Clippers week in review; Looking to T-Wolves, OKC
NOV 10, 2013 11:10a ET
The Clippers have their first extended homestand this week with games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday and the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. They also play eight of their next 11 at Staples Center.
The week behind
A possible disaster of a road trip was salvaged with Saturday night's 107-94 win over the Houston Rockets. As it was, the Clippers went 2-2, with both wins coming over the Rockets, but they lost on back-to-back nights against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat.
Record and standings
At 4-3, the Clippers are tied with the Golden State Warriors for second place in the Pacific Division, one game behind the surprising Phoenix Suns.
If the Clippers learned anything on this trip, it's the importance of pushing forward and, as coach Doc Rivers kept telling his team on Saturday, hanging around. They came back from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Rockets, proof positive that making defensive stops and converting turnovers is the best way to turn around a game.
The Clippers' interior defense needs tightening. They allowed 54 points in the paint to the Rockets, and although just 16 of those came in the second half, there's no question it could become a significant problem as the season progresses. They've given up 40 or more points in the paint in seven consecutive games.
Player to watch
The bench is still a work in progress, but reserve guard Jamal Crawford has been a steady contributor. He's scored in double figures in each of the Clippers' first seven games, including a season-high 21 last Monday against Houston, and has a team-leading 18 three-point baskets. He and backup point guard Darren Collison should develop into a formidable backcourt duo.
Stat of the week
The Clippers' big three -- Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan -- are producing as expected, and it shows in one statistic: double-doubles. All are averaging in double figures, with Paul at 21.3 points and 12.6 assists per game, Griffin at 21.7 points and 10.7 rebounds and Jordan at 11 points and 13.7 rebounds.
"We showed up to the fight late, which we can't do. They were a little bit grittier and a little bit scrappier than us. Then we finally said enough was enough." -- Chris Paul, after the Clippers to beat the Rockets on Saturday.
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