DeAndre Jordan knows what he's here to do in the NBA.
Rebound. Defend. Dunk lob passes, set picks and make putbacks.
Anything else is a bonus. And Jordan put the Clippers in bonus territory Wednesday night at Staples Center.
He made the two free throws that helped spark a fourth-quarter comeback during a 102-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Jordan's free throws, with 3 1/2 minutes left, put the Clippers ahead for good on a night when he made seven of 15 attempts from the foul line, keeping roughly in line with his 44.8% accuracy from that spot this season.
A career 42.6% free-throw shooter, Jordan has made improving his stroke a priority this season, often staying after practice until he makes 100 foul shots.
The days he looks up after completing his routine and rookie C.J. Wilcox and second-year forward Reggie Bullock are still in the gym are considered good days; the ones where no one else is around are bad ones.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers praised Jordan for his work on his free throws but stressed that his primary value lies in other areas.
"My gosh, what he's doing every night is unbelievable," Rivers said after the victory over the Pacers. "He does it every night, doesn't ask for the ball, sets picks, rolls, still scores because he's so active. He's the perfect guy to have on the team, he really is. Especially a team when you have a bunch of guys who want to score, you need a D.J., and we have him, and the way he's playing has just been remarkable."
Jordan is averaging a league-leading 13.0 rebounds per game while making 72.1% of his shots. He recently said he was working on developing an off-the-glass jump shot on the right side of the block, though he is attempting only 5.4 shots per game this season, down from 6.3 a year ago.
"I'm just trying to get better at different things and just pick what I like the most," Jordan said.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul wore an "I Can't Breathe" T-shirt when he met with reporters Wednesday night in a protest against Eric Garner's death at the hands of a New York police officer who put Garner in a chokehold.
"We all have a platform; some people choose to use it in different ways, but people do pay attention," Paul said. "I have kids of my own who I'm trying to teach, teach them about the world and the community."
CLIPPERS AT DENVER
When: 6 p.m. PST Friday.
Where: Pepsi Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330.
Records: Clippers 18-7; Nuggets 10-15.
Record vs. Nuggets (2013-14): 2-2.
Update: Denver has continued to struggle under second-year Coach Brian Shaw, who has turned Team USA standout Kenneth Faried into a middling NBA power forward and has failed to capitalize on his team's depth. The Nuggets are only 6-6 at their mile-high home, which has long been considered one of the NBA's most harrowing venues. "Denver is tough for everybody," Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. "I think after the first eight minutes everybody thinks they have asthma. I know my lips are super chapped after the first timeout."