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Clippers’ struggles from 3-point range hasn’t helped their cause

first_imgSAN ANTONIO >> One of the surprising elements of the Western Conference playoff series between the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs has been the Clippers’ struggles from the 3-point line.After having the league’s third-best field-goal percentage of 37.6 percent from there during the regular season, the Clippers were shooting just 30.4 percent from beyond the arc through five games. They were a mere 1 of 14 in their Game 5 loss at Staples Center on Tuesday.The Clippers at times have struggled to get clean looks, but coach Doc Rivers admitted that his team had at least 10 of those Tuesday and they still didn’t fall.“I still think it’s the defense,” Rivers said ahead of Game 6 on Thursday night at AT&T Center; the Clippers were down 3-2 and faced elimination. “And just because they’re open, doesn’t mean you’re open, if you know what I mean. I think what happens, especially through the series, is you start rushing them. “You haven’t had an open look, you finally get one and you pull the trigger a little too quick. We had, like I said, film-wise, we had 10 just point-blank ones (Tuesday), but we just didn’t make them. Basketball is always going to be a make-miss league.”Even more astonishing was that J.J. Redick, who took more 3-point shots (458) than any of his teammates during the regular season, did not have one attempt in Game 5. That did not happen in 78 regular-season games.“They’re taking away some stuff,” Redick said. “I never go into a game thinking I need to shoot eight 3s. I just kind of take what’s there and they did a good job of taking that away from me.“Hopefully, we can knock down some of these shots. I think some of the 3s we took were actually good looks. Matt (Barnes) got some swing-swings that he normally makes. Jamal got some clean looks, off dribble penetration.” Rivers says he was right A day after being fined $25,000 for ripping officials for several calls that went against the Clippers in Game 5, Rivers on Thursday was asked if he had reviewed the calls to see how on the money he was in complaining.He wouldn’t go into details — likely so he wouldn’t lose more money — but he didn’t completely balk.“I’m not going there, but I can say I was right, a lot,” Rivers said. “Let me just put it that way.”Clippers point guard Chris Paul agreed his team could not afford to take any anger about the officiating into Thursday’s game.“Yeah, I said, I think, after that game, you let it soak in that night and then yesterday (Wednesday) it was cool,” he said. “It is what it is.”Boris Diaw having big seriesSpurs reserve post Boris Diaw averaged 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 24.5 minutes during the regular season for the Spurs. He entered Game 6 averaging 10.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 28.7 minutes in the series.Coach Gregg Popovich was asked about Diaw’s contributions during the pregame news conference. “He’s doing a pretty good job,” said Popovich, who was in his short-answer mode.Rivers had no difficulty going into detail about what Diaw has meant to the Spurs in this series.“I’ve heard talk about (Tim) Duncan and (Tony) Parker and (Manu) Ginobili and everyone else — and, obviously, Kawhi (Leonard) — but Diaw to me has been the quietest asset in this series,” Rivers said.“He’s been the guy who’s made big shots, he’s made big plays. … When you just look at comfort, he’s looked so comfortable on the floor.” Diaw had one poor shooting game — April 19 in Game 1 — when he scored five points on 2 of 12 from the field. He did have six rebounds and five assists in that one.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img


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