Austin Rivers leads Los Angeles Clippers in win over Utah Jazz

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES >> It’s pretty fitting that no one seemed to be able to truly pinpoint where the idea came from. Some players heard about the plan from Blake Griffin. Some heard from Chris Paul. Others said Clippers coach Doc Rivers had the idea.To win this year, they had to be together. So, Sunday at Staples Center, the Clippers stood together.Instead of one player walking to center court pregame to address the crowd before the home opener on Sunday – which is the league-wide status quo – the entire team walked into the spotlight that shone on center court.The origin of the gesture doesn’t matter. That it defined Sunday’s win? That seems like more of a big deal. “I think our attention to detail and our energy have both been great so far,” Griffin said. “It’s something we have definitely talked about.”That the Clippers are now doing the things they talk about might be the most promising part of their 2-0 start.Against the Jazz, the game plan demands you keep Utah from getting to the offensive glass. Sunday, the Jazz did seven times, but it managed just four second-chance points.You can’t allow their slow pace keep you from getting easy baskets, and when things looked their best Sunday, the Clippers were getting easy dunks from Griffin or downhill attacks from Austin Rivers.“We try to make a conscious effort of approaching every game the same way, and not taking any nights off,” Paul said. “We try to play with a purpose each game.”Griffin finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Rivers scored a team-best 19 points. But even players with the ugly offensive stats – Paul (3 for 8) and Marreese Speights (1 for 8) found ways to make a big impact.Paul had nine assists and picked up four steals. Speights, who couldn’t get anything going on offense, drew four charges.“That’s a great example of just hanging in there and trying to do something else for your team,” Doc Rivers said.Before the game, Griffin took the microphone, flanked by his teammates, and told the crowd he and his team hoped to accomplish something special this season.They want to make history.And, to do that, the players, the fans, everyone, they were going to have to do it together.center_img Everyone defended, scrapped for loose balls and played with force in the Clippers’ 88-75 win over the Jazz, a template for how the team would like to be defined this season.“We were locked in,” Rivers said.Utah could score 20 points in only two of the four quarters. The bench dominated Utah’s reserves. And the Jazz, one of the best rebounding teams in the league last year, got outdone by the Clippers, one of the worst.“I think the Clippers are just that good of a team,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said.For the second straight game, the Clippers’ first-unit’s offensive struggled were merely an afterthought, as the team won almost every other aspect of the game.last_img

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