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Clippers will get back to regular practice after a grueling month

Coach Doc Rivers says team skipped official practice instead of resting players during games

Doc Rivers is giving the rest talk a break.

Now that the Clippers are on the verge of completing a 26-day stretch without more than one day off between games, their coach said he did not expect to rest players as he had previously planned.

The Clippers will get a two-day break Thursday and Friday after playing the New York Knicks on Wednesday, their first breather of that length since they had Dec. 4 and 5 off.

"We're still going through all these games," Rivers said Monday before the Clippers played the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. "We have this one and the next one, and then we can really get back to fixing some of the slippage that I think we have."

The Clippers have opted not to practice instead of resting players, holding their last official practice Dec. 11 in Washington. Rivers has said his team would stage its next session later this week.

The coach did admit one regret: not resting his starters more liberally Saturday during the Clippers' 110-98 loss to Toronto.

"You don't get do-overs, obviously, in anything," Rivers said, "[but] I would have loved to have that game back the other night. ... I would have absolutely rested them in the game more."

Rivers said he also considered resting players during back-to-back games last week against San Antonio and Atlanta, "but for a lot of reasons, we didn't want to do it." The Clippers lost both games.

Rivers said all the rest talk could lead to psychological fallout among players.

"The more we talk about all this stuff," he said, "the more I think some guys believe they need it, you know what I mean?"

Count Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick among those who feel adequately refreshed.

"I don't feel like I need rest," Redick said. "We're paid to play games, so we have a lot of games this month, we have a lot of games in a short amount of time, it's what we're supposed to do."

Slip-sliding away?

Rivers has already identified his top priority once the Clippers resume practice.

"Our transition D is the first thing that we've really slipped on," he said. "So we have to fix that."

The Clippers also entered Monday ranked 14th in the NBA in three-point defense, allowing opponents to shoot 35.1% from that distance. They led the league in that category last season, surrendering only 33.2%.

Redick said the Clippers' defensive problems were interconnected.

"There's a small micro-second breakdown of trust," Redick said. "And all of a sudden somebody's got a layup or somebody's got an open three."

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