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Clippers hold team meeting after loss to Phoenix

Players and coaches each take turns discussing their 91-87 loss to Phoenix, which trailed by 17 points.

March 16, 2012|By Broderick Turner

The Clippers had a postgame team meeting that involved the players and coaches following one of their worst losses of the season Thursday night to the Phoenix Suns.

The meeting lasted more than an hour, the media waiting outside of the Clippers’ locker room deep into the night.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who finally had one of his better games (11 points, nine rebounds) for a change, was sarcastic with the media after the meeting, saying they were “waiting” for the media to enter, which finally happened at 11:05 p.m. Thursday.

Kenyon Martin joked about the NCAA tournament.

What wasn’t a joke was the Clippers blowing a 17-point lead to a Suns team that didn’t play starters Steve Nash or Grant Hill because Phoenix Coach Alvin Gentry wanted to rest his stars because the team was playing the second of back-to-back-to-back games.

“It was very productive,” Blake Griffin said about the meeting. “And it wasn’t a point-the-finger-at-somebody meeting. It was good. . . . But it wasn’t about guys trying to get their feelings hurt, guys trying to hurt people’s feelings. It was about this is real. We’ve got a good team and we’ve got to do better.”

The Clippers are 9-11 since Chauncey Billups had a season-ending left Achilles’ tendon injury on Feb. 6 at Orlando.

They have lost six games to teams that are currently under .500.

“We talked about some things, but you don’t get to see if they come into fruition until you play,” Chris Paul said.

Paul was asked if they were upset about the loss to the Suns, who are now 21-22 and have beaten the Clippers twice this season.

“I think it was how we lost,” Paul said. “It looked like we almost tried to lose the game. When you’re at home and where we are in the standings, you can’t lose games like that. Ain’t no way we should have lost that game. We had that game won. We let it get away.”

The Clippers are fifth in the Western Conference standings, a half-game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks and only three games ahead of the ninth-place Minnesota Timberwolves, who are two games out of the last playoff spot.

Paul, who said every player talked during the meeting, was asked what did he say as a captain of the team.

“They know. They know,” Paul responded. “It was for us. I mean, if it was that case, we would have told ya’ll (the media) to come in here for us.”

The Clippers play again Saturday against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. They are in the middle of a six-game homestand, but they already have lost three of the first four.

Paul was asked if the meeting could help his struggling team.

“It’s only one way to tell,” Paul said. “We’ve got to come together as a team. It’s no secret. You’ve been in this league long enough, you know that it’s a team game played by individuals. . . . Nobody can do it by themselves. We’ve all got to come together and we’ve got to believe that.”

Clippers hold team meeting after loss to Phoenix

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