Clippers starters find themselves playing ‘too many minutes’

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, right, defends Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto during the second half on Tuesday.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Patrick Beverley sat on a chair inside the Clippers’ locker room, his sweat having soaked his uniform after 42 minutes, 28 seconds against Utah on Tuesday night.

Even Beverley had to admit his workload was way too much.

But this is the quandary the Clippers find themselves in after losing starting point guard Milos Teodosic, who went down indefinitely because of a plantar fascia injury to his left foot.

All of the starters played extra minutes in the victory over the Jazz, putting added stress on the Clippers.


“A lot of guys played a lot of minutes, including myself,” Beverley said. “So, it’s important for rest and recovery right now.”

Danilo Gallinari was second in minutes played, logging 38:44. DeAndre Jordan played 36:54, followed by Blake Griffin at 36:43 and Austin Rivers at 34:39.

Essentially, the Clippers are down to a three-guard rotation.

Beverley, Rivers and sixth-man Lou Williams will carry the burden until Teodosic recovers.

When asked how this can work, Beverley smiled and shook his head.

“We have to get a lot of rest, brother,” he said. “This is new to me. Playmaking and playing both ends of the floor is new to me. So, I’ve got to make sure I keep an eye on that and going to get my rest, and stuff like that.”

Beverly had seven turnovers against the Jazz. But he refused to say it was because he was tired from playing defense, from running the offense, from being an active scorer.

“I don’t think we executed as well,” Beverley said. “That’s up to me. I had seven turnovers. I’ve got to do better in that case.”

The Clippers were given Wednesday off to rest, recover and get treatment.

They’ll be back at it again Thursday night in Portland in a game against the Trail Blazers.

And it’ll be another challenge for Clippers coach Doc Rivers to divvy up the playing time so he can avoid taxing his players like he did against the Jazz.

“Too many minutes, yeah, too many minutes,” Rivers said. “Used them today, but that’s too many, really by everyone. The first thing I saw from a coaching standpoint when I looked at the stat sheet, I didn’t like the minutes. That’ll change.

“I’ve just got to expand it. Right now, that’s just too many minutes.”

On a positive note, the Clippers had balanced scoring with the heavy workload.

Griffin led the way with 22 points, Beverley 19, Austin 16, Gallinari 14 and Jordan 11.

“I loved it, ” Doc Rivers said. “We weren’t predicable. … Our whole motto is, ‘Hit the open guy. Then if you’re the open guy, shoot it.’ It’s a simple game when you play it that way.”



When: 7 p.m. Thursday.

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

Update: The Clippers will be greeted by one of the best backcourts in the NBA in Trail Blazers guards CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. McCollum is seventh in the league in scoring, averaging 25.7 points a game on 54.9% shooting from the field, 66.7% from three-point range. Lillard is tied for 26th in scoring, putting up 21 points per game.

Twitter: @BA_Turner