The Clippers on Sunday rolled out their fifth starting lineup in as many games, starting Paul Pierce at forward in place of Lance Stephenson. That did little to change the team’s fortunes, though, with Pierce taking only two shots and grabbing only one rebound in 19 minutes.
Guard J.J. Redick, who scored a team-high 17 points, blamed that on the off-season loss of Matt Barnes, which has left the team searching for a fifth starter.
“I’d love to have the same starting lineup every night,” Redick said. “It would be nice to get some continuity because we need to get off to better starts.”
Teammate Chris Paul wasn’t buying that, though.
Forward Blake Griffin, who along with center DeAndre Jordan are the only Clippers to have started all 13 games this season, agreed with Paul.
“It’s not just one person,” he said. “It’s on all of us. It’s on our leaders, myself, C.P., D.J. We need to do a better job. I need to do a better job.
“But it’s not on one person at the end of the day.”
Half full, half empty
If anything good came out of Sunday’s game for the Clippers, it would be the team’s play in the second half, when they outscored the Toronto Raptors, 46-28.
That was only the fourth time in 11 games the Clippers have won the second half. Not that it helped much since they started the half trailing by 29 points.
Raptors forward James Johnson is tied up by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan for a jump ball during the second half.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers questions a call in the second half of the game against the Raptors.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers guard J.J. Redick slips past Raptors forwards Terrence Ross, left, and Luis Scola for a layup in the first half.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers point guard Chris Paul tries to cut off a drive by Raptors guard Corey Joseph during the first half.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Paul Pierce and Raptors forward Luis Scola battle for a loose ball in the first half Sunday.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Raptors guard Kyle Lowry tumbles to the court as he reaches for a loose ball between Clippers forwards Blake Griffin (32) and Wesley Johnson in the second half Sunday.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Raptors guard Cory Joseph and Clippers forward Josh Smith battle for a rebound in the second half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) pulls up for a shot over Clippers forward Blake Griffin and guard Austin Rivers in the second half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan has his reverse layup challenged by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan in the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Clippers forward Paul Pierce tries to score inside against Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll in the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Clippers forward Lance Stephenson is hit in the face by Raptors forward Terrence Ross while trying to make a pass in the first half Sunday at Staples Center.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan dunks against the Raptors in the first half Sunday.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
The Clippers came out of their locker room eight minutes early to begin the second half and Coach Doc Rivers said it may have helped.
“I’m assuming they decided we’re coming out early, get loose. Get ready,” he said. “And it actually worked. They came out and played a dang good third quarter. “
In their previous five losses, the Clippers were outscored by 35 points combined in the third period.
“You’re getting your butt kicked. At home. And at some point you’re either going to give it away and let go of the rope. Or you’re going to try to fight back,” Rivers said.