‘You can’t be OK with losing,’ Clippers’ Chris Paul says
These are different times with the Clippers, times in which losing is not acceptable.
They have lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season, and it’s something that has eaten away at them.
They lost a tough overtime game to the San Antonio Spurs last Saturday, a game the Clippers felt they gave away. They lost a game to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, a game the Clippers felt they let slip away because of poor defense.
They will face a Denver Nuggets team Wednesday night at Staples Center that is 3-7 in its last 10 games.
But the Nuggets beat the Clippers at Staples Center on Feb. 2 by 21 points.
“It’s like the good and the bad with our team,” Chris Paul said after practice Tuesday. “I think it’s great that we’re mad about losing. I think that’s a good thing. The bad part about that is that we did lose. So we’ve got to correct some things and we’ve got to come out tomorrow night and give a good showing against Denver. We owe those guys.”
The Clippers are 19-11, good for the fourth-best record in the Western Conference.
“We have to” beat Denver, Paul said. “You can’t be OK with losing. As you can see, that’s the case with our team. It’s always nice to smile and high-five and stuff like that. But if you see us after the game, we’re mad when guys walk into the locker room. That’s a good sign that we care. But it’s a bad sign because it means we lost.”
The Clippers have one game left before the All-Star break this weekend.
Their goal is to play hard and finish the first half of the season on a winning note.
“If we can get this win going into All-Star break, that will give us 20 wins going into it, making us 20-11. We’d be all right,” DeAndre Jordan said. “We definitely need that momentum heading into the All-Star break.”
Paul has reminded his teammates not to look ahead to this weekend before they take care of business against the Nuggets at home.
“We’ve got to get that momentum back, especially now on our home court,” Paul said. “We’re 1-1 against that [Denver] team. They pretty much embarrassed us last time on our home court. So we’ve got to come out ready to play. It’s always a good feeling going into All-Star break with a win.”
Still working on it
The Clippers may be 30 games into the regular season, but they maintained that they still are developing chemistry.
That’s because starting guard Chauncey Billups (season-ending left Achilles’ tendon injury) has been gone for the last eight games and Kenyon Martin, who was acquired Feb 3, has played in just eight games so far with the Clippers.
“It’s still an adjustment period,” Mo Williams said. “We’re winning games and we’re losing some we feel like down the road we’ll win. Right now, we’re just not pulling them out. We’ve pulled some out. I think we’re doing pretty good for where we are.”
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