Clippers to host 'Ralph Lawler Night'

March, 6, 2015
Mar 6
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers will honor their long-time play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler with “Ralph Lawler Night" on Monday when the Clippers host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There will be tributes throughout the game as well as a halftime presentation where Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. will present a proclamation officially declaring March 9 “Ralph Lawler Day” in Los Angeles.

“It is a privilege to honor and celebrate the ‘Voice of the Clippers,’” Doc Rivers said. “Ralph is a true professional and an inspiration to all Clippers fans. His love for the game and this team are on display every night, and I believe he has earned a future place in the Basketball Hall of Fame. I look forward to him broadcasting Clippers games for many years to come.”

All fans in attendance on Monday will also receive a special "Oh Me, Oh My!" T-shirt, a nod to Lawler's long-time catchphrase.

Lawler is currently in his 36th season with the Clippers and has called 2,838 career Clippers games as the third-longest tenured broadcaster in the NBA.

Clippers sign Hamilton to second 10-day

March, 6, 2015
Mar 6
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers signed forward Jordan Hamilton to a second 10-day contract, the team announced Friday.

Hamilton has appeared in four games, including two starts, this season for the Clippers, averaging 3.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 11.5 minutes.

Before signing his first 10-day contract with the Clippers, Hamilton appeared in 27 games, including 22 starts, for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA's D-League, averaging 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 28.6 minutes.

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March, 6, 2015
Mar 6
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Trail Blazers starter Wesley Matthews talks about his torn left Achilles tendon, an injury he suffered during Portland's game against the Mavericks on Thursday that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

Jordan's gaffe tops list of Clips' blunders

March, 5, 2015
Mar 5

LOS ANGELES -- With the clock stuck on 0.7 seconds and the game tied 87-87, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan held the ball above his head, thinking the game against the Portland Trail Blazers was headed to overtime.

On the final play of regulation, Chris Paul had the game in his hands with about two seconds to go. He drove left, pumped in the air and let a desperation runner soar toward the rim. The shot went off the glass, rolled in the rim and bounced out, right into Jordan's outstretched hands. But rather than tip the ball back in for a seemingly easy game-winner, he came down with the rebound and never went back up.

Paul excitedly motioned for Jordan to shoot -- or at least leap toward the hoop -- but the big man just stood there and the clock expired, sending the game to overtime. The Blazers pulled away in extra time to escape with a 98-93 victory despite LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard combining to shoot 13-for-43 from the field.

"When that happens you move on and get ready for overtime," Paul said of the final sequence in regulation. "It didn't matter.

"I mean, it would've been nice if [Jordan] tipped it back in. It also would've been nice if I made the shot and it didn't come down to that."

Said Jordan: "Tonight was a tough loss. We had our chances. It was a tough game."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the play was one of many mistakes the Clippers made late in a game they led by 10 points with 2:38 left.

"I don't know if [Jordan] could've got it up anyway, but he probably could have," Rivers said. "We made a lot of mistakes down the stretch, that being one of them obviously. But we gave up two [3-pointers] that can never happen. I never thought we got our rhythm again."

Blazers 98, Clips 93 (OT): Batum sinks L.A.

March, 4, 2015
Mar 4

LOS ANGELES -- With less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Clippers held a 10-point lead and a potential victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in the palm of their hand.

But turnovers, missed free throws, timely shots by Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews and a mental gaffe by DeAndre Jordan helped push the game into overtime, in which Portland went on to stun the Clippers 98-93.

Chris Paul had 36 points and 12 assists and held Damian Lillard to a wretched 1-for-13 shooting night. Paul's potential game winner in regulation was off the mark, but it ended up with Jordan, who stood there with the ball under the basket with 0.7 seconds left rather than tipping it in for the win.

The loss snapped L.A.'s three-game winning streak, dropped them to 40-22 and prevented them from gaining any ground in the Western Conference playoff standings. They're currently fifth.

Redick's big night: With Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes both sidelined with injuries, J.J. Redick ran Portland's wing defenders ragged, scoring 26 points on 11-for-27 shooting, 11 more than his season-high in shot attempts.

Jordan's free throws an issue: Down eight with 4:01 left in the game, Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts decided to intentionally foul Jordan, who went on to miss eight straight free throws after going 2-for-2 earlier in the game.

Hamilton to stick?: Before the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers wasn't sure if Jordan Hamilton would be re-signed to a second 10-day contract, but with lingering injuries to Crawford and Barnes (who both missed tonight's game), he leaned in favor of bringing the 24-year-old back.

"Most likely, the answer is yes. We've talked about it, but we have a day or so [to sign him]," Rivers said. "What we knew with Jordan was he could score. What he has to learn is the defensive end … if he gets that end right, he'll be in this league a long time."

Up next: The Clippers have three valuable days of rest before Sunday's matinee showdown against the Golden State Warriors. Blake Griffin will have two practices between now and then to determine if he's fit for game action.

LOS ANGELES -- Nicolas Batum hit a 3-pointer that forced overtime, then set up three alley-oop baskets and added a clinching 3 in the final minute to rally the Portland Trail Blazers past the Los Angeles Clippers 98-93 on Wednesday night.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and Batum added 20 for the Northwest Division leaders, who have won four straight after a 6-11 stretch that began with a 100-94 loss to the Clippers on Jan. 14 at Portland.

Damian Lillard was 1 for 13 from the field, finishing with five points, five turnovers and a career-high 18 rebounds in 43 minutes. The third-year guard missed his first 12 shots before making a layup off a lob pass from Batum to give the Blazers a 91-89 edge with 3:04 left in overtime.

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Clippers guard Chris Paul was annoyed with teammate DeAndre Jordan, begging him to shoot the ball.

Clippers guard Chris Paul crosses over Damion Lillard and nails the step-back jumper.

Mark Rachesky bidding for Hawks

March, 4, 2015
Mar 4

Mark Rachesky, chairman of Lionsgate Entertainment and a noted distressed-asset investor, has emerged as the most recent bidder for the Atlanta Hawks, according to league sources.

Sources told that Rachesky, ‎who heads the investment firm MHR Fund Management, is a close associate of Atlanta Braves controlling owner John Malone, which is said to have sparked Rachesky's interest in the Hawks.

‎Rachesky is not known to have previously expressed interest in purchasing a sports franchise, but he is regarded as a protégé of activist investor Carl Icahn and brought Malone onto the Lionsgate board last month.

Sources say that his close ties to Malone have led some city officials to wonder whether Rachesky's bid for the Hawks, if successful, would ultimately lead to the NBA franchise pursuing a move out of its downtown Philips Arena home to an Atlanta suburb. The Braves announced late in 2013 that they will be relocating ‎to Cobb County, roughly 15 miles away from their Turner Field home downtown, starting with the 2017 season.

Groups and individuals interested in the buying the Hawks, as well as the team's current ownership, were required to signed nondisclosure agreements which prevent them from commenting on the sale process.‎

At All-Star Weekend in New York last month, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said of the Atlanta sale process: "That has moved along the course that we expected. There are several very interested parties who are looking at the team. It is on schedule."‎

Over the new two weeks, sources say, ‎representatives from the two companies chosen by the Hawks' outgoing ownership to oversee the sale and screen interested parties -- Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports -- will be meeting directly with groups that have made nonbinding bids to purchase the Hawks.

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March, 4, 2015
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4-point play: Trail Blazers vs. Clippers

March, 4, 2015
Mar 4

Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY SportsDamian Lillard and Chris Paul face off tonight in Los Angeles.
The 4-Point Play looks at the four analytics-based storylines that will make you smarter when watching Wednesday’s game between the Los Angeles Clippers (second in BPI) and the Portland Trail Blazers (sixth in BPI) at 10:30 ET on ESPN. Our BPI gives the Clippers a 71 percent chance of winning:

1. There is a 24 percent chance that the Clippers and Trail Blazers will face each other in the first round of the playoffs.

2. DeAndre Jordan has a 31 percent defensive-rebounding percentage, and is averaging 2.3 blocks and 3.1 personal fouls per 36 minutes. The only players to have a defensive-rebounding percentage above 30, and average more than two blocks and three fouls per 36 minutes are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dwight Howard, Marcus Camby, Samuel Dalembert, and Chris Kaman.

3. The Trail Blazers do best when Damian Lillard is focused on getting to the rim. In wins Lillard averages 5.7 free throws and 6.7 three point attempts per 36 minutes. In losses, Lillard averages 4.1 free throws and 7.9 three point attempts per 36 minutes.

4. The Trail Blazers are one of only five teams with an offense and defense both at least one point above average. The other four are the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, and Hawks.

Inside DeAndre Jordan's rebounding streak

March, 4, 2015
Mar 4
Trivia question: What is the record for most consecutive games with at least 15 rebounds? We'll get to the answer shortly.

In a 23-point loss to Oklahoma City on Feb. 8, DeAndre Jordan had a fairly nondescript game: eight points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes.

Just one night later at Dallas, Jordan exploded for 22 and 27, beginning a nine-game tear the likes of which have never been done in a Clipper uniform, as his nine straight games with at least 15 rebounds is a franchise record.

What you see above are all 182 of Jordan’s rebounds over the last nine games as well as every missed shot that led to a Jordan rebound.

Just how many rebounds is that?

Jordan has 66 more rebounds than any other player since Jan. 9. The gap between Jordan and Hassan Whiteside (second over that span), is larger than the gap between Whiteside and the player with the 58th-most rebounds over that span (Nick Collison and Harrison Barnes) and larger than the gap between Whiteside and Ricky Rubio.

If you took away all of Jordan's offensive rebounds, Jordan would still lead the NBA in rebounding over this stretch. That's dominating your skill set.

Rather than take away the offensive rebounds, let’s focus on them simply because they paint a picture of just how critical Jordan’s run has been to Doc Rivers’ team.

Prior to this run, Jordan was averaging 4.4 offensive boards per game. Since that game at Dallas, he’s averaging 6.1 offensive boards per game, effectively creating two extra possessions for an offense that leads the NBA in points per possession.

Based on our tracking, Jordan’s 55 offensive rebounds have led to 57 second-chance points; or 6.3 second-chance points per game. By comparing Jordan’s offensive rebound rate during this stretch (18 percent) to the league average for starting centers (10 percent), you’d expect about 3.5 second-chance points per game from an average center, which means Jordan has essentially “added” three additional points per game on the offensive glass alone.

How big of a difference is three points?

If you subtracted that from their season averages, the Clippers would fall from second to fifth in points per game and second to 10th in average scoring margin. Considering no team in NBA history has won an NBA title when ranked that low in scoring margin, you can make a case that without Jordan’s work on the offensive glass alone, the Clippers wouldn’t even be in the conversation among title contenders.

Some other notes on our video tracking of Jordan’s rebounds:

Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick tied for the most missed shots that led to offensive rebounds, with 11 each.

In terms of scoring, the largest beneficiary of Jordan’s offensive boards was Jamal Crawford who scored 17 2nd-chance points off of those extra opportunities.

They were tough rebounds. All but three of his offensive rebounds were contested rebounds meaning there’s more to it than simply “right place, right time”.

He’s not simply playing volleyball with himself either. Only seven of his offensive rebounds were of his own misses.

While the focus here is on his rebounding, it’s also worth mentioning that Jordan is seriously challenging Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA record for highest field goal percentage in a single season (72.7 percent in 1972-73). Jordan’s field-goal percentage is 71.7 entering Wednesday night.

So how is he doing it?

By knowing his own limitations and staying comfortably close to the basket. As you can tell by the zone chart above, Jordan has made only a single shot from outside the paint the entire season. Of his 279 makes, 186 of them have been dunks.

This is nothing new for Jordan.

Over the last 15 seasons, there are over 3,500 instances of a player attempting at least 300 shots in a single season. Of all of those seasons, Jordan owns the three highest in terms of percentage of total attempts within five feet, including his mark of 97 percent this season which is the highest of them all.

Trivia answer: 186 by Wilt Chamberlain. The earliest Jordan could get there is the 74th game of the 2016-17 season.
[+] EnlargeKevin Garnett
David Sherman/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett is on good terms with Doc Rivers, but not so much with his former coach's son.

MINNEAPOLIS - Although Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett showered each other with praise before Monday's game between the Clippers and Timberwolves, Austin Rivers wasn't as complimentary late in the fourth quarter, when both players received double technicals for jawing at each other.

With 3:23 left in the game and the Clippers leading the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-97, Rivers looked like he intentionally bumped Garnett as he walked back to the Clippers bench. Garnett then elbowed him and pointed at him, and Rivers got in Garnett's face before both were given a technical foul.

"I thought Austin should have punched him, personally," Doc Rivers said with a smile after the game.

Austin Rivers, however, wasn't smiling and sported a welt on his forehead that he said came as a result of a Garnett elbow earlier in the game.

"He elbowed me in my head, and that's not going to fly, really," Rivers said. "I have all the respect in the world for him. He's one of the best players to ever play the game, but at the end of the day, I'm a man just like he is, and that's all there is to it."

Rivers said Garnett was physical with him the entire game before they both received technicals in the fourth quarter.

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Blake Griffin
22.5 5.1 0.9 35.3
ReboundsD. Jordan 14.5
AssistsC. Paul 10.1
StealsC. Paul 1.8
BlocksD. Jordan 2.3