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Eric Bledsoe and Randy Foye keep Clippers close in loss to Spurs

Point guard Eric Bledsoe and shooting guard Randy Foye come through for Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro with the team trailing San Antonio by 15 in the third quarter. Foye scores 16 of his season-high 21 points in the third.

February 18, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers guard Randy Foye beats Spurs guard Gary Neal to a loose ball in the second half Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.
Clippers guard Randy Foye beats Spurs guard Gary Neal to a loose ball in the… (Gus Ruelas / Associated…)

When the Clippers got down by 15 points in the third quarter, Coach Vinny Del Negro looked for a spark.

His star point guard, Chris Paul hadn't scored in the third and had just two points through three quarters.

So Del Negro turned to second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe for a lift, and he started running plays for shooting guard Randy Foye.

Bledsoe and Foye responded, helping the Clippers get back into a game they eventually lost in overtime to the San Antonio Spurs.

"I thought Eric Bledsoe came in and did a very good job," Del Negro said. "Randy Foye obviously hit some big shots for us to get us back."

Foye scored a season-high 21 points on eight-for-17 shooting, four-for-10 from three-point range.

He had 16 of his points in the third quarter.

"He started featuring me," Foye said about Del Negro. "I was due too. I felt good. I've been working hard. But the biggest thing is — it's consistency for me. I've got to continue to come out and be aggressive. That's what we need at that spot, being aggressive."

Bledsoe didn't score in the little over six minutes he played in the third, but he had two assists, one on a bounce pass between his legs that led to a two-handed dunk by Blake Griffin.

"I'm always ready to play," Bledsoe said. "I just tried to play my game and to help cut the lead down as much as possible before I came out."

Spurs play Vinny D

During a 12-year NBA career, Del Negro spent part of his career playing for the San Antonio Spurs.

Never known as a defensive player, San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich joked Saturday about how the Spurs still have a defense named after Del Negro.

"We say we're going to 'Del Negro' it," Popovich joked about one of San Antonio's defensive coverages in which the Spurs have to help a teammate who isn't a very good defender.

"And that's in his honor. We've done that for 15 years, have a Del Negro defense out there, because he couldn't play a lick of D. At times we had to invent something just to hide him. We called it Del Negro to do certain things on the court where everybody has to make up for that guy who's in Del Negro."

Popovich laughed along with the media.

"He understood the game," Popovich said. "He wasn't very quick, but he really understood how to play, especially pick-and-roll and that kind of thing. He knew what was going on on the floor. When you're around guys like that — or Avery [Johnson] or Steve Kerr, those type of guys — you know if they want to, they could coach somewhere."


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