They sat on the bench late in the fourth quarter with the look of defeat on their faces, the look of a team unsure of how to stop this slide the Clippers are on.
They have floundered since the All-Star break, the Clippers' 112-101 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center one more step in the wrong direction.
If there was a positive in a game where the Clippers' carelessness with the basketball led to 23 turnovers, it was that Chris Paul revealed that his thumb was OK after being hit on it early in the game.
Paul had missed 14 games this season after having left thumb surgery to repair a torn ligament. He was in pain during the game against the Bucks, but played through that, scoring 16 of his 21 points in the third to help the Clippers turn a 23-point deficit into just a three-point shortfall in the quarter.
"I'm all right," Paul said after going 7-for-11 from the field and 5-for-6 from three-point range. "I knew it was going to hurt one of these days when I got hit in it. So I got hit in good, but I'm cool. No, I wasn't worried."
The Clippers are more distressed about their play since the week-long break, their 1-4 record cause for concern.
"We need to get out of this rut because we're in one right now, there's no doubt about that," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said.
Blake Griffin had another stellar game, nearly producing a triple-double with 21 points on an efficient 6-for-9 shooting, nine rebounds and eight assists.
But he also had five of his team's turnovers and was hit with a double-technical foul along with Greg Monroe after the Bucks reserve center pushed Griffin in the back, causing both players to square off.
"Guys are frustrated, for sure," Griffin said in a quiet Clippers locker room after the game. "Disappointed. Angry. I mean, you can kind of use a variation of all those. But, you still got basketball left to play, still got to figure it out. It's not the end of the world. We've got another one [Saturday] night [in Chicago], a big one … That's the best part about the NBA."
Sixteen Clippers turnovers in the first half led to 30 points for the Bucks (27-33) and it gave them 20 more shot opportunities.
The Clippers (36-25) recovered some in the third quarter, pulling to within 77-74.
But two more turnovers after that put the Clippers in a hole they never climbed out of, leaving them in a bad state with 21 regular-season games left.
"I'm trying to be positive," said J.J. Redick after scoring 10 points and turning the ball over three times. "I think there has been a series of low points this season. This is probably another one. We were down 30 [it was actually 31] the other night against Houston, getting booed by our home crowd. That was a low point. We've had low points. Umm, yeah."