DeAndre Jordan is testing his coach's contention the NBA is a make-miss league.
The Clippers center has seemingly experienced only half of this equation over his last five games, making 33 of 38 shots (86.8%). The misses have become more noteworthy than the makes amid a stretch in which Jordan has finished two games without missing and two more games in which he has missed only once.
Jordan's misses over the five games read like a bad five-minute stretch for a more high-volume shooter, coming on two tipins, a jumper and two layups. Jordan's makes included 20 dunks, increasing his NBA-leading total to 134.
It was the most accurate five-game stretch since Wilt Chamberlain made 54 of 62 shots (87.1%) for the Philadelphia 76ers from Feb. 17 to March 1, 1967.
Jordan may break one of Chamberlain's NBA records soon enough. Jordan is shooting 72.9% this season, putting him on pace to surpass Chamberlain's mark of 72.7% with the Lakers during the 1972-73 season.
The Clippers did not make Jordan available for interviews before practice Saturday. Coach Doc Rivers credited Jordan's precision to his team's superlative ball movement and Jordan's ability to convert around the basket.
"I think he's a far better finisher this year than he was last year," Rivers said, "where he's ducking in hard and he's scoring in the post."
Jordan is particularly unstoppable within 3 feet of the basket, making 182 of 239 shots (76.2%). He has made six of 17 shots (35.3%) from 3 feet to 10 feet and has missed both of his three-point attempts.
Surprisingly, tip shots and layups qualify as relatively low-percentage shots for Jordan. He has made 12 of 28 tip shots (42.9%) and 34 of 59 layups (57.6%) compared with five of eight hook shots (62.5%) and 134 of 151 dunks (88.7%).
Jordan has talked about improving his seldom-used jump shot, which has been spotty; he has made three of 12 jumpers this season.
Given Jordan's prowess around the basket, might the Clippers eventually feature him more prominently in the post?
"He's improved on it from last year," Rivers said, "so I'm hoping so."
The flip side of Jordan's excellence from the field is his struggles from the free-throw line. He has made 66.0% of his shots in his career, leading all players with at least 2,000 attempts, but has made only 42.2% of his free throws. It is the largest discrepancy between field-goal and free-throw percentage in NBA history.
"D.J. works on his technique and all that; so did Shaq [O'Neal], so did Wilt Chamberlain, so did Bill Russell, so did Dennis Rodman," Rivers said. "They all were bad free-throw shooters. The good news is all those guys won titles, so the proof is you can win titles and not be a great free-throw shooter and that's why I don't overdo it" with Jordan.
Another 10 days
As expected, the Clippers signed veteran guard Dahntay Jones to a second 10-day contract.
Jones averaged 1.0 point and 0.3 rebounds in four games.
The Clippers must sign Jones for the rest of the season or waive him once his new contract expires.
CLIPPERS AT PHOENIX
When: 3 p.m. PST Sunday.
Where: US Airways Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330.
Records: Clippers 29-14; Suns 26-19.
Record vs. Suns: 2-0.
Update: Phoenix's season has been on the upswing, the Suns winning eight of their last 11 games to move into eighth place for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Second-year forward Reggie Bullock has not played since the Suns acquired him from the Clippers this month as part of the trade that sent Austin Rivers to Los Angeles. Former Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe leads the Suns in scoring (16.9 points per game), assists (6.0) and steals (1.6).