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CLIPPERS FYI

DeAndre Jordan says Clippers can handle higher expectations

The Clippers have responded to a three-game losing streak by winning their last three games. Jordan says the team is still learning how to play together.

March 29, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers center DeAndre Jordan finishes off a monster dunk after an alley-oop pass from Chris Paul during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan finishes off a monster dunk after an alley-oop… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

DeAndre Jordan stood before the assembled media after the Clippers' victory Wednesday night, with an edginess in his tone.

The Clippers had just won their third consecutive game, following a three-game losing streak, and Jordan felt compelled to admonish the media because of their doomsday articles about his team.

"Last year when we lost a couple of games, you all didn't care, you know what I mean?" Jordan said after the 103-86 victory over Phoenix. "So now that there's a bandwagon, there's higher expectations, which we understand and that's fine."

Indeed the expectations are higher, and with that comes the expectation that the Clippers will put forth a strong effort every night.

That didn't seem to be the case when the Clippers lost three in a row by an average of 14 points. But the team played with more energy during their last three wins, with an average margin of victory of 15 points.

"Our team's strong," said Jordan, who tweaked his right ankle against the Suns but it not expected to miss any action. "We have a lot of young guys on our team who are still learning to play with each other. ... We're still jelling.

"Nick [Young] …he's [only] been here for a couple of weeks and we're still just getting acclimated to his game and he's still learning the sets and defensive coverages and things like that. We're clicking, so it's pretty good."

Guard Chris Paul noted that the Clippers have been playing with a new sense of urgency.

It was suggested to Jordan that perhaps they have turned the corner.

"We're just playing good basketball right now, that's all," Jordan said. "We went through a tough couple of games and it just started to turn around for us here a little bit. Our second unit is giving us some great minutes.

"We are not trying to let teams stick around because that's how we lost a lot of games early in the season."

Next up

The Clippers play host to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday at Staples Center, and they have an opportunity to push their winning streak to four games. They haven't done that since Jan. 26-Feb. 1.

"It's easier to get confidence when you win, there's no question about it," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "This is a great time of year. It's great that we're in this position. We have to take advantage of it. The only way we're going to do that is by sticking together, fighting and finding ways to get better and winning games."

Etc.

The Clippers assigned rookie guard Travis Leslie to the Bakersfield Jam of in the NBA Development League.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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