Clippers have first real practice in nearly a month

During a crowded game schedule the last month, Rivers canceled practices instead of resting stars during games

The Clippers went somewhere Friday that they haven't been in nearly a month.

Their practice facility.

Since Dec. 5, the date they held what they consider to be their last real practice, the Clippers have played games at least every other day. That exhausting stretch hasn't given them a chance to work on much.

So on Friday, their first chance to really hone in on their issues, it wasn't suprising that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin said they hope to concentrate on defense.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he plans to work on that and more.

"I think offense too," he said. "I think we've got to work on the whole game. I think we've slipped in a lot of areas in our execution. The word would be execution, and you could throw defense in."

The Clippers have won three of their last four games and are in sixth place in the Western Conference, 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Golden State Warriors.

Over the past month, Rivers chose to cancel practices instead of resting his star players during games. He said he consults the players to a certain extent before he makes such decisions.

"I try to use what I hear from them and use my own judgment," Rivers said. "It's one of those things you get wrong half of the time and get right half of the time, and you just live with it."

Rivers said the practice will be the usual hour-and-a-half length because the team plays Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center at 7:30 p.m.

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