Clippers turnovers contribute to losses

Chris Paul and the Clippers were careless with the ball in their last two losses

Normally, the Clippers take care of the basketball as well as any team in the NBA.

Normally, Chris Paul takes care of the basketball as well as any player in the NBA.

But in their last two games, the Clippers and Paul were careless with the ball, and that played a role in Los Angeles losing both games on the road.

The Clippers turned over the ball 30 times total between playing at Washington and Milwaukee over the weekend, and Paul turned the ball over 12 times in the two games.

"We're too good offensively to turn the ball over," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "It's like I said before the game: We lead the league in offense, so when we turn the ball over, that's a big turnover because it probably was a basket."

The Clippers average 12 turnovers per game, ranking them as sixth-best in the NBA when it comes to taking care of the basketball.

Paul, who led the NBA in assists/turnovers last season, has handed out 225 assists compared to just 48 turnovers in the Clippers' first 23 games. That ranks Paul second in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.69).

"It's strange. The bad offensive team can turn the ball over. They may or may not have scored," Rivers said. "When we turn the ball over, it's a huge penalty to pay for us. And also the other team scores. We had two games in a row where we had high turnovers, and you lose."

It wasn't just the turnovers that hurt the Clippers in the two losses.

Their defense also was subpar.

They gave up 104 points in the defeat at Washington and 111 at Milwaukee.

"There's definitely been a little bit of slippage," Jamal Crawford said. "[Friday] against Washington, I think it was maybe more so offense than defense. But [Saturday] night it was definitely defense."

No rest for Clippers

The Clippers didn't practice Sunday after traveling from Milwaukee to Los Angeles and won't have a shoot-around Monday before they play host to the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center, preferring to rest instead.

Over the next 17 days, the Clippers play 10 games, including two sets of back-to-back games.

They'll face four of the NBA's best teams — San Antonio, Atlanta, Golden State and Toronto — over that span.

Not only that, but one of the games is at high-altitude Denver, and another is against the same surprising Milwaukee team that defeated the Clippers on Saturday night.

"I think we play every other day or a back-to-back through December," Crawford said. "You just got to grind it out. Everything has got to be a little bit harder, a little bit tougher. Obviously it's the NBA and you can lose on any given night. But everything just has to be done a little bit harder, and you have to find ways to win."


When: 7:30 p.m. PST Monday.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330.

Records: Clippers 16-7, Pistons 5-19.

Record vs. Pistons: 1-0.

Update: The Clippers look to get back on track after losing their last two games. They may have found just the right team to help with that in the Pistons, whom the Clippers have defeated seven consecutive times. Then again, the Pistons have won two consecutive games. The Pistons average 93.4 points per game, third-lowest in the NBA.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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