10:30 PM ET, March 26, 2011
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman lead way as Clips hand Raptors 4th straight loss
Griffin was averaging 9.8 boards in the first 18 games with Kaman back in the lineup, compared to the 12.8 he had during the 7-foot center's 45-game absence. On Saturday night, they both were equally efficient on the glass in a 94-90 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Griffin grabbed 16 rebounds along with 22 points, and Kaman complemented his 17-point effort with 12 rebounds.
"I'm not trying to mess anything up for anybody. I just want to go in there and do my job," said Kaman, one of only four players with at least 4,000 rebounds in a Clippers uniform. "I'm usually close to the basket, so I just try to make sure my guy doesn't get it.
"The rebounding is what it is. I mean, if they come your way of it, you go get them, it just depends on the night, who we're playing and who Blake's guarding," Kaman added. "If he's guarding a guy who's more on the perimeter, he's less apt to have as many defensive rebounds. If he's got a guy who works inside, he usually does a really good job of getting the rebounds and making the plays."
Eric Gordon, who missed his first 11 shots in Friday's 112-104 loss to the Lakers, had 17 points after getting into early foul trouble. Mo Williams finished with just nine points after scoring a season-high 30 against the two-time defending champions.
Ed Davis had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who ended a 1-4 road trip in which they fell behind by more than 40 points to both Denver and Golden State. Toronto had won its previous five meetings with Clippers by an average of 17.4 points.
Jose Calderon, who sat out the second half of Friday's 138-100 loss to the Warriors because of a strained left hamstring, was back in the starting lineup and scored 16 points in 34 minutes.
Raptors leading scorer Andrea Bargnani was scratched because of an ankle problem. In Friday night's 138-100 loss at Golden State, Bargnani scored just seven points in 27 1-2 minutes after averaging 23.3 over his previous six games.
The Raptors, who set a franchise record for most points allowed in a half by surrendering 84 in the first 24 minutes against the Warriors, led Los Angeles 44-43 at intermission. They went up by as many as 10 with 8:27 remaining before the Clippers pulled ahead 85-82 with a 15-2 run capped by Kaman's layup off an offensive rebound with 3:21 left.
"We're not moving the ball that well," coach Jay Triano said. "That comes with experience, and we have to be better. I will take the responsibility for that. Teams are going to play zone against us, so the ball has to go inside and side-to-side. We're a team that sometimes holds the ball. And when you do that, the zone can match up."
Toronto regained the lead at 88-87 on a layup by Davis with 1:58 to go, but Griffin got it back for good with a dunk, and Gordon hit the Clippers' first 3-pointer of the game with a minute left to give Los Angeles a 92-88 margin. Williams helped sealed it with a pair of free throws.
"We just switched up our defense and got stops, then went out in transition," Griffin said. "Even in our halfcourt sets, we made plays and finished them. Down the stretch, everybody did a good job of distributing the ball and getting easy open shots."
DeMar DeRozan, who was born in nearby Compton and played his high school ball there, started out 0 for 9 from the field and was 3 for 15 overall with seven points in 34 minutes. He finally ended his shooting drought on a 14-footer with 9:56 to play, extending Toronto's lead to 77-68. But the Raptors still lost their fourth game in a row.
"Anytime you can kind of discourage a player early on and keep him from getting hot, so to speak, it's always good," Griffin said. "I thought we did a pretty good job of contesting his shots and not giving him too many easy ones."
This was DeRozan's first visit to Staples Center since All-Star weekend, when the USC alum competed against Griffin in the slam-dunk contest and waited two days before publicly expressing his displeasure about Griffin's dunk over a car.
"I heard them, and in some ways I agree," Griffin said of DeRozan's remarks, "but what are you going to do if you don't have props? There's not a whole lot of creativity and not a whole lot of stuff left to do that people haven't done. I only used one prop on the very last dunk."
DeRozan was watching from the bench just a few feet away when Griffin blew an alley-oop dunk attempt on a lob pass from Randy Foye with 3:25 left in the first quarter. ... The Clippers were 0 for 8 on 3-pointers before Gordon's clutch shot. The last time they went an entire game without making one was Jan. 15, 2008 (0 for 6). ... Fourth-year Toronto forward Julian Wright spent the entire game on the bench in uniform after refusing to report into Friday's game in the third quarter with the Raptors being blown out by the Warriors. He wasn't suspended, but did apologize to his teammates.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||33-85 (.388)||39-84 (.464)|
|3PM-3PA||4-15 (.267)||1-9 (.111)|
|FTM-FTA||20-29 (.690)||15-23 (.652)|
|Fast Break Points||12||17|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||20 (2/0)|