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Clippers are giving it away at the free-throw line

CLIPPERS FYI

They make only nine of 20 free throws against Indiana.

March 20, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers forward Blake Griffin doesn't like talking about his struggles from the free-throw line.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin doesn't like talking about his struggles… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Reporting from Indianapolis — The Clippers' free-throw shooting has been horrendous all season, so it really shouldn't have come as a surprise that they maintained their miserable ways from the line against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

The Clippers missed 11 of 20 free throws, shooting 45%. They now are shooting 68.6% from the free-throw line, the second-worst percentage in the NBA.

They have been dragged down by the wickedly bad free-throw shooting by Blake Griffin (54.4%) and DeAndre Jordan (48.1%), two of the worst free-throw shooters on the team.

Griffin was two for seven from the line against the Pacers and decided to joke about it after the game.

"No, I just stopped practicing the other week," Griffin said.

What's not a joking matter is his accuracy from the line.

"Nah, you just keep practicing," Griffin said. "They will fall."

After the interview was over, Griffin turned his back and swore, obviously unhappy at being asked about the subject.

But it is an issue for the Clippers.

"When you're missing as many free throws as we are right now, it makes it tough," Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We left 11 on the line tonight. It just puts you behind even more. You've got to be sharper in a lot of other areas."

Young starts at guard

Nick Young started for the first time since he was acquired Thursday from the Washington Wizards. In his first game Sunday, Young came off the bench.

He finished with 13 points on five-for-13 shooting against Indiana. He had five rebounds.

"I'm trying to find my spots where to shoot from," Young said. "I'm trying to figure out plays."

Foye odd man out

With Young inserted into the starting lineup, it meant that Randy Foye was back on the bench.

Del Negro said he told Foye about the change during the team's shoot-around.

Foye had been the starting shooting guard since Chauncey Billups went down Feb. 6 because of a season-ending left Achilles' tendon injury.

Foye is being paid $4.25 million in the final year of his contract.

"Randy is a pro," Del Negro said. "It's a tough situation for him. But it's about the team and what's best for the team as a whole. Everyone has to accept what's best for the team. Every night it changes in terms of matchups and rotations.

"We try to be as consistent as possible because I think that's important. But with all the guys that we've got, it's been difficult to get that consistency."

With reserve guards Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe getting playing time, Foye didn't play at all against Indiana.

"It's a tough situation for Randy," Del Negro said. "He's been great all year. I want to try to find him some minutes, but it just didn't happen."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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