DeAndre Jordan scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds during the Clippers'… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
MINNEAPOLIS — DeAndre Jordan stood with his back against a wall, looking intently at Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro, the two of them talking after practice Tuesday at the team's practice facility.
Basically, Jordan said, Del Negro told the 6-foot-11 center to "stay ready."
The conversation seemed to have paid off for the Clippers and Jordan, his double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds and two blocked shots a big key in their 96-90 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Jordan even played in the fourth quarter, something he rarely does these days.
"Yeah, it was a good talk that I needed," Jordan said. "It wasn't anything negative. It was all positive things. Like I said, I'm willing to be ready to play and if I'm not going to play, I'm going to be the first one up cheering my teammates on."
It was only the third time this month that Jordan had played in the fourth quarter, and the previous two games were for a total of 10 minutes.
But this time, Jordan was a factor for the Clippers, playing almost half the final period.
Jordan made one of two free throws in the fourth to pull the Clippers to within 86-85.
He blocked a shot by Ricky Rubio with the Clippers leading, 91-88.
He got an offensive rebound with the Clippers leading by the same score and tipped another ball to Eric Bledsoe for another Clippers possession with 49.9 seconds left.
That led to a three-point play by Blake Griffin for a 94-88 Clippers lead with 30.1 seconds left.
"Vinny sees the work I'm putting in," Jordan said. "He just told me to stay ready. I feel like I'm ready all the time. Sometimes he thinks that other players will help us win the game. I can't argue with that."
The Clippers have urged the naturally quiet Bledsoe to be more vocal.
But with Chris Paul still out with a bruised right kneecap, Bledsoe is in charge of running the offense, of barking out orders.
For Bledsoe, who started his eighth game this season and finished with a season-high 10 assists and 10 points, it's a work in progress for him to communicate more.
"That's his personality a little bit," Del Negro said. "But he's also got to understand that guys need to hear him out there, whether it's offensively or defensively. He's working on it and it's a comfort level for him as well."