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Clippers' Lamar Odom hurts ankle in game against Suns

The forward says he was injured in the first quarter when Phoenix forward Jared Dudley pushed him, which caused Odom to step on Dudley's foot.

December 24, 2012|By Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times

PHOENIX — Lamar Odom sat in his chair after the game, his sprained left ankle in a bucket of ice.

Odom said he was injured in the first quarter when Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley pushed him, causing the Clippers forward to step on Dudley's foot.

"It's painful," Odom said. "But I was good enough to go."

Odom played 14 minutes 24 seconds Sunday night against the Suns.

He didn't score but had three rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.

"Lamar turned his ankle a little bit," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "But he gave me what he could."

Working on three-point defense

For all of the talk about the Clippers' improved defense, Del Negro still will find something to say about ways they can improve.

Like their three-point shooting defense.

The Clippers are allowing teams to make 36.9% of their three-pointers, the 10th-highest mark in the NBA.

"We want to control penetration as much as possible," Del Negro said. "But we have to do a better job of getting in and being tight and being able to get out [on shooters]."

Against the Suns on Sunday night, the Clippers limited Phoenix to 17.6% (three for 17) on its three-point attempts.

"We have a tendency to get out on three-point shooters, but you've got to take their air space away," Del Negro said. "You've got to make them feel the pressure, make them put it on the floor and recognize players' tendencies as well. We stress a lot of those things. Guys are doing a better job with it, but we have to be more consistent."

Big on steals

Del Negro was asked why his team is so good at getting steals.

The Clippers lead the NBA in steals, averaging 10.56 per game.

"I want them to be aggressive," Del Negro said. "I think they are learning to trust each other a little bit. They are getting a feel for each other as far as when to go for them."

The Clippers had 12 steals against the Suns on Sunday night.

Chris Paul led the way with five and Blake Griffin had a career-high-tying four.

"We want to use them to an advantage," Del Negro said. "But we also have to know time and score, when to be solid."

Etc.

Paul will be on the "Before the Bigs" show on Fox Sports Prime Ticket on Christmas Day at 6 p.m. It's a look at how it all began for Paul and how he got to where he is now with the Clippers.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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