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Clippers wins haven't been common in the afternoon

Sunday's victory was only the second in the six weekend matinee games the Clippers have played at Staples Center this season.

January 09, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Clippers power forward Blake Griffin tries to cut off a drive by Warriors guard Monta Ellis in the first half Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.
Clippers power forward Blake Griffin tries to cut off a drive by Warriors… (Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles…)

With the Lakers and hockey's Kings getting first dibs on starting times at the Staples Center, the Clippers have wound up playing an inordinate number of weekend matinees.

Sunday's victory was the team's sixth afternoon start of the season at home, and the Clippers are 2-4 in those games. But Coach Vinny Del Negro says the brunch-time tipoffs are no excuse for poor play.

"It's their job to get ready to go. And if they're not, I've got to make some adjustments and get some subs in there," Del Negro said of his players. "The guys know their responsibilities. I don't care what time the game is. It's the same time for the other team.

"We have to be ready to play no matter what time the game is."

Defense doesn't rest

Del Negro was pleased with how his team played defensively, holding Monta Ellis, the NBA's third-leading scorer, to just 13 points on four-of-19 shooting. As a team, the Warriors shot just 39% from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

"We did a good job," Del Negro said. "We kept their field-goal percentage down. We went into some zone and got some stops.

"It was one of those games where we had control of the game but we have to get better production off the bench and be more consistent with our execution."

Building block

DeAndre Jordan had another big game, with a game-high 13 rebounds and nine points despite sitting out a third of the game in foul trouble. But afterward he focused on his three blocked shots, which gave him 22 blocks in his last four games.

"I'm really taking pride in that defense," he said. "I just want to be one of the best defensive players in the league."

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