Jamal Crawford responds to trade rumors with huge game for Clippers

Jamal Crawford had a team-high 26 points after remaining with the Clippers after the trade deadline

When Jamal Crawford woke up Thursday morning he wasn't sure he was going to remain a Clipper.

His name had been circulating around the rumor mill leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

Crawford, the reigning sixth man of the year, was emotionally drained before the Clippers played  the San Antonio Spurs later that evening at Staples Center.

"You've been in that position before but it's still hard, you're still human," he said.

Let's just say he didn't respond by pouting.

Crawford had a team-high 26 points on eight-for-15 shooting, including making five three-pointers, in the Clippers 119-115 win over the Spurs.

"I've always prided myself on being professional, no matter what's going on," he said. "I think this stuff honestly affects my family more, and that's the part that bothers me. I understand that it's a business and stuff happens, but [my son is] in school and he wouldn't understand if I took him out of school and go wherever. So that's the part that bothers me."

With the Clippers trailing by nine points in the third quarter, their biggest deficit of the game, Crawford made three three-pointers to help his team cut the deficit to two entering the fourth quarter. The final seconds of the third quarter also featured a crossover move by Crawford that sent Patty Mills onto one knee.

"You're kind of in the moment, so you see it, but you're like, 'I didn't really see that, he didn't really fall,'" Crawford said. "It kind of messed me up on the shot afterwards."

Then with 32.7 seconds left and the Clippers up by one point, 112-111, Crawford made a three-pointer to give the Clippers a 115-111 lead. He had seven points in the final three minutes.

"It's really special," Crawford said of that final three-pointer. "It's weird because some shots I kind of know they're going in before the crowd does, so I'm waiting on their reaction. And that one, I think [Tony] Parker put a hand in my face so I was hoping the crowd would be loud."

They were.

And they were loud long before that shot.

Crawford said that as rumors were flying that the Clippers were looking to use him as the centerpiece of a trade, fans made sure to let him know how much they disapproved of that possibility.

"They were so supportive," Crawford said. "I saw probably 90% of them saying they didn't want me to go, and tweeting at L.A. Clippers, making sure they saw it too. It's humbling, it shows that your work doesn't go unnoticed."

Twitter: @melissarohlin

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