SOURCE: Associated Press
There’s nothing like a dominating win to take people’s minds off the coach’s job security. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the rest of the Los Angeles Clippers shrugged off all the negative vibes swirling around Vinny Del Negro and concentrated on their business.
Griffin had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Paul added 19 points and 13 assists, and the host Clippers ended their first three-game losing streak of the season with a 101-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
“Somebody kind of told me what was being said about him, but we’re all behind him, and we’ve got to keep it that way,” Griffin said. “I don’t know how much we’ve taken from his personality, but he’s an energetic coach and obviously we want to play that way. Sometimes we haven’t, but we just need to keep buying in, and everybody needs to believe in each other.”
Del Negro, reported to be in hot water during and immediately after the Clippers’ 0-3 trip, met with general manager Neil Olshey after the team returned home but would not share details of the conversation.
The only member of Del Negro’s staff with any previous head-coaching experience is Marc Iavaroni.
“All the speculation, all the sources, all that stuff, I don’t spend a lot of time on that. I don’t have time for that,” Del Negro said. “It’s aggravating, but that’s part of the job. That’s part of the deal. We haven’t been playing well, and I’m the head coach. So that responsibility goes everywhere.”
Mavericks 101, Rockets 99, OT: Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, Jason Terry added 24 and former Warrior Brandan Wright had a career-high seven blocks to help Dallas post an overtime win at Houston.
Bulls 102, Raptors 101, OT: Luol Deng hit a follow-up shot at the buzzer in overtime, and host Chicago beat Toronto for its NBA-leading 40th victory.
The Bulls were already without star guard Derrick Rose, who sat out his sixth straight game with a groin injury. And then they lost center Joakim Noah, when he was ejected with 1:28 left in the opening half after picking up two technical fouls.
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan was out with a left ankle injury and fell one start short of tying the franchise record of 131 consecutive starts held by Alvin Williams.
Pacers 125, Bucks 104: George Hill scored a season-high 24 points coming off the bench, and Indiana beat host Milwaukee. Former Warrior Monta Ellis scored 11 points, nine in the first quarter. He sat most of the fourth.
The game included a minor confrontation in the fourth quarter between Milwaukee’s Mike Dunleavy, a former Warriors and Pacers player, and Indiana’s Tyler Hansbrough.
Knicks 101, Pistons 79: Tyson Chandler had 15 points and tied a season high with 17 rebounds, and host New York rebounded from its first loss under Mike Woodson by routing Detroit for the third time this season.
Amare Stoudemire scored 17 points for the Knicks, who are 6-1 since Mike D’Antoni resigned. They lost 96-79 on Friday night in Toronto.
The rout allowed some banged-up Knicks to get some extra rest. Jeremy Lin (13 points) sat down with a sore left knee but could have returned, and Stoudemire went out with a sore lower back.
“There’s nothing to be worried about,” Stoudemire said.
“I saw him after the game, and he said everything was cool,” the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony said of Stoudemire.