Jamal Crawford helped Clippers even score with Warriors

first_img“Jamal is just good,” said Rivers, whose team plays host to the Toronto Raptors (22-7) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday (on Prime Ticket). “He’s a professional scorer. What I love about him … he can miss five in a row and it doesn’t faze him. He knows what he can do. Once he gets one to go in, the rim seems to open up for him and get bigger.“We needed every point he had.”Crawford shot 8 of 18 (44.4 percent) from the field, 4 of 10 (40 percent) from 3-point range. He came in having made just 16 of his previous 50 shots for 32 percent, 6 of 20 from 3-point range for 30 percent).Crawford is of the mind this was indeed a huge victory.“It definitely is, it really is,” Crawford said. “There are games during the course of the season where no matter what you say, it means a little bit more. Obviously, the whole country — the whole world — was watching this game. They’re (the Warriors) playing as good as anybody in the NBA. Golden State walloped the Clippers by 17 points on Nov. 5 in Oakland. It was an embarrassing loss for the Clippers, who trailed by 27 points after three quarters.That’s why the 100-86 victory for the Clippers in the Christmas night rematch at Staples Center was huge for Los Angeles.Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the victory didn’t necessarily build confidence because his team was already confident. But the Clippers had to be wondering just how good they were heading into the game, not just because of what happened in early November, but because they were just 4-7 against teams with winning records.The Clippers (20-10), who had lost three of their previous four games and five of eight, can give a lot of thanks to sixth-man Jamal Crawford. He scored a game-high 24 points, getting 12 of those points during a fourth quarter when the Clippers worked hard to seal the deal. He made one clutch shot after another and even had two assists in the fourth. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “We’re trying to continue to be consistent and get back on track, so I thought it was good.”Crawford also pulled down seven rebounds for the second consecutive game; the 6-foot-5 guard averages just 1.9 board. He’s averaging 16.4 points.Warriors suddenly strugglingGolden State (23-5) recently won 16 consecutive games and entered play Christmas night having won 18 of 20. Including their surprising loss Tuesday to the Lakers, they have now lost two games in succession.“Very poor execution,” said first-year coach Steve Kerr, whose team still owns the league’s best record. “We had a chance to be up 15 at halftime. Some of it was just strange, simple plays. We missed a couple of dunks, missed a couple of open shots. Some of it was … we’re out of whack right now offensively. We’re not in the same groove we’ve been in. The ball is not moving.”Perhaps guard Steph Curry said it best.“We’re not invincible,” he said.Scouting the RaptorsToronto enters Saturday’s game against the Clippers atop the Eastern Conference. The Raptors are being led by point guard Kyle Lowry in scoring (20.0), assists (7.7) and steals (1.4). Jonas Valanciunas – a 7-foot center – averages 12.2 points and a team-best 8.8 rebounds.Toronto has not played since losing 129-120 at Chicago on Monday. The Raptors had won six consecutive games.last_img