Clippers’ Jordan sinks fans’ hopes for free yogurt

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan made 10 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter on Saturday.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

The in-game promotion Saturday night called for Minnesota Timberwolves fans to receive free yogurt the following day if a player from an opposing team missed two consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter.

So when notoriously free-throw challenged DeAndre Jordan stepped to the line time and time and time again for the Clippers in the final 12 minutes, the fans inside the Target Center roared with approval, sensing they were going to get their delight.

But, boy, were they wrong.

Jordan didn’t miss the required back-to-back misses on the same trip to the free-throw line in the fourth.


The big center actually made 10 of the 16 free throws he shot in the final quarter, his 62.5% shooting the highest free-throw percentage of Jordan’s career on at least 10 attempts.

“We all hate yogurt,” Blake Griffin, laughing, said late Saturday night. “The fans really wanted that yogurt … The win? They were getting loud for that yogurt.”

Jordan was in this position to shoot so many free throws because the Timberwolves went to the “Hack-A-Jordan” in the fourth.

Jordan is a 41.1% career free-throw shooter, so the plan made sense, even if it really didn’t work out so well.

“It’s one game, man,” Jordan said, still sounding exasperated despite his relatively good night at the free-throw line.

The Clippers were holding an 11-point lead with five minutes, 43 seconds left in the game when Timberwolves center Cole Aldrich, the ex-Clippers reserve, wrapped up Jordan.

The grabbing is a constant way to intentionally foul Jordan. So he was asked what his thoughts are on that strategy.

“Damn, why you grab me so hard?” Jordan said, smiling. “It’s more of a tackle. It’s not like a grab. Or it’s like a shiver. But it’s cool. I’m used to it.”

Then after he gets to free-throw line after the physical abuse, the holding, pulling and yanking at his chiseled 6-11 body, now what?

“I just try to breathe a little bit,” Jordan said. “You do so much running up and down, you’re like, ‘Err!.’ When I get up there, I want to be relaxed. I just try to calm down, focus and knock them down.”

Jordan works with Clippers assistant coach Armond Hill every day on his free throws.

Sustained success is what Jordan is seeking from the free-throw line.

“You see it in spurts, up and down,” said Jordan, who’s making 46% of his free throws this season. “I don’t want it to go this way, have it be a like a roller coaster. But (Saturday) night was a good night, (Friday) night was OK. But if it’s a night I’m not making them, that’s why we got Mo (Speights). He comes in and he’s going to knock them down and they are not going to do it. Then we’re going to continue to get stops. If we’re up big, then I don’t have to go back in. But if we’re not, I’ll go back in and we’ll get stops and we’ll figure it out.”



When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.

Records: Clippers 9-1; Nets 4-5.

Record vs. Nets: Clippers 2-0 (2015-16 season).

Update: The Clippers have an NBA-best six-game winning streak. Nets center Brook Lopez leads the team in scoring, averaging 19.4 points per game. Forward Trevor Booker leads the team in rebounding (8.9) and Jeremy Lin leads team in assists (6.2), but he has been out with a left hamstring injury.

Twitter: @BA_Turner