Clippers after deadline
Assorted notes and quotes from the Clippers, following their 97-88 loss to the Spurs on Monday night at Staples Center.
Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro spoke about the stretches where the ball has not been getting to rookie Blake Griffin.
"It's a little bit of Blake, it's a little bit of me, the young guards we've had out there," Del Negro said. "Blake's focus needs to be the defensive end of the floor ... the offense will come for him. He's not going to be able to just overpower guys in this league. This league doesn't work like this. Very few guys are able to do that, if any.
"Learning the game for all these young guys is the key thing, not just Blake, all these young guys. There's a lot of really good athletes out there that aren't great basketball players. You have to learn how to play."
The absence of Baron Davis, who is out with an injured left knee, looms large.
"You need people to create for Blake, create for Eric [Gordon], [Chris] Kaman, create for Rasual Butler, Ryan Gomes," Del Negro said. "That makes it difficult. Of course we'd like to run."
The Clippers bench was outscored, 32-7, and center DeAndre Jordan, who played well Sunday, was not much of a factor, not taking a shot but picking up five fouls in 14-plus minutes of action. Making his NBA debut was rookie Willie Warren, and rookie Eric Bledsoe made his first start at point guard, faced with the unenviable task of dealing with the Spurs' Tony Parker.
"He was running all over the place and I was trying to keep up with him," Bledsoe said, smiling.
Gordon had an aggressive, forceful game, scoring 23 points and adding a career-high 11 assists, and a couple of highlight-reel dunks.
And for the record, he thought the team's effort was not an issue, not the way it was Friday against the Warriors or Sunday in the game against the Mavericks.
"Tonight was a lot better," Gordon said. "We still got a lot more things to do. We need to work on things offensively where we make sure we get an even faster tempo. Move the ball a little bit better."
-- Lisa Dillman