Slumping Clippers are in need of a victory

Inside the somber confines of the Clippers is a group grappling with mounting losses.

Containing their frustration will be paramount if the Clippers are to dig out of their six-game swoon following Monday night’s defeat to Philadelphia.

The Clippers’ 4-0 start seems like it was eons ago considering they have gone 1-8 since.

“You just have to understand it’s a long season,” forward Blake Griffin said late Monday night. “We’re banged up. A couple of wins will turn this around. I’ve been in this long enough to know that.”

It bears repeating that the Clippers must improve their defense if they want to break free of the losing. And it bears repeating that the Clippers must execute and trust their offensive system if they want to taste victory.

“There’s no magic formula. We have to play harder, we have to play better. But, yeah, we just have to keep playing,” Griffin said.

The Clippers begin a five-game trip Friday in Cleveland.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We go out on the road now and play Cleveland in the first game. So we have a rough road trip coming up.

“Again, I like the positives, which is how hard we are playing. The negatives are that we are losing games and we have to be better.”

Rookies give effort

Out of necessity, the Clippers have been forced to throw rookies Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans into action because of injuries in the backcourt.

The two guards keep showing improvement.

Thornwell has been a starter the last three games. He has played in all 13 games and is averaging 4.6 points in 15.1 minutes per game.

Evans has become a key contributor off the bench. He has played in six games and has averaged 5.3 points in 13.2 minutes per game.

Their growth has mostly been on the defensive end.

“I thought our young guys were playing hard,” Rivers said. “Sindarius and Jawun, I think they have been terrific overall.”

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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