L.A. Clippers show their mettle with come-from-behind victory over Portland

first_imgWith the embarrassment of the one-sided loss at Golden State on Wednesday in their heads, the Clippers went out and gave up a whopping 62 points in the first half to Portland on Saturday at Staples Center. The Clippers trailed 62-53 and appeared headed to another loss if for no other reason it appeared they could give up another 60 or so in the second half.But the Clippers (4-2) buckled down, gave up only 40 in the second half and came away with a very big 106-102 victory. It was big because the more lackluster performances they have, suddenly a team really begins to wonder about itself.Afterward, DeAndre Jordan talked about the team’s mindset following the loss at Golden State.“We just know we know how to play,” said Jordan, who had six points and 14 rebounds Saturday. “It is the same team with a couple new additions. We came out this year like we won something last year and everyone else came out like they got their heart broken. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “We just needed to get back to what got us to where we were last year, and just build on that.”Jordan said the second half Saturday was all about defense.“We just needed to get stops,” said Jordan, whose team plays host to defending NBA champion San Antonio on Monday night at 7:30 at Staples Center. “Early on in the first quarter, we let them get too many points to start the game and their offense got going. We know we can control our defense, how hard we play, and how hard we compete.”Portland (3-3) scored 38 points in the first quarter.Rivers praises Griffincenter_img Saturday’s come-from-behind victory came on the heels of Rivers ripping his team following the loss at Golden State, which at one point saw the Clippers down by 29 points. Rivers had used the terms “soft” and “lack of heart” when assessing his players.Saturday, he found himself praising Griffin, who had one rebound at Golden State, after Griffin scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds.Griffin shot just 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) from the field, but he was sick with a stomach bug.“There are times when you are sick and you will not be able to play, then there are times when you are sick and you can play,” Rivers said. “It is always nice when one of your key guys decides to play.”Scouting the SpursSan Antonio is off to a slow start at 2-3. The Spurs have lost to Phoenix, Houston and New Orleans and have defeated Atlanta and Dallas.Tony Parker is leading them in scoring and assists with respective averages of 18.6 and 4.2. Tim Duncan is averaging 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. last_img

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