Los Angeles Clippers: Al Jefferson

Paul named West player of the month

April, 27, 2012

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been named the Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for April on Friday after leading the team to its first playoff berth in six years.

In the month of April, Paul averaged 20.7 points, 9.9 assists and 3 steals per game, sitting out one of the Clippers' 14 contests due to a strained left groin. He had seven 20-point performances and three 30-point outbursts, including 31 in a road win at Oklahoma City and 33 points at home against New Orleans this week.

The Clippers went 9-5 in April to finish as the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They open up their first-round series Sunday in Memphis.

Paul beat out Memphis’ Rudy Gay, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Utah’s Al Jefferson to win the award. It is his first player of the month honor since January 2010 and the sixth of his seven-year NBA career.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was the Eastern Conference award-winner.

DeAndre Jordan's defensive struggles

April, 4, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- DeAndre Jordan left the Clippers' locker room before reporters were allowed in on Wednesday night following the 113-108 loss to the Lakers, but his teammates stood up for him.

There wasn't anything he could do against Lakers center Andrew Bynum, they said, even though Bynum put up 36 points against Jordan and repeatedly outmuscled and outsmarted him in the post.

In fact, Kenyon Martin and Chris Paul both said Jordan did an "excellent" job defending Bynum.

"The kid (Bynum) is a good post player," Martin said. "DeAndre guarded him and made everything tough on him.

"That's all you can do."

Bynum hit 65 percent of his shots in Wednesday's game -- most of which came one-on-one against Jordan -- and didn't turn the ball over. And that was with a sprained ankle that had him listed as questionable before the game.

That was all Jordan, who's making roughly $10 million this season in the first year of a monstrous four-year deal, could do?

No, said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. Of course Jordan could have done more against Bynum and the Lakers, Del Negro said.

"But it's not just D.J -- it's everybody," he said. "We've gotta do a better job spinning him baseline, getting help for him, fighting him early and getting him off his box, his sweet spot. Bynum's a load down there -- we all know that."

"It's not just one guy, it's several."

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Love is comfortable now

January, 21, 2012
Kevin LoveGary A. Vasquez/US PresswireMinnesota's Kevin Love celebrates the victory after his 3-pointer defeated the Clippers on Friday night.

LOS ANGELES – During his first few seasons in the league, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love said Friday, he didn’t feel comfortable shooting potential winning shots.

He was coming off the bench most of the time. His range didn’t stretch nearly as far as it does now. Players like Al Jefferson, Randy Foye and Jonny Flynn often had the green light to shoot over him.

But, oh, does he feel comfortable now. With 1.5 seconds to play Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers, the fourth-year forward was the guy Minnesota coach Rick Adelman wanted taking the final shot in what was a tense game with the score tied.

And, sealed off from long-armed Clippers center DeAndre Jordan by screens from Wayne Ellington and Ricky Rubio, an unguarded Love caught the inbounds pass from Luke Ridnour well beyond the 3-point line and calmly knocked down a 27-footer to win the game, 101-98.

“I got a good pass and a good screen and I had an open look,” Love said. “It felt great when it left my hands.

“I knew it was in.”

The shot completed a mammoth comeback for Minnesota, which trailed by 12 just nine minutes earlier. Led by Rubio, the rookie point guard, the Wolves broke off a 13-2 run to come within one point and then tied it up on a Rubio 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go.

When the Clippers’ Chauncey Billups missed a layup on the ensuing possession, Adelman called timeout and diagrammed a way to get Love the ball.

He had drawn up a similar play for Brad Miller in a similar situation during his days in Sacramento and thought back to it when he processed the circumstances.

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