Reggie Bullock starts at small forward for Clippers

Reggie Bullock starts at small forward for Clippers
Coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers saw a familiar face on Sunday -- former Clipper Reggie Bullock, who was traded to the Suns earlier this month. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers used a new starting small forward Monday against the Charlotte Hornets.

It was nothing to get overly excited about; the change came only because Matt Barnes was sidelined because of a sore left calf.


Reggie Bullock made his first career NBA start in Barnes' place and made a minimal impact, finishing with three points and two rebounds in 19 minutes during the Clippers' 113-92 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena.

His first two shots didn't come anywhere close to going in, a corner three-pointer nicking the rim and a 26-footer falling well short of the basket for an airball. He then made a corner three-pointer in the second quarter for his only points.

On the plus side, Bullock's offense is secondary in importance to his defense, and he helped hold Gerald Henderson to eight points on three-for-11 shooting.

"I can't really care about making shots, just going out and playing tough and just playing hard defense," said Bullock, a Kinston, N.C., native and former North Carolina Tar Heel who played the game with his 2-year-old son among a group of family and friends in attendance.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he started Bullock because he wanted to keep alternate options Jamal Crawford and Hedo Turkoglu playing together as part of the second unit.

Barnes said he expected to miss the Clippers' game against Detroit on Wednesday but hoped to return by the next game against Houston on Friday.

The veteran said he initially hurt his calf against Portland on Nov. 8 but continued to play through the discomfort because he was starting to find a rhythm after a slow start to the season. Then he aggravated his calf in the second quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, forcing him to sit out the game against the Hornets.

Ferguson discussion

The Clippers watched the initial aftermath of a St. Louis County grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager on a television in their locker room.

Forward Blake Griffin seemed moved watching footage of the racially charged situation in Ferguson, Mo., pausing several times during his postgame interview to collect his thoughts.

"I don't think it's my position to say, 'This is messed up or this is wrong,'" Griffin said of the grand jury's decision. "But I think about the people who have been affected by it and supporting everybody who was hurt."

The Clippers endured a racially motivated controversy last spring when then-owner Donald Sterling made disparaging remarks about blacks and was forced to sell the team.

"Whenever there's a controversy, especially when it's racial, I think it's easy and popular to come out and say something," Griffin said. "I think it's just good to know that people have support.

"Not comparing this [to the Clippers' ordeal] by any means, but when we were going through our thing, it seemed like everybody wanted to tell us what we should do instead of just being like, 'We're there for you.' This is on a whole another scale or level."