Nearly a week before the calendar flipped to 2016, it felt like it was 2008 again for
There was a dunk in the first quarter, a flurry of three-pointers in the third quarter and another three-pointer in the final minute Saturday during the
Or maybe not all that startling, as far as Pierce was concerned.
"There's a lot of things I can still do," the 38-year-old said defiantly after the game.
Pierce made six of 11 shots, including five of seven from three-point range, and finished with a season-high 20 points — five times his average of 4.0 points entering the game.
"I'm not the go-to scorer I was years back where they would give it to me in isolation," Pierce said. "I do a good job really playing off our stars pretty much and that's what I was able to do today."
The Clippers needed every point in their first game this season without All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who will be sidelined at least two weeks because of a partially torn left quadriceps tendon he sustained Friday against the Lakers.
Josh Smith started the game against the Jazz at power forward, but Pierce finished it emphatically, his final three-pointer with 28 seconds left clinching the Clippers' second consecutive victory.
"I think part of it is on me as much as it is on him and I've been saying that all year," Rivers said. "But it has to help his confidence and help him get in better rhythm with our guys."
Rivers said he liked the spacing Pierce provided with his three-point shooting and anticipated continuing to use smaller lineups with Griffin out. Pierce figures to be in a lot of them for at least the next two games because the Clippers' opponents — the
Pierce will face the Wizards on Monday at the
Waiting his turn
Branden Dawson admits it. He's getting a little antsy to play in an
The rookie forward has had two stints in the
Of course, actually getting in a game is another matter for a player who was drafted late in the second round, No. 56 overall, out of Michigan State after the Clippers paid the
"I know I've got to keep patiently waiting," Dawson said. "I know my time is going to come and just keep doing the things I have to do."
Playing time has been rare for the three draft picks Rivers has made since joining the Clippers in the summer of 2013.
Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford is 15 points from passing former Lakers star
CLIPPERS AT WASHINGTON
When: 4 PST, Monday.
On the air: TV: Prime; Radio: 980, 1220.
Records: Clippers 18-13;
Record vs. Wizards (2014-15): 1-1.
Update: Washington has won five of eight games — including four in a row — since guard