Clippers struggle in several areas in Game 5 loss to Spurs

Forget DeAndre Jordan’s tip-in that was ruled offensive interference with 4.9 seconds left. The reason the Clippers lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 111-107, in Game 5 of the first-round NBA playoff series goes way beyond that play.

Here are some factors that contributed to into the Clippers’ loss:

Three-point shooting

The Clippers missed 13 of their 14 three-point attempts, shooting a dreadful 7.1% from beyond the arc. The Spurs, on the other hand, made 11 of their 23 three-point attempts (47.8%).


Said Jamal Crawford: “It’s pretty shocking. I"m not sure we had a lot of games like that this season. They made an adjustment, went into a zone, and it threw us out of our rhythm a little bit. But we’ll adjust.

Bench play

The Clippers’ bench was outscored by the Spurs’ reserves, 48-17.

Said Crawford: “They had different guys stepping up at different times, taking big shots, and timely shots, and I think it gave their team confidence.”


Calls not going their way

There were several controversial calls in Tuesday’s game that left Clippers’ Coach Doc Rivers steaming and the the team’s fans screaming.

There was the technical foul against Paul after he threw the ball hard to the referee that cost the Clippers a point in the fourth quarter. There was the traveling call on Blake Griffin. There was the sixth foul called on J.J. Redick that sent him to the bench.

Said Rivers: “I thought we had some really tough calls. Some brutal calls. You think about playoffs and they are single-possession games. It’s not why we lost, but those are big plays for us.”


Free throws

The Clippers missed 16 free throws, making only 26 of their 42 shots (61.9%) from the charity stripe. The Spurs used the hack-a-Jordan strategy, sending the Clippers’ center to the free-throw line 16 times -- he only made seven of those shots. Griffin also missed four of his 14 free-throw attempts.

The Clippers now will play an elimination Game 6 in San Antonio on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Said Jordan: “We’ve just got to go win a basketball game. We can’t put too much pressure on ourselves. Even if we had won [Tuesday], we would have still liked to win there, so we are in the same situation that we would have been in.”