The winning streak for the LA Clippers seems to have no ending. The 12-game winning streak was extended to 16 during this past week, when the team won each and every game it played. They have now broken by far the franchise history record for the most wins in a row, previously hold by the Buffalo Braves during the 1974-75 season.
The Clippers broke out against the Suns at Phoenix to record their 13th straight, 103-77 was the final score. Griffin and Paul led the team with 23 and 17 points respectively and also got a great help form reserve sixth man Jamal Crawford who finished with 22.
The next victim for the surging Clippers was the Denver Nuggets. Jamal Crawford once again had a great output with 22 points to go along with 8 rebounds off the bench and Matt Barnes provided a huge burst off the bench with 20 points. Barnes has proven to be a great off-season acquisition for this Clippers team and is utilized the best way possible by Head Coach Vinnie Del Negro. The whole bench performed well at this game, as it does most of the times this season.
The winning flow continued for the 15th consecutive time for LA on Thursday night. This time it was the Celtics who got hit and smashed by the razing Clippers who beat the Celtics by 29 points, 77-109. Matt Barnes tied his season-high with 21 points off the bench, while fellow reserve Jamal Crawford finished the game with 17. The more the Clippers win the more it’s clearly shown that the team possesses a roster with great depth and with a tremendous chemistry between the starters and the bench. Of course, Coach Vinnie Del Negro has found the secret recipe on how to utilize all the ingredients the best way and that’s how the team manages to stay red hot for all those games until now this season.
Last game of the week came against the Utah Jazz. It was a really close game with a dramatic finish, but the Clips managed to get away with a close win, 116-114. It is very important for any team to win all games, including tough and close ones and even when they are not attaining their best performance. That was the story on Friday night at the Energy Solutions Arena, when the Jazz throttled their way to a 36 point second quarter, while holding LA down to just 19. The deficit got up to 16 points for Utah, but Chris Paul came up big, scoring all of the last seven points for his team, including some clutch free throws to give his team the win.
The Clippers will finish the year facing again the Utah Jazz, this time at the Staples Center and then start the next year with the best omens. First game of 2013 comes on Tuesday the 1st against the Nuggets on the road. The Clippers then continue their road trip and on Wednesday they face the Golden State Warriors. Last two games for the first week of 2013 are against the LA Lakers and then again the Golden State Warriors, both of them at home.
Not only was the seventh straight win for Vinnie Del Negro’s team, but in fact it’s the longest streak since the 1991-92 season, when they got an eight-game run. And what a great game it was. Huge dunks from Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and even Carlos Boozer and other players, great rhythm and a Grand Guignol finale with the clutch shot of Chris Paul with 27” remaining. The crowd in Chicago and all of the fans watching surely enjoyed it. Griffin put down some ferocious dunks that will surely be marked as the top plays in the week, probably the month, including a fast break double alley-hoop that resulted in him dunking with authority over Marco Belinelli, knocking him over.
Griffin finished with a team high 22 points on 10-19 shooting and also grabbed 10 boards. Chris Paul added 18 points including the shot that decided the game for the Clippers, a tough penetrating shot that extended the lead to 4 points, making it a two possession game for his team. For yet another game, the bench performed really well, providing solutions in scoring and keeping the team engine in full speed when the starters catch a breath on the bench. Matt Barnes finished with 14 points and Jamal Crawford added 10 to go along with 5 assists. In fact, that balance between the starters and the bench might be the secret weapon for team. That’s because the good performance from the reserves give the chance to the starters spend enough minutes resting on the bench, thus performing better when they get on.
The game started with both teams being energetic and aggressive on offense. But it was the Clippers who made a run to finish the second quarter, scoring 6 straight to open the gap to 7 points at the break. “The end of the second quarter changed the game. We started dancing with the ball.” ,said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.LA really got off and ran a lot on fast-breaks and finished with some beautiful highlight dunks and assists. All-star guard Chris Paul stated “I think that shows we are a defensive team.”
The Bulls, who average 4 three-pointers so far, had a season-high 10 made in the game, shooting 50% (10-20) from beyond the arc. Carlos Boozer led both teams in scoring with 24 and Marco Belinelli had18 with four made shots from downtown. Only 8 players played in for Chicago, including Kirk Heinrich who started at guard, after missing the second half of Saturday’s game with a hyperextended elbow.
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The Clippers continue their road trip with next stop being the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. Milwaukee and Detroit follow. The Bulls, whose 3 game winning streak ended last night, fly to Philadelphia to face the Sixers on Wednesday.
On a night marked by the fight between Nets and Celtics players, LA Clippers win a close game by six, to improve to a 9-6 record. The tension was really high at Boston, when with a little more than 30” before the finish of the first half and after Kevin Garnett was fouled by Kris Humphries, a fight started at Boston. Rondo immediately attacked Humphries pushing him off the court and it didn’t take too long before almost every player of both teams got into the fight. The result was the ejection of both of them and also Gerald Wallace. Rondo was suspended for two games.
Back to the Staples center, where the alley – hoops and the dunks were on abundance, the Clippers were glad to see Chauncey Billups make his season debut. The 15-year veteran watched his season end last February when he tore his left Achilles’ tendon. But after nine months, returned healthy and strong to give more power and scoring options for LA. Not bad at all for the five time all-star guard who finished with 7 first quarter points and 1 three-pointer.
The Game was close almost the whole way, with the Clippers finishing the first half with a slight 2 – point advantage. The game came down to the last minutes of the fourth quarter and it was tight. Minnesota was down 2 with almost one minute before the end and had possession but the Clippers locked down on D and came with the steal. On the break Paul fed DeAndre Jordan who slammed it down and got the foul. But Shved hit a clutch 3 pointer with just 24 second to go to trim the lead down to 2. But Lob City kept on going. They inbounded quickly and advanced to half court and before Minnesota was able to foul, Billups threw a long alley – hoop to Jordan who put the icing on the cake with a ferocious dunk.
Chris Paul finally had a good scoring outcome with 23 points on 7-13 shooting and also recorded 11 assists. Blake Griffin finished with 18 points and produced highlight materiel with his high flying and alley-hoop dunks. Jordan, Barnes and Crawford all finished with double digit points. As for the Timberwolves, Kevin Love scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and the rookie Alexey Shved had 17 points with 3-6 from beyond the arc.
“A great win for us in terms of getting some of our energy back and working Chauncey into the lineup. I thought everybody contributed.” said Clippers’ coach Vinnie Del Negro. Next for the LA Clippers, Saturday vs Sacramento Kings and for the Wolves, Tuesday at Philadelphia against the 76ers.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 2012-2013. UP TO DATE SEASON REVIEW
Which team comes in mind when you hear Los Angeles? Let me guess, the Lakers. Well, this is about to change, if it hasn’t already changed, at least this season in the NBA. The Clippers are making their presence felt for sure. They did so right from the start of the off-season.
The team seems to have found the missing pieces after last season’s rebirth. All-star point guard Chris Paul landed in LA, but wearing White and Red instead of Lakers purple-yellow. And it was a huge acquisition by the team. Lob city they’re called and for a good reason. It just makes sense having a strong duo at the front court, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and balancing it with top tier perimeter guard like Paul and Jamal Crawford and Caron Butler. Even the bench looks good, in fact really good and with lots of potential. A big question mark lies in the stakes of Lamar Odom. He watched his career melt down after the Lakers Trade fiasco, was sent to D-League and wasn’t utilized by the Mavericks. This year, he is trying to revamp his game but till now he hasn’t contributed much. If he founds his rhythm he can play a huge role in the Clippers’ chase of a top playoff spot.
The Clippers are getting quite a performance out of Jamal Crawford who leads the team in scoring with a little over 19 PPG followed by Griffin and Paul with 17 and 15 PPG. For a team with that much size and the lack of true Centers in the NBA, the team is not performing that good at rebounding, ranked 20th in the whole league but generally, defense is quite good as the team is 4th in blocking and 1st in steals. If fact we’ve seen some amazing blocks this far from DeAndre Jordan and Griffin. The 8-4 start shows that the team has much potential. It’s for sure a playoff caliber team and with and due to the youth of key players like Griffin, Paul and Jordan this team can have an even brighter future, with a couple of tweaks.
Head coach Vinnie Del Negro is a rather respected coach, who seems to know what the team needs to spark up and inherit a quick and energetic rhythm of play. He’s managed to make the team a strong presence in the Western Division and overcome the obstacle of having a giant rival in town (Lakers). Clippers’ game is just a joy to watch, with this fast-paced rhythm and the alley oops towards Griffin and Jordan. It’s a team which gives us pretty much highlight material almost every time and fills with enthusiasm fans watching at the Staples Center.
One thing is for sure. When people hear about the Clippers, it’s not going to be a joke any more.
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Typically an NBA club would be ecstatic over a 5-2 start that includes a big win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Los Angeles Clippers find themselves in that position, leading the Pacific Division six games in. Unfortunately for Clippers fans those two losses are head scratchers, both at home to Golden State and Cleveland.
This proves that once again the Clippers are nothing but consistent in their lack of consistency. Even with that lack of consistency the Clips are in a solid position in the Pacific division, especially with the heavily favored Lakers occupying last place in the Pacific.
Of course it’s that lack of consistency that puzzles Clippers fans as well as a handful of other lingering questions marks like:
The Coaching Situation: Like his former Staples Center colleague Mike Brown, Vinny Del Negro is the target of constant criticism and bemusement from the pundits. A large part of the Clippers inconsistency is a perceived lack of effort at times and some real ups and downs on the defensive end. Any time a team with the sheer athleticism of the Clippers struggles as much as they do on the defensive boards and defending the basket (opponents shooting 60% at the rim) the coach is going to receive some heat. The Clippers can likely coast to a fifty-win season based on their sheer depth and athleticism inside. Unfortunately it’s during playoff basketball that you become exposed, exhibit A being the San Antonio Spurs series last season. Until the Clippers make a deep playoff run and beat a team like San Antonio the question marks regarding Del Negro’s coaching ability will remain.
Effort: Of course a lack of success on the defensive end can only partially be blamed on the scheme and head coach. The Clippers are consistently being outrebounded even though they boast arguably two of the top ten most athletic post players in basketball in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. As Dennis Rodman and Kevin Love have shown rebounding is about a lot more than athletic ability, a huge part of it is hustle and desire. If the Lob City went after defensive boards like they did Chris Paul lob passes they wouldn’t be in a negative rebounding margin.
The Rotation: Beyond the defensive end another area where critics of Del Negro are constantly scratching their heads is his rotation. A prime example this year is the disparity in minutes between Willie Greene and Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe has been one of the Clippers bright spots with his energy and ability to push the basketball, but for some reason his minutes have been half of those of Willie Green, with Bledsoe nearly doubling Greene in PER.
Admittedly it’s way too early to rip the rotation. This early in the season teams are typically trying to find out what their ideal rotation is. Still the construction of the Clippers roster can be a bit head-scratching at times. There are three guys whose best position is small forward in Matt Barnes, Grant Hill, and Caron Butler. Combine those three with two guys who also can play the three in Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom and you have quite a glut at the swingman spot. At the point guard spot Chris Paul is clearly the team leader and top three NBA point guard—but behind Paul are two others guys that need minutes in Eric Bledsoe and Chauncey Billups (when he returns). It’s clear that Del Negro will have his work cut out for him in finding a consistent winning rotation while keeping everyone happy.
Question marks aside the Clippers are still 5-2 and in a great position. If they can overcome the occasional off-nights against poor clubs they are a real threat to win the Pacific Conference. Considering their still very much a young team it’s important they gain one of the top four seeds out west and avoid an early matchup against a team like San Antonio or Oklahoma City Thunder. The Clippers proved they have what it takes to make a playoff run last season. Now they need to prove they can make a deep run into the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Clippers travel to Portland to face the well-rested Trail Blazers on Thursday. The Clippers dominated San Antonio for a 106-84 home win on Wednesday. Blake Griffin (22 points, 10 rebounds), DeAndre Jordan (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Chris Paul (10 points, 12 assists) all had double-doubles as the Clippers handed the Spurs their first loss of the season. The lopsided win allowed coach Vinny Del Negro to rest his key players.
Portland hasn’t played since Monday when it dropped a 114-91 decision at the Dallas Mavericks House. Rookie guard Damian Lillard has been one of the early season surprises in the league. Lillard, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft from Weber State, is second on the team in scoring with a 19.3 average. LaMarcus Aldridge is scoring 22 points a game to lead the Trail Blazers.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (2-2): Portland has been outscored in the fourth quarter of each game so the Trail Blazers are fortunate to be .500. The least productive bench in the NBA has a lot to do with the problems. Portland’s reserves have combined to score 51 points in four games. Rookie center Meyers Leonard, who has scored 14 points, and small forward Sasha Pavlovic, who has 10, are the only bench players to reach double figures for the season. Portland was outscored 31-12 in the fourth quarter of Monday’s loss.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (3-2): Injuries have played a major role in the early going for Los Angeles. Griffin, the Clippers’ All-Star forward, has been playing with a ruptured bursa sac in his right elbow and a strained neck. He’s averaging 17.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. Veterans Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill have yet to play. Billups is still recovering from Achilles’ tendon surgery last season while Hill has a bone bruise in his right knee. Jamal Crawford, who went into Wednesday averaging 24 points a game, was held to 10 against San Antonio.
1. The Clippers won three of the four meetings last season.
2. Portland held a 23-2 advantage in offensive rebounds against Dallas, but lost the game by 23 points.
3. Los Angeles committed 15 turnovers Wednesday after turning the ball over 25 times in Monday’s loss to Cleveland.
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 101, Clippers 90.
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Before last season, the Los Angeles Clippers had played a lot of roles, and none of them were good. They were tenants of their home arena, which everyone knew was the home of the Lakers, not the Clippers. They were the team that drafted Michael Olowokandi first overall ahead of Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce. And then two offseasons ago, they took a chance again drafting an athletic, but seemingly fragile, big man in Blake Griffin, a move that hasnt worked out often in the past (oh hey, Greg Oden).
Then last year was different for the Clippers. After David Stern put the brakes on the deal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, the Clippers swooped in and nabbed the high-profile PG. With Chris Paul playing in LA a lot of things changed, Blake Griffin played out the season in a very effective campaign, and the Clippers jumped up the West high enough to grab the fifth seed in the playoffs.
And for the first time in, well, ever, the Clippers are entering the season with murmurs around the league of them being a dark horse pick for the Championship. While a championship is within sight for the Clippers, they still will need another few years before they can make it happen. The teams that battled in the Finals last year are only getting better. Not to mention the other team who plays in the Staples center isn’t looking too bad either. This doesn’t change the fact that the Clippers are a good team though.
In the offseason this season, the Clippers added a group of veterans. While none of the additions will crack the starting five, Lamar Odom, Grant Hill, Jamal Crawford, and Ronny Turiaf should all put up decent performances off the bench. As Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe get better, so will the Clippers, and both are young and talented players already.
The Clippers division though, seems out of reach. The likeliest scenario involves the newly reformed LA Lakers dominating their way to the Pacific crown. Any result other than that would be shocking considering the overwhelming predictability of basketball. The Clippers, though, will likely fall directly behind their landlords for the 2nd spot in the division.
the Clippers upcoming season is going to mark the movement of their franchise. If they do well, they will continue doing well. If they don’t, well, they’ll probably be back in the lottery before too long. If Chris Paul and Blake Griffin want to stay relevant, they’ll need to make sure they keep winning games.
L.A. Clippers 94, Dallas 75
Location – American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Officials – #11 Derrick Collins, #44 Eli Roe, #57 Greg Willard
Attendance – 20479
Monday, April 2, 2012 8:30 PM
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CLIPPERS 94, MAVERICKS 75: Randy Foye buried a career-best eight 3-pointers and scored a season-high 28 points as visiting Los Angeles matched its longest winning streak in 20 years.
Blake Griffin added 15 points and 16 rebounds to help the Clippers win six games in a row for the first time since March 18-31, 1992.
Foye scored 22 points in the second half, including six 3-pointers, as Los Angeles pulled within one game of the Pacific Division-leading Lakers and snapped a 10-game losing streak in Dallas dating to April 19, 2006.
Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points and was the only starter in double figures for the Mavericks, who played without starting point guard Jason Kidd (strained right groin). The loss dropped Dallas into sixth place in the West.
The Clippers took control in the second quarter as reserve Nick Young scored seven straight points in an 11-2 run for a 16-point lead en route to a 47-33 halftime edge.
Foye made sure there would be no comeback, connecting from behind the arc four times in the third quarter, including back-to-back 3-pointers that pushed the lead to 62-41.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Griffin had his streak of 20-point games snapped at six but registered his fifth double-double in seven contests. … Kidd is expected to miss at least four games. The 39-year-old point guard also missed four games in both February (calf) and January (back). Forward Lamar Odom also missed the game because of a stomach illness. … Foye’s previous career high for 3-pointers was six
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L.A. Clippers 94, Minnesota 95
Location – Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Officials – #56 Mark Ayotte, #41 Ken Mauer, #72 J.T. Orr
Attendance – 19509
Monday, March 5, 2012 8:00 PM
Love registered his league-leading 33rd double-double and came up a point shy of his second straight 40-point game as the Timberwolves beat the Clippers for the third straight time.
Rookie Derrick Williams had 15 points and nine rebounds and Darko Milicic added 13 points to lift Minnesota (20-19) above the .500 mark.
Blake Griffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead Los Angeles, which was playing for the fourth time in five nights. He also missed four free throws and committed a technical foul in the final four minutes.
Mo Williams scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Chris Paul added 18 for the Clippers, who dropped one-half game behind the Los Angeles Lakers atop the Pacific Division.
Love sparked an 18-8 run to close the third quarter as the Timberwolves pulled away from a 57-57 time to take a 75-65 lead into the fourth.
Los Angeles could not get any closer than three points until Paul hit a pair of foul shots with two seconds to play.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Love had a personal 11-0 first-quarter run in a span of under 2 1/2 minutes. That’s one more point than he scored in the last matchup against the Clippers. … Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic sat out the game with a sore foot, so Milicic made his first start – and only sixth appearance – in 16 games for Minnesota. … Griffin registered his 23rd double-double of the season. He had scored 14, 17 and 14 points in his previous three games, marking the first time this season he has failed to score 20 points at least once in a three-game span.
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TIMBERWOLVES Vs CLIPPERS: 109 to 97. Derrick Williams had a career-high 27 points and Michael Beasley also scored 27 as visiting Minnesota roared past Los Angeles in the fourth quarter.
Williams was 9 of 10 from the field and made all four of his 3-pointers, and scored 13 of the Timberwolves’ first 17 points in the final period.
Beasley was 11 for 15 and also scored 13 in the fourth as Minnesota (18-17) already surpassed its win total from last season. The Timberwolves outscored the Clippers 36-21 in the fourth after trailing 76-73.
Minnesota had a monumental 72-11 advantage in bench points and made 10 of 22 3-pointers compared to 2 of 11 for the Clippers.
The Clippers jumped to a 61-51 lead with seven points to open the third quarter, but Minnesota went on an 8-0 run keyed by five points from Johnson.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Ricky Rubio played against Paul for the first time this season. “Yes, but I play against him in Olympic games and I know him,” Rubio said. “He’s a tough guy. He knows how to play. He’s the key of this team.” … Coach Vinny Del Negro said the Clippers might still listen to deals before the March 15 trade deadline. … Clippers backup power forward Kenyon Martin’s bruised ribs could take a few weeks to heal, Del Negro said. … The Timberwolves’ 16 first-half assists are a season high for the opening half. … The Timberwolves return to Staples Center on Wednesday to play the Lakers before a game at Phoenix on Thursday.