the 7’2”, 248-pound center was selected 20th overall by Charlotte in the 2008 NBA Draft.