Tag: Blake Griffin


Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers fined $25,000 for criticizing officials after Game 5


“I don’t complain much…” the second those words left Doc Rivers’ mouth after Game 5, there was not so much outright laughter as eye rolls throughout the NBA. No team complains to and about officiating as much as the Clippers.

But as he continued everyone knew this was going to cost him cash.

“I thought we got some really tough calls tonight,” Rivers said. “Some brutal calls. The travel on Blake (Griffin), the goaltend on Matt (Barnes), which wasn’t a goaltend. You think about the playoffs, and they’re single-possession games. Those possessions those were crucial. J.J. (Redick’s) foul that got him (fouled) out, J.J. didn’t touch anyone. It’s not why we lost, but those were big plays for us.”

Those comments cost Rivers a $25,000 fine, something the league announced.

He’s not wrong about some of those calls. Barnes’ offensive interference was a poor call, as was the Griffin travel. To be fair, the officials had some questionable calls both ways (particularly early in the game some interesting decisions went against the Spurs), but late in the game the Clippers seemed to get the worse of it.

That said, the officials are never the sole reason a team loses a game. The Clippers were 1-of-14 from three, Blake Griffin was 1-of-9 in the fourth, DeAndre Jordan had an offensive interference call that likely cost the Clippers a key basket with seven seconds left (and that was a good call, Jordan admitted touching the ball).

One other thing: The Spurs handle the ups and downs of the calls and the game much more smoothly than the Clippers. They spend a lot of energy complaining.

Tim Duncan rejects Blake Griffin in final minute of Spurs’ Game 5 win over Clippers (VIDEO)


The Spurs came away with a critical Game 5 win over the Clippers on Tuesday, and in a contest that came down to the final few possessions in order to be decided, Tim Duncan made one of the game’s most important defensive stops.

Blake Griffin received the pass from Chris Paul in the lane, and with Duncan guarding DeAndre Jordan, who was positioned on the baseline near the basket, Griffin believed he’d be able to elevate and get the shot up, somewhat uncontested.

Duncan, however, met Griffin at the top of his shot to come away with the clean block, and managed to keep Jordan at bay with his off hand at the very same time.

Boris Diaw grabbed the steal once the ball was back in Griffin’s hands closer to the floor, and the Spurs were off and running in the other direction.

Clippers frustrated with officials, themselves, must find way to regroup in 48 hours

Doc Rivers, Josh Tiven

LOS ANGELES — To a man, the Clippers tried not to blame the officials for their Game 5 loss… but you could tell they wanted to.

“I don’t complain much,” Doc Rivers said, in the quintessential line that tells you complaints are coming. “I thought we got some really tough calls tonight. Some brutal calls. The travel on Blake (Griffin), the goaltend on Matt (Barnes), which wasn’t a goaltend. You think about the playoffs, and they’re single-possession games. Those possessions those were crucial. J.J. (Redick’s) foul that got him (fouled) out, J.J. didn’t touch anyone.

“It’s not why we lost, but those were big plays for us.”

The referees are never the sole reason a team loses, that includes the Clippers on Tuesday night. In this case, the Clippers were 1-of-14 from three, and DeAndre Jordan tipped in a ball over the cylinder that could have had Los Angeles up  with seven seconds to go. (After the game Jordan admitted touching the ball.) There were other plays they missed.

But the Clippers felt the calls in the fourth quarter didn’t go their way and robbed them of some opportunities. They were very frustrated as a team. And they have a point, plenty of calls didn’t go their way that should have — Jamal Crawford got called for bodying Tony Parker on the baseline when Parker hooked his arm around Crawford and pulled him into his body. Rivers was right about the Matt Barnes goaltend, and the Blake Griffin travels being poor calls.

Then there was the technical on Chris Paul, which confused Rivers and the Clippers players — and ended up being costly late.

“I thought if anything, (the technical foul) was a delay of game,” Paul said after the game. “In the other 82 games, it would have been a delay of fame but they didn’t call it.”

While the calls didn’t go their way, the Clippers got frustrated and at moments flustered in a way the Spurs simply don’t when they don’t get the breaks.

“We have to give credit to the Spurs. We’ve got to play through our mistakes,” Paul said.

“I’ll be frustrated all night…” Rivers said. “There’s nothing wrong with frustration. I have no problem with guys being frustrated, you have 48 hours or whatever to get over it, and we will.”

They need to get over it by tip off Thursday night — they can’t afford to have a hangover from this game, fall behind in San Antonio and play catch-up. The Spurs don’t want to make another flight back to Los Angeles, they want to close the game out so Saturday nights they can go to watch Mayweather vs. Pacquiao parties on Saturday. You can be sure the Spurs will bring it.

Can the Clippers?

“Yeah, it’s a gettable game,” Blake Griffin said. “It’s not going to be easy by any means, this is what they do. They’re a great team, a well-coached team, and they’ve been in this situation before. But we’ve also been in tough situations. We’ve also played in some tough games, some games on the road that we needed to win, and we did.

“I expect us to be ready.”

Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan calls tip in over cylinder “dumb ass play” (VIDEO)


LOS ANGELES — “It was a dumb ass play.”

That’s how DeAndre Jordan described what of the key moments in the game. The Clippers were down one and time was running out when Blake Griffin drove the lane and put up a shot over Tim Duncan, who had rotated over to help.

Jordan had gone to the basket, looking for either the alley-oop or chance for an offensive rebound. But instead, he tipped in the ball while it was clearly still over the cylinder, voiding the bucket. The mistake cleared the path for the Spurs to get the win and take a 3-2 series lead.

“I was just trying to make a play on the ball, but it ended up being a dumb play,” said Jordan, who admitted touching the ball. Even Clipper coach Doc Rivers said he thought it was the right call.

Would the ball have fallen through the hole on it’s own? We’ll never know for sure. My gut says probably, but some of the replays make it look like the ball would have rolled harmlessly off the rim.

After the game was about as dejected as I can remember seeing the normally energized Jordan, as well as the Clippers locker room. The question now is how fast can they recover and find their stride in a must-win Game 6 Thursday.

Spurs get a little lucky, are plenty good, get road win in Game 5 over Clippers

Blake Griffin, Tim Duncan

LOS ANGELES — In a close, evenly-played game like this, it comes down to a thousand little things.

For the Clippers, it was death by a thousand cuts: a Chris Paul technical; the team going 1-of-14 from three; letting the Spurs grab a late offensive rebound; calls not going their way; and a tired Blake Griffin having a fantastic game then going 1-of-9 in the fourth quarter due in part to fatigue.

And it was DeAndre Jordan tipping in a ball over the cylinder that was going in on its own.

“It was a dumb ass play… can’t blame anybody for that but me,” Jordan said.

The Spurs just kept executing and making plays: Tim Duncan hitting Boris Diaw for the corner three; Duncan blocking Blake Griffin in the paint (then stripping the ball from him); Manu Ginobili beating out Matt Barnes to get a rebound with the game on the line. And even when the Spurs didn’t execute well, Diaw hit a bail-out 18-foot fadeaway he even described as “lucky.”

It all added up to a 111-107 Spurs win in Staples Center Tuesday night. With the win the Spurs take a 3-2 lead home and will try to close it out in games six Thursday in San Antonio.

It’s tempting to describe the game as just the kind the Spurs find a way to win, but coach Gregg Popovich was not buying that.

“One would assume that experience would help you, but not as much as players making plays,” Popovich said.

Popovich made one key adjustment, putting Duncan on Griffin for key stretches of the game, including the fourth quarter. Most of the season, the Spurs prefered to use Tiago Splitter on Griffin, but with Splitter injured and playing limited minutes it wasn’t working. So Popovich turned to the future Hall of Famer.

Griffin put up numbers — 30 points, 14 rebounds — but he struggled down the stretch. That included a key block then strip by Duncan of Griffin in the paint.

“His timing is just impeccable,” Popovich said. “He has a hard time jumping over the proverbial piece of paper, and he gets in position. He knows where to be. He’s played long enough, he’s got a great basketball IQ, and he has excellent timing, so he reads things well….

“It might have been the play of the game when he blocked that shot.”

That was one. The other was a Griffin basket with :07 seconds left that would have put the Clippers up by one, but was waived off when Jordan touched it over the cylinder.

“I was just trying to make a play on the ball, but it ended up being a dumb play,” said Jordan, who admitted touching the ball.

Early on it seemed this could be a good night for Los Angeles. The Spurs opened the game 4-of-14 shooting, the misses allowing the Clippers to get out and run — and that means high-flying dunks that got the crowd going. Add some bad rotations on defense and things got so weird Popovich called for some zone defense. It was pretty much the dream start for the Clippers, who led by as many as 14… then Doc Rivers went to his bench. That zone and the Clipper bench meant by the end of the quarter it was 27-22 Clippers and felt like a game again.

When the Clippers starters returned, the team went on a run, but this time the Spurs were not going to let the game get away. A seesaw second quarter ended with a 54-53 Clippers lead at the half. Blake Griffin already had 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, plus eight rebounds.

The Spurs had a vintage Spurs night — Ducan had 21, Kawhi Leonard 18, but the Spurs had eight guys with at least 8 points. Their balance makes them hard to defend.

The Clippers are more top-heavy in their scoring, and in the end Griffin was clearly tired and not making plays. Not that it was his fault the Clippers lost. It was just another of a thousand little cuts.