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April 23, 2014 Updates

So Monday through Friday, mornings and sometimes nights, he cleared his schedule and cleared his head during this crucial time. This was the getting-to-know-you period between Griffin and his new coaching staff, the stretch when this high-flyer elevated his game in ways that were impossible to miss in his 35-point outing in Game 2 that evened the Clippers' series with the Golden State Warriors at 1-1 on Monday. The goal, then as it is now, was to keep this drive alive until that mid-June time when champions are made. "It was about patience (for Griffin), to take that new (Doc Rivers-led) coaching staff, let them teach you, and learn from it, and go in every day," Griffin's business manager, Lorne Clark, told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. "Get shots up, do those things. A lot of working with those guys, and they'd say, 'These are the positions we're going to put you in. Let's work on that face-up.' It's just having the confidence to go by people and (knowing that) you're unstoppable if you do this." USA Today Sports

In this regular season where his production has jumped from 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds a game last season to 24.1 and 9.5, he was better than ever during that stretch: 27.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game with the offense often running through him. "Blake was always like the little brother (to Paul)," Crawford said. "And when the big brother is down, the little brother has to step up. And me and Blake looked at each other, because he was like, 'Now we've got to be more aggressive. We've got to go.' He led with his voice. He led by example. He led us every single night when Chris went out. "This guy just wants to be great. He really does. I've said it before — (Kevin) Durant (of the Oklahoma City Thunder) will probably win MVP this year, but with those guys being the same age I could see them going back and forth for years to come. ... Blake's one of the special talents in the world." USA Today Sports

April 22, 2014 Updates

As Griffin himself would explain, the mental part of his process is coming along quite well. The player who is so often guilty of being a cliché machine had a revealing moment when asked about the support he gets from teammates and coaches, one that bodes so very well for him and the Clippers going forward. "Whether you believe it or not, every NBA player deals with confidence issues at times," Griffin said. "Before every game, to hear CP, Jamal, (DeAndre Jordan), Matt (Barnes), (Darren Collison), on down the line to our whole coaching staff say, 'Go attack, go score, go do what you do' is a confidence builder. That gets me into the game. "Even when I'm missing shots and they still say that, sometimes I want to be like, 'Man, you guys do it for a little bit,' (laughs) but that's huge man. It's encouraging. I think it's big for our team." USA Today Sports

"I think that was great mental toughness by Blake," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "We talk about it all the time: you have no opponent, we throw you the ball, you score. I don't care who's guarding you, just go play. I don't care what they do to you, just go play. And I thought that was his mindset. "No matter what call is made, no matter how hard a foul is, just keep playing, because you're the best player, and all the other stuff can take away from you. And I thought he was phenomenal." USA Today Sports

With the Los Angeles Clippers well on their way to routing the Golden State Warriors Monday night, Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal and Clippers coach Doc Rivers began jawing at each other. Rivers had said something to an official, O'Neal didn't like whatever that something was and barked at Rivers. Rivers barked back, and within a few moments player and coach were both getting hit with technicals. The incident ? which came midway through the second quarter of the Clippers' 138-98 victory ? was merely the latest chapter in what has fast become one of the NBA's most heated rivalries. Even in a 40-point blowout, it was clear the two teams don't care much for each other. And with the series now even at a game apiece and shifting to Oakland for Thursday's Game 3, the tension is as thick as ever. "It's very intense right now," O'Neal said. "Everyone wants to win. Everybody is looking for that blood. This league is about trying to smell what the weakness is. I don't care if it's the scorekeeper ? there are going to be scenarios where you are trying to find an edge and keep yourself going." Yahoo! Sports

April 21, 2014 Updates

The NBA’s three biggest media markets posted significant drops in local TV viewership this season, with the five clubs in those markets shedding a combined 259,000 homes per game from last year. Those losses for the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls highlight a story line for the NBA that saw the league heading into the final days of its regular season last week on pace to post audience declines in six of its eight biggest markets. Only the Dallas Mavericks (up 8,000 homes per game) and Golden State Warriors (up 11,000 homes per game) had posted viewership gains on the season, according to Nielsen data for 27 of the NBA’s 29 U.S.-based teams. Sports Business Daily

Chris Paul couldn't stop watching the play. Once. Twice. Again. Another time. It bothered him that he didn't make the right call in a late three-on-one, getting his shot blocked by Harrison Barnes instead of passing to J.J. Redick. That didn't even compare with the two free throws he missed with 11 seconds left in the Clippers' 109-105 loss to Golden State in Saturday's playoff opener. Long night for Paul. Long Sunday too. "I looked at it, I think, six different times [Sunday] morning," Paul said of the missed three-on-one chance. Los Angeles Times

He rolled his eyes at a reporter Sunday when told about the NBA's ruling, not even needing to say the obvious — the Clippers still shouldn't have lost at home to the undermanned Warriors. Los Angeles Times

April 20, 2014 Updates
April 19, 2014 Updates

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson said he didn't regret his now-famous "bull in the china shop" quotes regarding Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin said on a San Francisco radio station earlier this week. "At this point I don't really care. No regrets, it's fine," Thompson said Saturday before Game 1 of their first-round series at Staples Center. "When you step through those lines, nobody really cares what you said before. If you go out there and perform, that's all that really matters." ESPN.com

Blake Griffin fouled out of today’s Warriors-Clippers game, and he had a legitimate right to be upset about at least the last two foul calls. In his incredulity, he raised his arms and splashed his cup of water all over the Golden State fan sitting in the first row behind him. It’s probably going to remain a mystery for the rest of time as to whether or not the incident was intentional. The Big Lead

Two days after Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson called out Clippers star Blake Griffin for flopping and playing out of control, L.A. coach Doc Rivers said he wants Griffin to keep doing what he's been doing this season, even if that includes flopping. "That's Klay's opinion; I don't really care," Rivers said Friday. "I just keep looking at what Blake's done. If he's flopping, then keep doing it because those numbers look awful good to me. So flop on. That's the way I look at it. Whatever he's done this year, I want him to keep doing exactly that. When the votes come for MVP, he'll be in the top three. "I'm good with anything anybody says. Blake, you just keep doing what you're doing. What's happening is Blake is kicking a lot of people's butts and they need something to say about him." ESPN.com

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IN CLIPPERS HISTORY
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Modern-day Clippers like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are among the all-time best players in franchise history.

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