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Blake Griffin struggles, Clippers drop fourth straight

Griffin finishes with four points and six rebounds. Caron Butler sets franchise record with nine three-pointers in 105-98 loss.

November 26, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Blake Griffin made one of nine shots, had a team-high four turnovers and fouled out against the Hornets.
Blake Griffin made one of nine shots, had a team-high four turnovers and… (Michael Nelson / EPA )

Even coming home after a disastrous trip couldn't change the losing ways of the Clippers.

Even being among their fans at Staples Center on Monday night couldn't change how poorly the Clippers are playing defense or how they continue to lose their composure when things don't go their way.

The Clippers lost their fourth consecutive game, this time a 105-98 defeat to a New Orleans Hornets team that entered with one of the worst records in the NBA (3-9) and a seven-game losing streak.

The Clippers' porous defense was taken apart by the Hornets' sizzling three-point shooting.

New Orleans made 60% of its three-pointers (15 for 25), a big reason why the Hornets opened a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Then there was the Clippers' losing their cool in a game that was getting away.

Coach Vinny Del Negro and Matt Barnes were called for technical fouls.

Barnes and Ryan Hollins were called for flagrant fouls.

"Embarrassing game for us from the get-go," Del Negro said. "Give New Orleans credit. They outworked us in every aspect.

"We got nothing from our bigs tonight. We got nothing from really our bench. We got nothing from anybody."

And this was supposed to be the start of an easy schedule for the Clippers?

They began this week with three consecutive games at home, six of next seven at Staples, and five of those teams have losing records.

"Like I told the guys, no one is going to feel sorry for you," Del Negro said. "You get what you deserved and we didn't play hard enough tonight to win."

Clippers forward Caron Butler scored a season-high 33 points, 18 of which came in the third quarter on six-for-eight three-point shooting. He finished with a franchise-record nine three-pointers on 15 attempts.

On the flip side, Blake Griffin didn't score in the first half, missing six shots. Griffin missed his next two shots before scoring on a dunk with 4:35 left in the third quarter.

He finished with a career-low four points, missing eight of nine shots before fouling out with 2:36 left.

Chris Paul had 20 points on nine-for-14 shooting and eight assists.

The Clippers also shot well from the three-point range, making a franchise-record 18 in 37 attempts.

But it was the killer three-point shooting of the Hornets that spelled the difference.

Greivis Vasquez scored 25 points and handed out 10 assists. He was five for eight from three-point range, including a three-pointer that gave the Hornets a 100-87 lead that finished off the Clippers.

Ryan Anderson had 17 points and eight rebounds. He was five for nine from three-point range.

Austin Rivers had 14 points off the bench. He was three for four from three-point range.

"We didn't get enough stops defensively," Del Negro said. "They made a ton of threes. ... We couldn't control Vasquez off the dribble. We couldn't control Rivers off the dribble. We didn't switch out on Anderson when we were supposed to. ...

"Just start to finish a poor effort, poor energy. We got pretty much beat in every category. Like I said, you get what you deserve and we deserved to get beat."

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