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Category: Clippers

Blake Griffin leads Clippers past Wizards, 102-84

Blake3Blake Griffin had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Caron Butler added 21 points and Randy Foye scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter against his former team, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 102-84 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Five players scored in double digits for the Clippers, who increased their lead in the Pacific Division to two games over the idle Lakers with their ninth victory in 12 contests.

The Clippers took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter before John Wall cut it to 75-72 on a 16-footer with 10:12 remaining. But Foye, starting at shooting guard because of Chauncey Billups' season-ending Achilles injury, completely took during the next 3 1/2 minutes.

PHOTOS: Clippers vs. Wizards

Foye started his one-man assault with a 3-pointer, then made two free throws and hustled after an offensive rebound to set up another 3 by Mo Williams. Foye made two more free throws and capped his run with a 3-pointer that made it 88-76 with 6:59 to play.

ALSO:

Clippers' Vinny Del Negro, free agent J.R. Smith in contact

Chris Erskine: Comparing Lakers fans and Clippers fans — on the analyst's couch

-- Associated Press

Photo: Blake Griffin dunks during the Clippers' 102-84 victory Wednesday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Kate Upton makes the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue

Kate Upton will no longer just be known as the girl who taught Clippers fans -- and anyone else who has a computer -- how to do The Dougie.

Kate UptonUpton, the now-19-year-old model whose video of herself doing the ubiquitous dance at Staples Center during the Clippers-Oklahoma City Thunder game in April became an Internet sensation, is the cover girl for the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Born in Michigan but raised in Florida, Upton caught the public's eye with her first appearance in the SI swimsuit issue last year, in which she was named rookie of the year. A couple of months later she went viral with her bubbly and enthusiastic interpretation of the dance that accompanies "Teach Me How to Dougie," by Cali Swag District.

And now she appears on the cover of the SI issue that helped launch such models as Christie Brinkley and Elle Macpherson into superstardom.

“I have had a great year,” she said. “For me, this is groundbreaking.”

On the cover, she poses in front of the waters of Australia wearing a rather small red-and-brown string bikini.

“In Florida, people walk around in their flip-flops, bikinis and jean shorts, so I'm very comfortable in a bathing suit,” she said.

ALSO:

Clippers' Blake Griffin isn't basking in the spotlight

Is Jeremy Lin the real deal or just a flash in the pan?

Floyd Mayweather Jr. takes Twitter shot at Jeremy Lin

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Kate Upton on the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Credit: Walter Iooss Jr. / Sports Illustrated

Chris Paul leads Clippers to 78-77 win over 76ers

Paul3Chris Paul made a 16-foot jumper from just beyond the free-throw line with 3.2 seconds left Friday night to push the Clippers to a 78-77 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.

Paul, who finished with 24 points on 10-for-20 shooting, also was part of a double-team with Kenyon Martin that smothered Lou Williams more than 25 feet from the rim on the final possession, preventing the 76ers guard from getting a good look at the basket for a potential game-winning last shot attempt.

The Clippers got a big defensive stop when they forced the 76ers into a five-second violation with 2:15 left. But the 76ers responded with tough defense of their own, preventing the Clippers from adding to a 74-73 lead.

PHOTOS: Clippers vs. 76ers

Williams got fouled but made just one of two free throws, and the score was tied at 74 with 1:41 left.

Paul missed for the Clippers, but Martin got the offensive rebound. That led to a basket by Caron Butler that made it 76-74, and the 76ers called a timeout with 56.7 seconds left.

Jrue Holiday, the former UCLA star, made one of two free throws with 20.4 seconds left, leaving the Clippers ahead 76-75. Blake Griffin got the rebound and L.A. called a timeout.

But Ryan Gomes threw a bad inbounds pass intended for Butler, who chased the ball down but was called for a foul on Williams with 18 seconds left.

Williams made both free throws for a 77-76 Philadelphia lead with 18 seconds left.

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Coach rips Clippers after 99-92 loss to Cavaliers

Clippers see plenty to criticize in film of their loss at Cleveland

T.J. Simers: Chris Paul passes along lessons on the importance of family

-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Philadelphia

Photo: Chris Paul puts up a shot during the Clippers' victory over Philadelphia on Friday. Credit: Matt Slocum / Associated Press

Clippers lose to Cavaliers, 99-92

Clippers1_600

The Clippers, playing their first game without Chauncey Billups, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn left Achilles’ tendon, appeared to sleep through most of the game, which was also the debut for power forward Kenyon Martin.

They trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, tied the score in the fourth and then couldn’t make plays late, which sent the Clippers to a 99-92 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

Chris Paul had a rough night, scoring 16 points on five-for-16 shooting. He also had 12 assists. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 25 points and 15 rebounds before he fouled out late in the game.

Martin played 20 minutes 24 seconds, finishing with six points on three-of-seven shooting with four rebounds, two blocked shots, one steal and four personal fouls.

PHOTOS: Clippers vs. Cavaliers

The Cavaliers didn’t have prized rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, who didn’t play because of a concussion. But they had four players score in double figures to get the win.

Antawn Jamison had 27 points and eight rebounds and Ramon Sessions had a double-double with 24 points and 13 assists.

The Clippers had one last chance to tie the score after Daniel Gibson made one of two free throws for a 95-92 Cavaliers lead with 16.4 seconds left.

But Caron Butler, who had a solid game with 21 points, missed a three-pointer.

Alonzo Gee made two free throws for a 97-92 Cavaliers lead that spelled the end for the Clippers.

RELATED:

T.J. Simers: Mo Williams hurting team with selfish attitude

Kenyon Martin has a solid showing in his debut with the Clippers

-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Cleveland

Photo: Clippers guard Mo Williams tries to cut off a drive by Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions in the first half Wednesday night in Cleveland. Credit: David Maxwell / EPA

Kenyon Martin to play first game with Clippers

Fabforum

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said that Kenyon Martin, who signed a free-agent contract with the team Friday, will play in his first game against host Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Del Negro said Martin will play about 15 minutes against the Cavaliers.

Del Negro said he just wants Martin, a 6-foot-9 power forward, to rebound, play defense and make shots if open.

“He worked out well yesterday,” Del Negro said. “We tried to get him up to speed as quickly as possible and to grasp everything quickly. So we’ll just get him out there and hopefully monitor his minutes and get him in game shape as soon as possible.”

Martin last played Dec. 21 for the Xinjiang Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Assn. He had 13 points on six-for-12 shooting and nine rebounds in 29 minutes.

He averaged 13.9 points and 9.7 rebounds in 12 games for the Tigers.

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-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Cleveland

Photo: Kenyon Martin with the Denver Nuggets. Credit: Associated Press.



Clippers' Chauncey Billups is out for the season

FabforumAn MRI exam Tuesday revealed that Clippers guard Chauncey Billups has a torn left Achilles’ tendon. Billups, who was injured in Monday’s overtime victory over the Magic in Orlando, Fla., will be out at least eight months, ending his season.

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro revealed Billups’ status to Times columnist T.J. Simers during a lunch interview. Del Negro had gotten the news from Clippers trainer Jasen Powell by phone.

Billups, 35, was a key figure in the Clippers’ rise to second place in the NBA’s Western Conference this season. He teamed with point guard Chris Paul to form an extremely talented backcourt for the Clippers, who are enjoying one of their most successful starts in franchise history.

They lead the Pacific Division at 15-7 and have won the first two games of their six-game road trip.

Billups fell to the court midway through the fourth quarter of Monday’s game and had to be helped from the arena.  He was unable to put weight on his left leg.

Billups was averaging 15 points and four assists this season and playing about 30 minutes a game. It is not yet clear what the guard rotation will be without Billups, though the roles of Randy Foye and Mo Williams will probably be expanded.

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Clippers' curse in nonexistent

Kenyon Martin ready to help the Clippers

Clippers win game, lose Chauncey Billups

-- Mike James

Photo: Clippers guard Chauncey Billups was injured Monday and is out for the season. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

 

Chauncey Billups and the 'Clippers Curse'? That's mumbo jumbo

After Chauncey Billups' injury, the Internet was abuzz with talk of the "Clippers Curse." One problem. There is no Clippers Curse

Monday night's Clippers victory over the Orlando Magic was marred by an Achilles' tendon injury to Chauncey Billups, who is a big reason the Clippers are 15-7 and in second place in the Western Conference.

On Tuesday, the Internet was abuzz with fans pointing to Billups' injury as another example of the "Clippers Curse."

One problem. There is no Clippers Curse. What believers consider a curse the rest of the world considers a series of bad management decisions. Oh sure, there are times when players have been injured: Blake Griffin missed his first season because of a knee injury. Danny Manning, the Clippers' top pick in 1988, blew out his knee in his rookie season. The team traded two first-round picks for Tiny Archibald in 1977; one month into the season, he tore his Achilles' tendon and missed the entire season. Bill Walton had a series of foot injuries during his seasons with the team.

Some call that a curse, but other teams call it a day in the life of an NBA team.

Ask Lakers fans about James Worthy breaking his leg just before the start of the 1983 NBA playoffs, probably costing the Lakers an NBA title. Or ask them about Byron Scott and Magic Johnson both suffering torn hamstrings during the 1989 NBA Finals, with Scott hurting his before Game 1 and Johnson during Game 2. The Lakers were swept in that series. Or Magic retiring after testing positive for HIV. Does anyone say the Lakers are cursed? No, because the Lakers officials have a history of making wise draft picks and trades, leaving the team in position to recover quickly from setbacks.

Look at the Clippers draft history: In 1981, they drafted Tom Chambers, who went on to have a solid career ... with Seattle and Phoenix. After averaging 17.4 points for the Clippers, they traded him to the SuperSonics for James Donaldson, Greg Kelser and Mark Radford. To be fair, the Clippers did draft a future Hall of Famer in 1981: Tony Gwynn, who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1983, the Clippers selected Byron Scott, then traded him to the Lakers. In 1984, they selected Lancaster Gordon with the eight overall pick of the draft. Lancaster Gordon? Meanwhile, eight picks later, the Utah Jazz selected John Stockton. In 1985, with the third pick in the draft and with Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley, Karl Malone and Joe Dumars all available, the Clippers selected, wait for it, Benoit Benjamin. (By the way, that same year the Lakers selected A.C. Green with the 23rd pick.)

We could play the "name the bad draft pick" game all day. In 1987, the Clippers had three first-round picks. They went with Reggie Williams, Joe Wolf and Ken Norman. Remember Danny Ferry? Bo Kimble? LeRon Ellis? Randy Woods? Terry Dehere? Lamond Murray? Michael Olowokandi?

So, no, there is no Clippers Curse. There was just a series of horrible player personnel decisions made by the team. Which seems to have changed this season under new General Manager Neil Olshey. Who is probably busily trying to fill the hole Billups' injury leaves.

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Clippers win game, lose Chauncey Billups

Kenyon Martin ready to help the Clippers

Free-throw shooting: Why are some good and some not?

-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Chauncey Billups is guarded by Glen Davis (11) and Jameer Nelson (14) of the Orlando Magic during Monday's game. Credit: Sam Greenwood / Getty Images

Clippers wait for Chauncey Billups' MRI results

Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups went to get an MRI on his injured left Achilles' tendon on Tuesday at a local Cleveland hospital, and the Clippers were still waiting for the results after they finished practice on the Cavaliers’ practice court.

The hope among the players and coaching staff was that Billups, 35, didn’t suffer a season-ending torn Achilles.

Billups was injured Monday night, midway through the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ overtime win over the Orlando Magic.

“All I can say is that it was very quiet in the locker room and very quiet on the bus and very quiet on the plane because everyone knows how important Chauncey is and how much they respect him and what he brings to the team,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said after practice Tuesday. “You feel bad for him more than anything. So, we’ll see what the results are and go from there.”

Del Negro said that he’ll start Randy Foye at shooting guard Wednesday night against the Cavaliers and continue to bring Mo Williams off the bench.

“Now they are going to need me more than ever,” Foye said after practice. “I’m ready.”

The Clippers on Tuesday waived forward Solomon Jones, trimming their roster to 14 players.

That gives the Clippers room to sign a free agent -– perhaps someone like J.R. Smith after he becomes eligible to play in the NBA after the season is over for his Zhejiang Golden Bulls team in the Chinese Basketball Assn.

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Video: Clippers on win over Magic

For Caron Butler, playing for Clippers is no hard time

Mo Williams, Randy Foye ready to step up for Clippers

 -- Broderick Turner, reporting from Cleveland

Photo: Chauncey Billups drives past Denver guard Arron Afflalo. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press

Clippers win in overtime, lose Chauncey Billups to injury

The good news for the Clippers was that they beat the Orlando Magic, 107-102, in overtime Monday night at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.

The bad news came when Chauncey Billups injured his left Achilles tendon with 5 minutes 48 seconds left in a game.

He was helped off the court and into the Clippers’ locker room and never returned.

The Clippers said Billups, 35, will be evaluated Tuesday when the team arrives in Cleveland.

Billups had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. He had made three three-pointers in the fourth, his last giving the Clippers an 82-74 lead.

PHOTOS: Clippers vs. Magic

The Clippers had to push on in the overtime without Billups.

But then DeAndre Jordan fouled out with 4:20 left in overtime and the score tied at 94-94.

Reggie Evans, who replaced Jordan, fouled out with 2:06 left in the OT and the Clippers now trailing 100-98.

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro inserted Brian Cook into the lineup.

Blake Griffin started defending Dwight Howard, with plenty of double- and triple-team help from his teammates.

The Clippers began to scramble on defense and forced Glen Davis into a turnover.

Chris Paul found Caron Butler for a three-pointer and a 101-100 Clippers lead.

After more good defense, Paul scored for a 103-100 Clippers lead with 1:16 left in the overtime.

After Jason Richardson scored, the Clippers got back-to-back offensive rebounds on the same possession, one by Ryan Gomes and the other by Butler.

That led to two free throws that Mo Williams made for a 105-102 Clippers lead.

Paul made two more free throws to finish with 29 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

ALSO:

Kenyon Martin ready to help the Clippers

Free-throw shooting: Why are some good and some not?

 -- Broderick Turner, reporting from Orlando, Fla.

Photo: Clippers power forward Blake Griffin looks to score against Magic power forward Ryan Anderson in the first half Monday night in Orlando. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press

Clippers' Chauncey Billups injures left Achilles' tendon

Chauncey Billups suffered an injury to his left Achilles' tendon Monday night with 5 minutes 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter of the Clippers' game against the Orlando Magic, which was tied, 94-94, at the end of regulation.

Billups was helped to the locker room and did not return to the court. The Clippers said Billups, 35, will be evaluated Tuesday after the team arrives in Cleveland.

Billups had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. He had made three three-pointers in the period, his last one giving the Clippers an 82-74 lead.

PHOTOS: Clippers vs. Magic

Two plays later, Billups went down after he missed another three-point attempt. He tried to get up, but fell back down on the court.

Blake Griffin made the first of two free throws to tie the score at 94-94. After his second miss, Orlando's Dwight Howard got the rebound with 21.2 seconds left and the Magic called time out.

Jameer Nelson missed a 16-foot jumper with DeAndre Jordan running at him at the end of regulation, and the game went to overtime.

ALSO:

Kenyon Martin ready to help the Clippers

Free-throw shooting: Why are some good and some not?

-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Orlando

Photo: Clippers guard Chauncey Billups drives against Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo during their game last week in Denver. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press

Clippers' sales job works -- Kenyon Martin agrees to 1-year deal

Martin

Kenyon Martin got calls from his former Denver Nuggets teammate Chauncey Billups and from Clippers all-star guard Chris Paul,  and he met with the team’s front office and Coach Vinny Del Negro.  All of them expressed their hope that he would join the team.

The calls and talks worked, because Martin agreed Friday to a one-year contract at the mini-mid-level of $2.5 million.

Just before the Clippers took off Friday afternoon for Washington, D.C., to start a six-game trip that begins Saturday night against the Wizards, Del Negro said the 6-9 Martin provided the Clippers with badly need quality depth in the frontcourt to help out all-star power forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan.

The plan was for Martin to take a physical Friday night or Saturday and to join the team in Orlando by Sunday or Monday.

But Del Negro said he didn’t think Martin would play in a game with the Clippers for a few days. When he does, Del Negro said, Martin will be the third big man on the team.

“He’s a pro and I think he’s going to fit in perfect for us,” Del Negro said on the team’s plane. “I’ve talked to him a lot and kind of explained everything and he’s very comfortable with the situation. Now we’ve just got to get him in here and figure things out as we go forward.”

Martin averaged just 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds with the Denver Nuggets last season in 48 games, but he has averaged 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds over his 11-year NBA career in New Jersey and Denver.

Martin recently played for the Xinjiang Tigers in China before he left the team in December. He had been required to wait until their season was over before he could join any NBA team. But he was cleared to return to the NBA on Thursday by FIBA, the international basketball federation.

The Clippers won Martin’s services over the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks.

It helped that Martin has a home in Los Angeles, that the Clippers were willing to provide him with the playing time that he sought, and that Billups and Paul sold him on the Clippers.

MORE:

Clippers, Kenyon Martin agree on a deal

Kobe Bryant looking to gain playoff momentum

Veteran Chauncey Billups is keeping up with young guys

-- Broderick Turner in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Former Denver forward Kenyon Martin, right, guards former Clipper forward Elton Brand in 2006. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times.

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