Clippers lose battle for offensive rebounds to Lakers

Jordan Hill gets control of a loose ball in front of Chris Paul during the Lakers' 116-103 home-opening win over the Clippers on Tuesday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers have expectations of becoming an elite team in the NBA, but they still have work to do.

It wasn’t just that the Clippers lost to the Lakers, 116-103, Tuesday night at Staples Center.


But it was that the Clippers lost to a Lakers team missing Kobe Bryant and a Lakers team many think could miss the playoffs this season.

One big issue for the Clippers was giving up too many offensive rebounds to the Lakers. They gave up 18 offensive boards, leading to 30 second-chance points for the Lakers.

For the game, the Clippers were outrebounded by the Lakers, 52-40.

Five Clippers scored in double figures, led by Blake Griffin’s 19 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Clippers from losing their season opener.

Rivers embracesClippers’ past

Doc Rivers isn’t afraid to the talk about the Clippers’ horrible history.

In fact, the first-year Clippers coach wants his players and the organization to embrace its poor past.

That way, Rivers said, when the Clippers do earn some success that he and everyone else in the Clippers Nation expects to come soon, it will be all the sweeter.

“You can say it. It’s OK. It doesn’t hurt us,” Rivers said. “It’s the truth and we’ve decided not to run from the truth, really. I came from a decorated team to undecorated and that’s what we want to try to forge ahead, to try to have some decorations.”

The decorated team Rivers is talking about is the Boston Celtics, with their 17 NBA titles, whom he spent nine seasons coaching.

Rivers helped put up one of those championship banners in 2008.

The undecorated is the Clippers, who have never won an NBA title, and just won their first-ever Pacific Division title last season.

“You don’t have the Bill Russells to call and talk to the team,” Rivers said of the Clippers. “You don’t have that history. We have to forge our own, so that makes it’s more difficult, obviously, but if you can succeed I think the feeling of success is greater.”

From the first day Rivers arrived, he was all about changing the Clippers’ culture. He was all about winning.

“We just have to keep building and get better,” Rivers said. “We have to stay focused on that boring process that everyone talks about, but that’s what you have to do.

“There’s no shortcuts and there’s no guarantees. That’s the neat part to me is that when you want something that’s great, there’s no guarantees. You open your heart up to your team, your team opens it up to you and you take the risk of getting your heart broken. I’ve had my heart broken many times and it’s damned worth it. It absolutely is worth it.”


Clippers backup point guard Darren Collison, whose wife had a baby boy named Kinston on Monday night, played despite a bruised left kneecap. He scored nine points in 12 minutes.

Twitter: @BA_Turner