Clippers focus on the inbounds pass

Reporting from Oakland -- The Clippers have read about it in stories, heard about it on television and on the radio and listened to it from family members, friends and fans.

Yes, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said, his team does practice inbounding the basketball frequently.

He said they work on end-of-game situations, last-second plays, two-pointers, tipins, three-pointers, side out of bounds and full-court stuff.

It became an issue for the Clippers after Ryan Gomes' inbounds pass to Chris Paul during Saturday's game against the San Antonio Spurs led to a turnover.

Gomes inbounded the ball with 9.5 seconds left and the Clippers holding a three-point lead. His pass led Paul toward the half-court line. Trying to avoid a violation because his momentum was taking him in the backcourt, Paul caught the ball and leaped into the air and threw a pass right to Gary Neal.

Neal made a three-pointer to tie the score. The Clippers lost in overtime.

"You have to clean up some execution and some timing and make some adjustments, there's no question about that," Del Negro said. "There are all those frustrations that come into play, but no one is going to feel sorry for you. We've handled some things in the fourth quarter well sometimes during the season. That one obviously is glaring considering who we were playing and the situation. No one is happy about it. But you've got to move on."

Gomes also had a difficult time inbounding the ball for the Clippers when they played at Philadelphia on Feb. 10. His pass to Caron Butler led to a turnover and to a foul on Butler. The Clippers got away with a win in that game.

"It's funny. Ryan has been taking the ball out since he got here," Del Negro said. "We had a little bit of some bad execution in Philadelphia and we worked on it in practice and we went over things. Then we weren't able to execute it against San Antonio. So, yeah, there are some adjustments that we can make and that we've made. Hopefully, next time we're in that situation, we'll handle it better."

Jordan's fourth-quarter minutes down

DeAndre Jordan has seen his playing time decrease in the fourth quarter of games since Kenyon Martin signed a free-agent contract Feb. 3 with the Clippers.

Martin played in his first game as a Clipper on Feb. 8 at Cleveland.

"One, I think that D.J. will play in the fourth quarter," Del Negro said. "I think that Kenyon's experience and Kenyon's ability to switch pick-and-rolls — like last game against Tony Parker — and just his ability to read in terms of his experience is an asset that we have and we want to utilize it. But D.J. needs to play more in the fourth quarter at times."

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