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Category: Clippers

Blake Griffin says he'll skip the dunk contest (probably)

Griffin

Blake Griffin dunked over a car (or, really, the hood of a car) to win the NBA slam dunk contest last year. So how will the reigning champion top it during this year's All-Star Weekend in Orlando?

He (probably) won't.

After his team's 112-91 loss to Denver on Thursday, Griffin said he didn't plan on being in the dunk contest and that the event wasn't "my thing." He added that he'd like to just sit back and enjoy watching it.

Of course, word that the reigning champion will miss the dunk contest is somewhat deflating news, especially considering his recent highlight dunk over Kendrick Perkins.

But remember: Griffin, who was voted as a starter for the Western Conference all-star team on Thursday, didn't for sure say he wouldn't enter the contest. What did he say? "I'm not sure."

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Clippers, Kenyon Martin agree on a deal

Kobe Bryant looking to gain playoff momentum

Veteran Chauncey Billups is keeping up with young guys

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: Blake Griffin. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

Clippers, Kenyon Martin agree on a deal

Fabforum

The Clippers and free-agent forward Kenyon Martin have agreed on a mini-midlevel deal that will be finalized as soon as Martin passes a physical, according to an NBA individual familiar with the negotiations.

Martin, who played for the Xinjiang Tigers in China and had been required to wait until their season was over before rejoining the NBA, was cleared to return to the NBA by FIBA, the international basketball federation, Thursday.

Martin is an 11-year NBA veteran who, at 6-foot-9, is expected to bolster the Clippers' inside strength and rebounding performance. He averaged 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds in his 11 seasons with the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets. 

Last season, Martin averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in Denver. He is 34.

Martin has a home in Los Angeles and is a friend of Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, a teammate with the Nuggets.

Other teams that had been interested in Martin were the Lakers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks.

ALSO:

Show some compassion for Josh Hamilton

Kobe Bryant looking to gain playoff momentum

Veteran Chauncey Billups is keeping up with young guys

-- Mike James

Chris Paul badly wanted win over Jazz

Paul

Chris Paul remembered the last time the Clippers played the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Jan. 17, a game he couldn’t forget in how his team was “embarrassed.”

Paul wanted to do something about that Wednesday night, and he wanted all of his Clippers teammates to join forces with him to right what he saw as a wrong.

He did, and so did the Clippers, pulling out a stirring and impressive victory over the Jazz, 107-105, at EnergySolutions Arena, giving the team its first victory here since Jan. 22, 2003, a span of 16 consecutive losses.

The Clippers lost by 29 points the last time they came here to play the Jazz. The Clippers were down as much as 34 points in that game.

They watched the Jazz go on a dunk feast in the fourth quarter.

Paul didn’t play in that game, sitting out with a strained left hamstring.

But he played Wednesday night, scoring 12 of his season-high 34 points in the fourth. He was five-for-seven from the field and made his only three-pointer.

He scored eight consecutive points at one point in the fourth.

His 21-foot jumper gave the Clippers a 90-87 lead. His up-and-under layup on a baseline drive gave the Clippers a 92-87 lead. His 17-foot jumper gave the Clippers a 94-90 lead. His 19-foot jumper gave the Clippers a 96-92 lead.

“The last time we played here, I sat here and watched how they sort of embarrassed us,” said Paul, who was 15 for 24 from the field. “You hear the crowd. Somebody like me, I couldn’t wait to get here for this next game.”

The Clippers came up big in the fourth quarter, holding the Jazz to 37.5% shooting.

The Clippers were impressive at the free-throw line, making 13 of 15 (86.7%) in the fourth quarter, and were 18 for 23 (78.3%) for the game.

“I think it showed some growth of our team in being able to come back when we got down and to fight through,” Paul said. “This was a good win for us.”

MORE:

Kevin Durant: My favorite thing to do in L.A. is shop [Video]

Clippers talk about scoring 4 three-pointers in under 2 minutes

Blake Griffin discusses his monster dunk over Kendrick Perkins

-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Salt Lake City

Photo: Chris Paul. Credit: Jim Urquhart / Associated Press.

Clippers dealing with plenty of injuries

Butler2
The Clippers limped away from Wednesday night’s 107-105 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Caron Butler didn’t play because of a sore lower back.

DeAndre Jordan hurt his left knee during a first-quarter fall.

And second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe was on the inactive list because of a right knee injury.

Butler was a scratch before the game when his back became too painful for him to play. He’ll be a game-time decision for Thursday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.

“It just got tight on me,” Butler said after the game. “I just couldn’t go. But I think I’ll be all right.”

Jordan was injured early in the first quarter when he leaped into the air to try and block Utah center Al Jefferson’s shot. Jordan fell over Jefferson and onto the court.

Both Jordan and Jefferson were on the court for a while.

Jordan continued to play, but the Jazz team doctor took a look at his knee after the game.

“I’ve never felt that before,” said Jordan, who finished with eight points and 11 rebounds. “My knee started throbbing. But I’ll be all right.”

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Kevin Durant: My favorite thing to do in L.A. is shop [Video]

How do rich and famous NBA players enjoy Los Angeles?

Apparently, the same way we do.

Oklahoma City's James Harden said he likes the downtown French dip landmark Philippe's, so much so that he went there twice over the weekend.

Teammate Kevin Durant said he likes to go shopping in Santa Monica and at the Beverly Center.

Russell Westbrook, who was born in Long Beach and went to UCLA, said he looks forward to his mother's home cooking.

Even though the Thunder lost to the Clippers, 112-100, on Monday, the players said they still enjoyed their time in L.A. -- and the 80-degree weather over the weekend.

In the video above, the players discussed their favorite activities in Los Angeles, before picking up their fourth loss of the season at Staples Center.

-- Melissa Rohlin

Blake Griffin vs. LeBron James: Watch, vote on the better dunk

Blake Griffin's monster jam on Kendrick Perkins during the Clippers' 112-100 victory over Oklahoma City on Monday night is being described by many as the dunk of the year.

The same phrase was being used all day on Monday after Miami's LeBron James electrified the NBA with his one-handed dunk while flying over Chicago's John Lucas III on Sunday night.

Clippers guard Chris Paul said of Griffin's dunk: "That's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."

And unless Paul was nowhere near a TV or computer all day Monday, he had probably already seen the clip of James literally jumping over Lucas many times before making that comment.

James himself weighed in on the subject via Twitter just after Griffin's big play: "Dunk of the Year!! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!! Wow!! I guess I'm #2 now."

Which do you think is the dunk of the year (or at least the dunk of the first month or so of the season)? Vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.

RELATED:

Photos: Clippers vs. Thunder

Clippers are exciting, Lakers make folks grouchy

Blake Griffin discusses his monster dunk over Kendrick Perkins

-- Chuck Schilken

Clippers talk about scoring 4 three-pointers in under 2 minutes

In a dizzying display of excellence at Staples Center on Monday night, the Clippers may have one sequence that topped even Blake Griffin's already viral dunk over Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins.

It happened after the Clippers saw a sizable second-quarter lead diminish to six points with 1:35 remaining in the first half as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 37 of the Thunder's 46 points.

Mo Williams, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups answered by scoring four consecutive three-pointers in 76 seconds to give the Clippers an 18-point halftime lead, 64-46.

"Man, I just told Mo Williams that may have been the greatest exchange I've been a part of since I've been in the NBA," Clippers guard Chris Paul said.

"Not only did we make four threes, but it was how we did it. We swung the ball, it's good basketball."

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said the sequence seemed like a fantasy.

"It really didn't look like it was real how many threes we hit before the half," he said, adding that the Clippers returned to the locker room saturated in that momentum, "on a high."

The Clippers won 112-100, beating a Thunder team that entered the game with the best record in the NBA, 16-3.

All five starters, and six Clippers total, finished in double-figures in what Griffin said was the best performance the team has had all season.

Not to mention, they did it on the tail end of a back-to-back, having beaten Denver, 109-105, on Sunday.

"I think it shows that we'll fight," Griffin said. "Even when we're a little tired, it's always going to be a game, and that's the way we plan to keep it the rest of the season."

-- Melissa Rohlin

Blake Griffin discusses his monster dunk over Kendrick Perkins

Blake Griffin saw an open lane in the third quarter of the Clippers' game against Oklahoma City on Monday. He charged to the basket. Thunder center Kendrick Perkins responded, bravely putting his body in front of the oncoming freight train.

Griffin elevated, and Perkins' face was up pressed against Griffin's body like a child sticking his face against a window.

DUNK.

Within moments, the Twitterverse was going crazy. So was the sold-out crowd at Staples Center. So were Griffin's teammates.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan immediately hugged Griffin was such force that he practically knocked the wind out of his teammate. That was when Griffin said he knew something spectacular had occurred.

"By the crowd's reaction you can kind of gauge how it was," he said. "My second gauge is DJ's reaction.

"He came up and like arm-locked me. I couldn't breathe. I had to like pull him off."

Said Jordan: "I was shocked. I didn't know what to do, so I just grabbed him. ... I feel like I dunked it."

Said Clippers guard Chris Paul: "That's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."

The only player who wasn't in awe was Perkins, who fouled Griffin on the dunk. The Clippers star then went to the free-throw-line and converted the three-point play.

Sitting morosely by his locker after the Clippers' 112-100 win, Perkins acknowledged that Griffin got the better of him.

"It happens," he said. "At the end of the day, if you're a shot-blocker you're going to get dunked on. It was a great play he made. Obviously, I wish I wasn't in it."

RELATED:

Clippers bring the noise in rout of Thunder

Video: Clippers talk about four quick three-pointers

Blake Griffin vs. LeBron James: Watch, vote on the better dunk

-- Melissa Rohlin

Clippers vs. Thunder: Video highlights and game recap

Clippers 112, Thunder 100 (final)

The Clippers have racked up a few marquee wins in this young NBA season (against Miami, the Lakers, Dallas and Denver) to prove they're not the Clippers of yesteryear, that they are indeed legit contenders.

And Monday, they earned the biggest notch in their belt yet.

Against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which came into the game with an NBA-best record of 16-3, the Clippers earned a dominating 112-100 win before a sell-out and at times deafening crowd of 19,404.

The Clippers improved to 12-6 as they head into a stretch in which eight of their next 10 games are on the road, starting at Utah on Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Clippers vs. Thunder

What can people take away from this game? This dunk by Blake Griffin against the team from his hometown that you will see replayed a trillion times (a conservative estimate) the rest of this season

But also that the Clippers have the offensive firepower to stay with the league's best teams, especially they get as balanced an effort as they did against the Thunder. 

Six Clippers players scored in double figures: Chris Paul had 26 (and 14 assists); Caron Butler and Griffin had 22 apiece; Chauncey Billups had 13, Mo Williams 12 and DeAndre Jordan finished with 11 plus 11 rebounds.

The Clippers shot an impressive 56% and hit 13 of 25 three-point shots.

The Thunder got huge nights from Kevin Durant (36 points) and Russell Westbrook (31 points), but little from anyone else. No other Thunder player scored more than seven points. 

Clippers 90, Thunder 70 (end of the third quarter)

We begin with the NBA's dunk of the season and one that might not be topped for many seasons to come.

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Clippers: Del Negro, Billups talk about free agent Kenyon Martin

Kenyon-martin_600

Kenyon Martin to the Clippers?

Chauncey Billups would like to see that happen.

In fact, the Clippers' veteran guard said Saturday that he has reached out to the free-agent forward, a former teammate of his in Denver, about signing with the Clippers. 

What are Martin's thoughts about doing so?

"I'll let him tell y'all that," Billups said with a smile.

Asked about reports that the Clippers are one of a handful of teams that have reached out to Martin, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro declined to go into specifics.

"Kenyon is an experienced guy that knows how to play, can play some [power forward], play some [center]," Del Negro said. "He brings a lot of athleticism to the team. But those are all speculations. There are a lot of teams talking to a lot of different players. I'm pleased with our group right now and we're always looking to add good character, quality, competitive guys to the roster."

Del Negro neither confirmed nor denied that he has reached out to Martin. 

The Clippers look like a good fit for the 34-year-old Martin, an 11-year NBA veteran.

They have two trade exceptions they can use to sign a player, one for $3.8 million and another for $2.7 million that were acquired in their deal for Chris Paul.

They also have what's called a mini mid-level exception for $2.5 million, and, lastly, the Clippers have a 14-man roster, leaving one spot open.  

"He's very valuable," Billups said of Martin. "Of course, he comes from winning stock. He’s been to the [NBA] finals twice. He has great ability. He is a leader. One thing I know about Kenyon, he’s a winner. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He’s one of the great one-on-one defensive players for a big man I’ve played with. And, contrary to what everybody believes, he’s a really good dude."

Martin can sign with an NBA team as soon as the team he signed with in China, the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers, completes its season.

Martin signed with Xinjiang Guanghui during the NBA lockout, but the China Basketball Association stipulated that any players signing with a CBA team this year complete the season before returning to the NBA.

As the Flying Tigers are currently out of the playoff race, their season could end in mid-February. 

Martin averaged a career-low 8.6 points and only 6.2 rebounds in 48 games for Denver last season. 

ALSO:

Mo Williams makes most of his time

Chris Paul says his hamstring 'feels better'

Bill Plaschke: Growing Clippers need to play like grown-ups

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: Nuggets power forward Kenyon Martin is guarded by Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love. Credit: David Zalubowski / Associated Press / October 10, 2008

Final: Clippers 98, Memphis 91

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Clippers 98, Grizzlies 91 (final)

Times Sports Editor Mike James tweeted it best:

"Both teams playing with playoff intensity, but Clippers-Memphis looks more like a Rucker Park game on extra caffeine than NBA."

Yes, their meeting at a sold-out Staples Center on Thursday night was physical, sloppy and short on "Wow, this is really quality basketball being played here" moments.

But after blowing a 16-point lead in the first half, the Clippers built a slim lead late and held on in a game that featured 19 lead changes to stave off the kind of loss they're accustomed to achieving. 

The Clippers also bounced back from their loss Wednesday to the Lakers and improved to 10-6 overall.

Memphis, which was paying its second straight game and fourth in five days, fell to 10-8. 

The Clippers owe Mo Williams plenty for this win. He had nine points in the previous three quarters, but he got hot in the fourth and scored nine quick points to put his team ahead by six with 5:17 left. 

That lead was cut to two before Caron Butler hit a driving layup with 58.7 seconds left to give the Clippers a four-point lead. 

Marc Gasol was called for his fourth personal foul on the other end, and Chris Paul sank down the ensuing free throws, putting the Clippers ahead, 95-89 with 45.9 seconds left.

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