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Blowout loss to Spurs keeps Clippers up late

Coaches stay late to hash out reasons for Thursday's 116-90 loss, L.A.'s worst of season, then address them at Friday's practice. Players appear more focused.

February 22, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Ronny Turiaf and Caron Butler sit on the bench during the Clippers' blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs, 116-90.
Clippers DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Ronny Turiaf and Caron Butler… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Vinny Del Negro sat at his desk in his office late Thursday, long after most of his players had left a mostly quiet locker room. A few feet away, many of the Clippers' assistant coaches were still huddled in their office, their conversations quiet but succinct.

Del Negro and his staff had just witnessed the team's worst loss of the season, a 116-90 thrashing by the San Antonio Spurs that left the coaches disappointed.

"I didn't see the fight," Del Negro said. "I didn't see the passion. I saw a lot of guys unsure. I saw a lot of heads down. I saw frustration come in when we started getting a bunch of technicals.

"I was thinking, 'How can I individually and how can my staff do better?' You want to put your players in an area of strength. I just felt like we all could have done a better job."

When Del Negro and his staff gathered for Friday's practice in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center, their main focus was having the right approach.

The Clippers have 25 regular-season games left and Del Negro said the idea now was to have a "productive practice."

Robert Pack was one of the assistants still in the office late Thursday and he too wanted to see practice become more intense.

"As a staff we want to come back and you want to chop it up and throw things on the board and say, 'How do we get there and get better?'" Pack said. "And we know we have the ability."

Del Negro and Pack said the players responded at practice Friday like a team not happy about what happened Thursday night.

"From our standpoint as a staff, what today was about was getting back after it," Pack said. "It was about getting our mind-set right. When a team like that hits you in the mouth and you get one of those losses, you don't overreact. Today's practice plan was about getting us to elevate ourselves to where we want to be."

Barnes reviews tapes

Matt Barnes said he had returned home after a birthday party for his wife, Gloria, but couldn't sleep.

So around 3:30 a.m. Friday, Barnes said he took out a video and watched the game against the Spurs because he was so bothered by how the Clippers had played.

"It was disappointing to be the first back on TNT and to get blown out like that," Barnes said. "So everyone remembers what that tastes like and we'll learn from it. We had a talk before practice and we know what we have to do."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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