Clippers credit unselfishness for strong start to the season

first_imgIt would be tough for a basketball team to fill a box score with nine players posting double-digit point totals – as the Clippers did Sunday, setting a franchise record – if teammates didn’t care to share.“It’s, again, unselfishness. No one’s hunting points, they’re hunting the open guy,” Coach Doc Rivers said after the 136-104 victory over the Washington Wizards at Staples Center. “And that’s a good way to play; it’s the only way we can play, it’s the only way we’ll be good.“It’s fun, a fun group,” he continued. “First thing (Wizards coach Scott Brooks) said after the game, he’s like, ‘Man, your guys, watching them, you can feel the energy, you can feel them, they just get along.’”It’s not always like that; before Sunday’s loss dropped the Wizards to 1-5, some of their starters, including John Wall and Bradley Beal, were quoted by The Athletic criticizing unnamed teammates for having their “own a agendas” and for a lack of “sacrifice.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Rivers said the Clippers ran plays specifically for this year’s No. 13 overall pick, who as a junior at Boston College last season was the ACC’s second-leading scorer, with 20.7 points per contest.“Every time we came out of a timeout, we ran something for Jerome,” Rivers said. “He came from a great system at Boston College, so we try to run some stuff that he ran there for him to get him going, so he can feel comfortable. He looked very comfortable tonight.”THORNWELL OFF TO ONTARIOThink of Ontario as Sin City, at least for the time being. The Clippers announced that they assigned second-year guard Sindarius Thornwell to the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team’s G League affiliate, which opens its season against the Oklahoma City Blue on Nov. 4 at Citizens Business Bank Arena.Thornwell has not played yet this season for the L.A. Clippers, who are loaded at guard. As a rookie, the former South Carolina college star played in 73 games for the Clippers, averaging 3.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Back in the Clippers camp, forward Danilo Gallinari concurred, in so many words, with his coach – though he’d basically showed as much in the 108-92 victory over Oklahoma City on Oct. 19, when his 10-point third-quarter surge helped erase a nine-point deficit in a game that he finished cheering from the bench.“That’s our DNA,” he said after Sunday’s victory, in which he had 11 points and seven rebounds as the Clippers improved to 4-2. “It’s our strength, and it’s got to be our strength throughout the whole season.”SCORING POINTS PLAYING DEntering Tuesday’s game at Oklahoma City – when Russell Westbrook is expected to play after missing his team’s first contest against the Clippers – they’re averaging 116.5 points per game. After Sunday’s slate of games, that ranked eighth in the NBA.Maybe more importantly, the Clippers were seventh by the measure of defensive rating, allowing 103.9 points per 100 possessions.“It’s funny because it’s who we are,” said Rivers, speaking not about his Clippers but of “us Americans. We like scoring. It’s why we don’t follow soccer (as fervently). (Sunday’s victory) was because of our defense. That’s what I tell our guys at halftime: ‘Everybody’s excited about the offense, but the defense does all the dirty work and that allows the offense to score. You know?’” What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Lending their hands to that cause are guards Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley, who together have held opponents’ starting guards to a combined 33.5 percent shooting from the field. After Sunday’s victory, that was tops by any team against opposing starting guards this season. GETTING ROBINSON GOINGAfter making his regular-season debut and scoring his first NBA points Friday in Houston, rookie guard Jerome Robinson logged another seven minutes of big-league action Sunday, finishing with four points on 2-of-4 shooting.Related Articleslast_img

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