Chris Kaman’s shove of Chris Paul gave L.A. Clippers ‘more incentive’ in 126-122 victory

first_imgGutsy little Clippers?Under the circumstances – particularly coming off Tuesday’s heartbreaking loss – Wednesday’s was a courageous victory. Paul was funny when he was queried as to whether he would have called his team gutsy two years ago.“My memory is not that good anymore,” he said. “I don’t even remember our team two years ago. I don’t know.”Barnes: Team has bad blood with allInterestingly, the hard-nosed Barnes believes there is a general dislike between the Clippers and, well, everyone.“We have bad blood against the whole league and I think they have it against us,” he said. “It’s whatever. Sometimes it gets physical and we’re OK with that. Just like tonight, it was a big win. It took 48 minutes to get it, but we did a great job.”This and thatThe Clippers, who won the regular-season series 3-1 over the Trail Blazers (48-26), could play them in the first round of the playoffs. If the post-season began today, they would. The Clippers have six games left, the Trail Blazers eight. … After Saturday’s game at Denver (28-47), the Clippers play the Lakers on Sunday and Tuesday. The final three games will be April 11 against Memphis, April 13 against Denver and April 14 at Phoenix. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Kaman pushing Chris Paul to the floor late in the third quarter Wednesday seemed a foolish and highly unprofessional move on Kaman’s part. But the Clippers settled it professionally when they shrugged off the 11-point deficit they had at the time and rallied for a 126-122 victory at Portland. The Clippers trailed by as many as 19 points in the second quarter.The victory came the day after Paul and the Clippers gave up a 17-point second-quarter lead and lost 110-106 to the rival Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. In that game, Paul was taken to school on one play by the Warriors’ Steph Curry, whose dribble move sent Paul twisting to the hardwood. He didn’t go down all the way, instead bracing himself with one hand, like a boxer who had just been belted and was trying to avoid a knockdown.Paul rebounded with a season-high 41 points while doling out 17 assists Wednesday. But afterward he wouldn’t admit that Kaman’s shove, which resulted in a flagrant 1 foul, helped him take his game to a higher level. Teammate Matt Barnes said from a team standpoint, it definitely helped.“I think we were already playing well, but it just gave us a little bit more incentive,” said Barnes, whose Clippers (50-26) next play Saturday at Denver. “Any time you go and rough our point guard up, it’s going to turn us all a little bit.”center_img Portland coach Terry Stotts didn’t like the way his team responded. He liked, so to speak, the way the Clippers did, though.“Well, it’s easy to say we didn’t handle it very well, but I would probably say more that the Clippers really picked up their aggressiveness,” Stotts said. Paul stunned by Kaman’s actionsPaul did say he was taken aback by Kaman’s rather silly display. The two were fighting for a rebound and in the process Paul – seemingly inadvertently – pushed Kaman below the belt with his left hand. Kaman then literally just pushed Paul in the back and down went Paul. Glen “Big Baby” Davis went after Kaman, but was sent to the deck by an intervening LaMarcus Aldridge, who shoved Davis away. Paul also went after Kaman. “I was really surprised,” Paul said. “I used to sort of know Kaman really well, but I didn’t know what happened or not. I stole it and then with the push. It’s all good. No hard feelings.”last_img