Clippers talk the talk, then roll past Grizzlies, 114-98

Clippers talk the talk, then roll past Grizzlies, 114-98
Clippers point guard Chris Paul pulls up for a shot against Grizzlies guard Andrew Harrison during the first half. (Brandon Dill / Associated Press)

The film session was scrapped. The walk-through was aborted.

Instead of those normal game-day occurrences, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers opted to have a clear-the-air team meeting early Thursday in which every player was allowed to express himself.

The differences the Clippers have had about a porous defense and a lack of trust on offense were all discussed in that meeting, leading to a group effort that pushed L.A. to a 114-98 victory over the struggling Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.

"It was a long meeting, but it was a truthful meeting," Rivers said. "We just talked. There wasn't any screaming. It was just a good team discussion about what we want to be and what we need to do.


"I thought a lot of guys added to it. I think a lot of times it's one voice and it wasn't today. I think every single player said something. We only were telling the truth. I thought that was good too. I think guys came out with less anxiety."

And they came out with a better defensive intensity.

The Clippers had given up more than 100 points in all eight of their games since the All-Star break before keeping the Grizzlies under the century mark.

"We know we haven't played the way we should," said Blake Griffin, who was two assists shy of a triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. "So sometimes just scrapping the film, scrapping the walk-through and just talking and letting guys get some frustrations out, talk about what they're seeing…

"Sometimes you miss something."

Along with improved defense, the Clippers were more efficient on offense, shooting 51.3% from the field and getting 24 assists on their 40 field goals.

They had six players score in double figures, led by Austin Rivers’ 20 points and Chris Paul’s 19 points and seven assists.

"Like as a player, sometimes you don't see things from the same perspective," Griffin said. "So hearing from everybody in the meeting was good. Hearing from Doc was good. I think we all walked away all feeling like we need to do our individual jobs better to make the team better."

Jamal Crawford made things better at the end of the third quarter, hoisting a 49-foot jumper that settled into the net to give the Clippers an 85-65 cushion.

Doc Rivers smiled, shook his head and slapped hands with Crawford as he walked toward the bench. Paul leaped off the bench for a chest-bump with Crawford, who scored nine of his 14 points in the second half.

So on this night in which the Clippers handed the Grizzlies their fourth consecutive loss, L.A. had gotten good vibes from a much-needed meeting.

"I had the film queued," Doc Rivers said. "We were about to watch film and I just said, 'You know what, we're not watching film. We're not even going to do a walk-through.' We didn't do anything on Memphis. We just decided to talk about our team. I opened it up and they went from there."

Twitter: @BA_Turner