Visiting fans take away Clippers' home-court edge, says Blake Griffin

Visiting fans take away Clippers' home-court edge, says Blake Griffin
Clippers power forward Blake Griffin is disappointing in the home crowds at Staples Center. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Steve Ballmer bellowed into the microphone a message from his players.

"They said the first quarter can be a little lonely," the Clippers owner told season ticket-holders during an event in October at Universal Studios, imploring them to arrive earlier and cheer louder.


It's often felt this season as if they have done neither.

Blake Griffin became the second Clippers star to question the decibel level inside Staples Center after Golden State fans frequently muffled their more numerous counterparts Tuesday night during the Warriors' 110-106 victory.

"Home-court advantage is just not there for us," Griffin said. "If that's how it feels in the playoffs, it's not looking good."

Large pockets of Golden State fans loudly cheered Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson throughout the Warriors' second-half comeback and chanted "M-V-P!" when Curry shot free throws.

There have been times this season when it's hard to tell who is the home team inside Staples Center. The Clippers' in-house deejay, DJ Dense, often proclaims during games that "they say we're the loudest fans in the NBA," but not even Clippers players seem to believe that.

Center DeAndre Jordan called the Clippers' loss to Miami in January at Staples Center a "road" game because of repeated "Let's go, Heat!" chants. There were similar chants supporting the visiting team when the Chicago Bulls beat the Clippers in December.

"I don't know what we could do, but it would be great if it wasn't that way," Griffin said Tuesday. "It's kind of like when we play the Lakers — I don't know, maybe worse. It's one of those things where it would be great if it wasn't like that."

The Clippers can't complain about a lack of fan presence; the team has sold out 181 consecutive home games, the sixth-longest active streak in the NBA.

Moving target

Chris Paul didn't mind poking a little fun at himself on April Fool's Day.

The Clippers point guard retweeted a digitally altered photo of himself playing Twister alongside three children after Curry contorted Paul's body with a double behind-the-back dribble in the second quarter Tuesday. Paul added the hashtag "GottaLaughAtYourself."

Other Paul memes circulating on the Internet included one of his head superimposed on that of a young Forrest Gump with bulky leg braces and one proclaiming "The new CP3's" with a photo of Paul's iconic shoes atop skates and the tagline "Designed by Stephen Curry."

Just for kicks

Reserve forward Glen Davis was fined $15,000 for kicking a seat cushion into the stands at TD Garden on Sunday during the Clippers' victory over the Boston Celtics. Davis booted the cushion in frustration during a fourth-quarter timeout as the Celtics were staging a rally that prompted Coach Doc Rivers to reinsert his starters.


Growth opportunity

Rivers, on sixth man Jamal Crawford traveling with the Clippers again despite being out with a right calf injury: "I just think he wanted us to see his new hairdo. He's trying to grow an Afro and I think he doesn't realize how old he is and it's not going to happen, but I don't want to break that news to him."

Twitter: @latbbolch