Los Angeles Clippers
1984/85: As the Clippers arrived in Los Angeles, they would make a major trade sending up and coming players Terry Cummings, Rickey Pierce, and Craig Hodges to the Milwaukee Bucks for Marques Johnson, Junior Bridgeman, Harvey Catchings, and cash, who were all past their prime. After splitting the first two games on the road the Clippers played their first game at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, which had been discarded by the Lakers as outdated in 1967, and since been used by USC on November 1st beating the New York Knicks by two points. Through the first six weeks the Clippers played .500 basketball. However, their season began to sink with a 6-game losing streak in December. By early March the Clippers were out of the playoff race with a record of 22-39 when Coach Jim Lyman was fired and replaced by Don Chaney. Under Chaney the Clippers would not do much better finishing in 5th place with a dreadful 31-51 record.
1985/86: The Clippers would get off to a fast start winning their first five games. However, just as quickly they returned to their losing ways losing their next eight games. Along the way the Clippers lost Derek Smith to a knee injury. The Clippers would go on to lose 50 games for the 5th year in a row with a record of 32-50. Following the season the Clippers would hire former Lakers star and Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor as head of basketball operations.
1986/87: In his first draft Elgin Baylor was without a first rounder as the two players selected in later rounds played a total of six minutes on the season. The Clippers would split their first six games, but it was all downhill from heir as the Clippers sank to new depths in a season full of prolonged losing streaks the Clippers would finish dead last with a hideous 12-70 record.
1987/88: Under new Coach Gene Shue the Clippers would not much better finishing in last place again with a league worst record of 17-65. Despite the continued losing Michael Cage gave Clippers fans reason to be proud as he pulled down 30 rebounds in the final game of the season to capture the rebounding title. However, following the season the Clippers would trade Cage to the Seattle Supersonics for Gary Grant and a 1989 draft pick.
1988/89: After winning the draft lottery the Clippers select NCAA Tournament hero Danny Manning who single handily led the University of Kansas to a National Title. However, Manning would go down 26 games into the season with a knee injury as the Clippers continued to struggle losing 50 games for the eighth straight season and 60 for the third year in a row as they again sank into last in the Pacific with an awful 21-61 record, which was only slightly better than the two expansion teams.
1989/90: With the second overall pick in the draft the Clippers select Danny Ferry out of Duke. However, Ferry would never join the Clippers signing with a team in Italy. This would force General Manager Elgin Baylor into trading his draft rights to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ron Harper, a pair of first-round draft choices, and a second-round pick. The Clippers were approaching .500 at 16-19 when the injury bug bit them again as Ron Harper who averaged 23.0 ppg went down to a knee injury. The Clippers would go on to lose 50 again while finishing in sixth place at 30-52.
1990/91: Finishing near the bottom of the NBA continued to leave the Clippers with high draft choices as they selected Bo Kimble and Loy Vaught in the first round. Through the first 6 weeks the young Clippers were sailing around .500. However, the Clippers would struggle the rest of the way topping 50 losses for the tenth year in a row while finishing in sixth place with a 31-51 record, as Benoit Benjamin is traded to the Seattle Supersonics for Olden Polynice midway through the season.
1991/92: The Clippers would get off to a strong start with Danny Manning and Ron Harper were healthy and leading a young Clippers team to a 14-10 start. However, the Clippers would struggle over the next few weeks sliding back below .500 with a 22-25 record as Coach Mike Schuler is fired and replaced by Larry Brown who only a few weeks earlier had resigned as coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Under Brown the Clippers would play their best basketball in years winning 23 of their final 35 games to finish with a 45-37, which ended a string of 13 straight losing seasons and got them into the postseason for the first time in 16 years when they were still known as the Buffalo Braves. In the playoffs the Clippers would get off to a slow start dropping the first two games on the road to the Utah Jazz. After taking Game 3 at home the Clippers had their trip to the playoff ruined by the Rodney King riots that forced a delay to Game 4, which would eventually be, moved to Anaheim. However, the Clippers would still force a fifth game with a win in Game 4. The Clipper would go on to lose Game 5 on the road, but appeared to be sailing in the right direction.
1992/93: Prior to the start of the season the Clippers would make a blockbuster trade sending Doc Rivers, Bo Kimble, and Charles Smith to the New York Knicks, while receiving Mark Jackson and Stanley Roberts in a 3-team deal that also included the Orlando Magic. The Clippers would get off to a solid start and sailed into February with a winning record, as Danny Manning became the first Clippers to make the All-Star team in seven years. The Clippers would go on to finish the season with a 41-41 record making the playoffs for the second straight season. In the playoffs the Clippers would battle the Houston Rockets alternating wins through five games before the Clippers season was ended with an 84-80 loss in Game 5 at Houston. Following the season the Clippers would allow Coach Larry Brown to leave, and take a similar job with the Indiana Pacers, despite being the only skipper to get the Clippers into the playoffs.
1993/94: Under new Coach Bob Weiss the Clippers would sink back to the bottom of the Pacific Division posting a horrible 27-55 record. Along the way the Clippers would trade Danny Manning to the Atlanta Hawks for Dominique Wilkins, fearing they would not be able to resign Manning following the season. However, Wilkins himself a free agent would leave following the season leaving the Clippers with nothing again. Ron Harper would join Wilkins in the free agency exodus.
1994/95: Already without Ron Harper and Dominique Wilkins the Clippers would lose Stanley Roberts and Elmore Spencer to injuries as the Clippers sank before even leaving the harbor losing their first 16 games on the way to an awful season of 17-65 in which the Clippers finished in last place again. In another puzzling move the Clippers would trade the draft rights to Antonio McDyess and guard Randy Woods to the Denver Nuggets for Rodney Rogers and the draft rights to Brent Barry.
1995/96: With the addition of Brian Williams and the continued development of Loy Vaught the Clippers showed some improvement despite continuing to float in last place with a record of 29-53, as the team played without Stanley Roberts, Pooh Richardson, Malik Sealy and Rodney Rogers for long stretches during the season. The highlight of the season would come during the All-Star break when Brent Barry the son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, proved White Men Can Jump by winning the Slam Dunk Contest when he took off from the free throw line and completed a gravity-defying dunk.
1996/97: With loss of Brian Williams to Free Agency the Clippers were expected to sink to the bottom of the NBA again. However with the continued solid play of Loy Vaught the team managed to slip into the playoffs despite a less than stellar 34-48 record as the Clippers took advantage of several contenders collapsing down the stretch. However, in the playoffs the Clippers would show quickly hey did not belong as they are swept in three straight games by the Utah Jazz.
1997/98: With Loy Vaught going down early in the season to back injury the Clippers, who surprised everyone the year before by making the playoffs surprise no one by sinking back to the bottom of the Pacific Division with a wretched 17-65 record. Following the season the Clippers would fire Coach Bill Fitch who had moved into second on the all-time wins list during the season. Finishing in last place the Clippers would win the draft lottery. However, they stunned everyone including their fans by selecting Michael Olowakandi, who was considered by most to be a project with the top pick.
1998/99: The start of the season was delayed by a four-month lockout that cut the season down to 50 games. However, the Clippers still managed to lose 40 games, finishing in last place again with an awful 9-41 record.
1999/00: The Clippers would step future into the shadow of the Lakers as they moved into the Staples Center with their more successful NBA counterparts. This move was made despite success the Clippers had while playing occasional games at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. While the Lakers were on the way to the NBA title the Clippers sank to the bottom of the Pacific again with a league worse 15-67. Rookie Lamar Odom would provide a bright spot as he averaged a solid 16.6 ppg.
2000/01: Lamar Odom would have a strong second season leading the Clippers in scoring and rebounding as the Clippers doubled their previous season’s win total finishing in sixth place with a 31-51 record.
2001/02: With the acquisition of Elton Brand and the continued improvement of Quentin Richardson and Michael Olowakandi the Clippers played competitive basketball through most of the first half holding a 25-26 record at the All-Star Break, despite losing Lamar Odom to a knee injury. The Clippers would continue their solid play in the second half climbing three games above .500 on March 23rd. However, in a tough Western Conference the Clippers would not be factor in the playoff race, as they posted 39-43 record finishing five games out of the last playoff spot.
2002/03: With the acquisition of Andre Miller from the Cleveland Cavaliers there was a sense of optimism surrounding the Clippers for the first time in years. However Miller never gelled into the Clippers system as their young players many of whom were in contract years appeared more concerned with stats for Free Agency then with winning games for the Clippers, which created tension in the locker room all year. With all the Clippers playing as individuals the team fell apart early and sank back to the bottom of the Pacific Division. As the season wore on Coach Alvin Gentry would be dismissed as the Clippers season turned into a complete and total disaster as they finished in last place with a terrible record of 27-55. Following the season it would be abandoned ship as the penny-pinching Clippers were unable to resign Andre Miller, Michael Olowakandi, and Lamar Odom a restricted free agent that publicly begged the Clippers not to match the deal he signed with the Miami Heat.
2003/04: With the Clippers starting from scratch again as they celebrated their 20th season in Los Angeles the team got off to a relatively good under new Coach Mike Dunleavy, as they held a 22-25 record on February 6th. However as the season wore on the young Clippers wore down and struggled badly as they won just 6 games after co-hosting the All-Star Game at Staples Center with the Lakers. The Clippers would slowly sink down the standings coming to rest once again at the bottom of the Pacific Division with a terrible 28-54 record. Following the season the Clippers would lose their best player Quentin Richardson to Free Agency as they tried a futile attempt to sign Kobe Bryant away from the Lakers who used the Clippers to get a better deal from the Lakers.
2004/05: With a young team with some promising talent led by Elton Brand the Clippers got off to a solid start posting a 9-6 record in November. However, December would bring winter and more struggles for the Clippers as they lost 7 of 8 in the middle of the month to erase their good start. Things would not get much better after the New Year as the Clippers never were a factor in the playoff chase. However, they would manage to finish with a better record than the Lakers finishing in third place with a 37-45 record, while Bobby Simmons took home the first individual award in Clippers history winning recognition as the NBA’s Most Improved Player. While Elton Brand continued to establish himself as a rising star with 20 ppg and 9.5 rpg.
2005/06: The Clippers who played well but made the playoffs the year before came out of the gate firing as they won their first three games on the way to a 14-5 start that had them in first place in December, as Elton Brand certified himself as a NBA star, while new additions Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley made important contributions right away. The Clippers would cool off and would stay in first place long, but there would be no sinking to the bottom of the Pacific Division this time around as the Clippers were for real and played solid basketball all season, as they made the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. In addition their 47-35 record was their best since leaving Buffalo, as they finished in second place. In the competitive Western Conference the Clippers would only manage the 6th seed, but due to having a better record than the Northwest Davison Champion Denver Nuggets, they would have home court advantage for the first time since moving to Los Angeles. In Game 1 a sold-out Staples Center saw the Clippers edge the Nuggets 89-87 for the first playoff win in 13 years. Clippers fans would only have to wait two days for their next win as they got a 2-0 series lead with a 98-87 win. After losing Game 3 on the road the Clippers took a 3-1 series lead by using a balanced attack to beat the Nuggets on the road 100-86 as seven Clippers scored double digits. The balanced attack continued in Game 5 as three players went over 20 points as the Clippers won their first playoff series since they played in Buffalo, clinching the series in five games with a 101-83 win. In the second round a possible all Los Angeles series was short-circuited when the Lakers blew a 3-1 series lead to the Phoenix Suns, losing in seven games. Facing the Suns the Clippers went from B-feature to the main attraction in LA, as the team that once provided nothing but comic, had become a legitimate NBA contender. Game 1 in Phoenix would be a shootout as Elton Brand scored 40 points, but the Suns won 130-123. In Game 2 the Clips would rebound thanks in part to a monster game from the Clippers in the middle as the out rebounded the Suns 57-26, winning 122-97. Game 3 in the Staples Center would be another close one, but in the end the Suns were too much as Shawn Marion led the Suns to a 94-91 win. The Clippers would bounce back again to even the series as Brand scored 30 in a 114-107 victory. Elton Brand would have another strong game in Game 5 at Phoenix with 33 points and 15 boards, but the Clippers would lose in double overtime 125-118. Once again, the Clippers would recover winning Game 6 by a score of 118-106 as Brand scored 30 again to force a decisive seventh game. However, not even a 36-point game from Elton Brand could help the Clippers win the series as the Suns won the closer 127-107.
2006/07: The Clippers first taste of playoff success had Clippers fans feeling they have never felt before, things like pride and optimism as they entered the new season. The Clippers success also got them better deals for Television and Radio, as expectations were high. The Clippers started well winning five of their first six games. However, problem arose quickly as they endured a five-game losing streak in November and a six-game losing streak in December slipping below .500. After Christmas the Clippers started to turn things around as they put together a solid 13-6 stretch through January to edge back over the breakeven mark. However, in February injuries would start to take their toll. as Shaun Livingston suffered a devastating knee injury during a 103-93 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, tearing all three ligaments in his left knee while dislocating the kneecap, and completely tearing all three major ligaments after landing awkwardly while going up for a layup. In March the Clippers would continue to struggle as their playoff hopes started to sink as they lost five in row to fall to 30-36. The Clippers would not give up as they made one more run to get close to .500 and into the playoffs, but in the end, they would fall two games short with a record of 40-42.
2007/08: Before the season even began the Clippers had a huge hole in their mast as Shaun Livingston had not recovered from his devastating knee injury, while their top scorer Elton Brand was lost to a ruptured left Achilles tendon he had suffered in the off-season. Despite missing two of their top players the Clippers started the season well, winning their first four games, but a season is not won or lost in the first week, and the Clippers quickly sank after that losing 11 of their next 13 games. The Clippers struggles continued into the New Year, as they entered 2008 in last place with a record 10-19. With the season lost the Clippers began focusing on the future, as Sam Cassell was bought out of the remainder of his contract to allow him to become a free agent to sign with the Boston Celtics. The Clippers injured stars would never influence the season as Shaun Livingston missed the entire season, while Elton Brand an upcoming free agent would not return until April 2nd. The Clippers would finish the season with a disappointing record of 23-59.
2008/09: Following their injury plagued season the Clippers underwent wholesale changes, as Shaun Livingston, was not re-signed, as he still had not recovered from his knee injury. The Clippers would also say goodbye to Corey Maggette who signed with the Golden State Warriors and Elton Brand who left for the Philadelphia 76ers, after the Clippers were unable re-sign them. To augment their losses the Clippers signed Baron Davis of the Warriors, and acquired Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets. Another big change would be in the front office as longtime General Manager Elgin Baylor resigned on October 7th, with Coach Mike Dunleavy taking over the General Manager duties. When the season began the changes continued as the Clippers traded forward Tim Thomas and guard Cuttino Mobley to the New York Knicks for forward Zach Randolph and guard Mardy Collins, as the Clippers got off to awful start, losing their first six games out of the gate on the way to a 3-16 start. The Clippers would never recover from their bad start as they posted a horrible record of 19-63. After the season the Clippers would finally get a victory as they won the draft lottery, and selected Oklahoma star Blake Griffin with the number one overall pick.
2009/10: The Clippers had planned to build their future around Blake Griffin, who was chosen first in the NBA Draft. However, as pre-season came to an end, Griffin suffered a broken kneecap in the final exhibition game after landing from a slam dunk. Originally only expected to miss a few months, Griffin would end up missing the entire season delaying the Clippers future by a year. Without Blake Griffin the Clippers started the season with four straight losses. However, they would not be pushovers in their first month posting an 8-10 record. The Clippers would continue to hover just below .500 into January. Eventually their shortcomings would catch up with them as Mike Dunleavy resigned his coaching position to concentrate on his duties as General Manager. Dunleavy would be active at the trade deadline sending Marcus Camby to the Portland Trail Blazers for Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw, while Al Thornton was sent to the Washington Wizards for Drew Gooden. Eventually Dunleavy would be fired as General Manager as the Clippers finished the season with a 29-53 record with Kim Hughes running the team on the bench. Hughes himself would be fired after the season.
2010/11: After missing the entire season with a knee injury, Blake Griffin finally made his debut for the Clippers under new Coach Vinny Del Negro. Griffin would score 20 points, with 14 rebounds, but the Clippers would lose their opener to the Portland Trail Blazers 98-88 at Staples Center. The Clippers dropped their first four games, on the way to a 1-13 start. Despite the bad start, Blake Griffin became an immediate star as his thrilling dunks became a staple on SportsCenter. One dunk on top of Timofey Mozgov of the New York Knicks invented a new phrase, but no wins as Griffin’s 44 points against the Knicks was not enough as the Clippers lost 124-115. The Clippers would finally begin to make progress in December as they won five of six, but still entered the New Year with a terrible record of 10-23. The Clippers would have a strong month in January, winning nine of ten games at home, including wins over the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. Blake Griffin would win the Slam Dunk contest by jumping over a Kia with a pass from teammate Baron Davis. However, Davis would not be on the Clippers much longer as he was sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the Clippers 2011 first round draft pick in exchange for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. Playing just two games at home in February, the Clippers would post a 2-12 record. The Clippers would play winning basketball over the last six weeks, as Blake Griffin went on to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year with a team leading 22.5 ppg. Despite the play of Griffin the Clippers would still finish with a record of 30-52.
2011/12: After the season was delayed by two months by a lockout there was a fever and excitement in Los Angeles, and it was for the Clippers who had completed the biggest deal in franchise history. The Clippers would acquire four-time All-Star Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets, sending Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota’s 2012 in return. A week earlier, Chris Paul had previously been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, but NBA Commissioner David Stern had vetoed the deal. Upon completing the deal both DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin were seen in a viral video high fiving, as the Clippers went from side show to primetime attraction. In addition they picked up Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups and Reggie Evans to give the team a look of a real contender. After splitting the first two games on the road, the Clippers suffered a letdown in their home opener, losing to the Chicago Bulls 114-101. However, right away Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were forming one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA, earning the nickname Lob City. The Clippers would soon find their grove in January, as they won 11 of 15 games, including a 102-94 win over the Lakers in their first meeting of the season. The Clippers continued to play well as February began, as they held a record of 15-7 and stood in first place after an107-102 overtime win against the Orlando Magic on the road. However, in the game they would lose Chauncey Billups to a torn Achilles tendon for the remainder of the season. Following the loss of Billups, the Clippers went into a slump, as they reached out and signed Kenyon Martin who had started the season playing in China. The Clippers, who had started 19-9 in their first 28 games, would post a 7-12 record over a 19-game stretch, losing their grip on the Pacific Division lead. However, just as rumors that Coach Vinny Del Negro would get fired began to follow the team, the Clippers got hot again, thanks in part of a deadline trade that saw them pick up Nick Young from the Washington Wizards, winning 12 of 14 as they secured a playoff spot. The Clippers would fall short of a division title, as they finished one game back of the Lakers with a record of 40-26. Both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul had all-star seasons, averaging 20.7 ppg and 19.8 ppg respectively, while Griffin had 10.9 rebounds per game, and Paul had 9.1 assists per game.
2012 Playoffs: Facing the Memphis Grizzlies, the Clippers were having a game to forget as they were pushed around from the start in Game 1, trailing by 27 at one point as they were down 95-71 with 9:13 left. While everyone else had written the game off, the Clippers refused to quit and staged the biggest comeback in the history of the playoffs, finishing the game with an incredible 28-3 run to win the game 99-98. Playing key role in the comeback was Nick Young, who had scored 19 points off the bench to lead the Clippers in scoring. After the Grizzlies took Game 2, the series shifted to the Staples Center where Chris Paul took over leading an 87-86 comeback win in Game 3. Game 4 would go to overtime, as Blake Griffin playing with a sore knee scored 30 points as the Clippers won 101-97 to take a 3-1 series lead. However, the Grizzlies won take the next two games to send the series to a seventh game back at FedEx Forum. With Griffin ailing and losing a chance to win the series at home in Game 6, there Clippers faced the doubters again. However, with the Clippers bench led by Kenyon Martin lead the way the Clippers advanced to the second round with an 82-72 win. In the game the Clippers reserves had outscored the Grizzlies bench 41-31. In the second round the Clippers faced the red-hot San Antonio Spurs, who had won 14 straight games entering the series. The streak would reach 16 straight games, as they easily won the first two games at home. Heading into the weekend, Staples Center became the center of the sports universe, as the Lakers, Clippers and NHL’s Los Angeles Kings were all host a pair of playoff games. Early on things looked good for the Clippers as they held a 40-16 lead in the second quarter of Game 3. However, the Clippers just ran out of gas as the Spurs went on a 24-0 run and took the lead, winning 96-86. The Spurs would go on to win the series in a four-game sweep, winning the clincher 102-99, as the Clippers inexperience and injuries caught up with them.
2012/13: After reaching the second round of the playoffs for the second time in team history, the Clippers looked to improve their depth by acquiring veteran players like Lamar Odom and Grant Hill. The Clippers also add Jamal Crawford as they began the season as one of the top favorites in the Western Conference. Crawford had a great debut for the Clippers, scoring 29 points in a 101-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center. The Clippers played well early, winning eight of their first ten games. However, they had their troubles on Thanksgiving road trip, losing four in a row. The Clippers would end November back home with a 101-95 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. That win would start the longest winning streak in franchise history as they won all 16 games in December to enter the New Year with a record of 25-6. The Clippers 17 game winning streak would come to an end on January 1st with a 92-78 loss on the road to the Denver Nuggets. The Clippers had their struggles in January, with a 9-7 mark as they had a second four game losing streak. However, the Clippers remained on top of the Pacific Division and despite February and March posted 50 wins for the first time in franchise history as they won their first ever division championship with a record of 56-27. Along the way the Clippers won the season series with the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in 20 years, as Chris Paul was named All-Star Game MVP with 20 points and 15 assists. Paul would finish the season averaging 16.9 points and 9.7 assists and once again leads the NBA in steals for the third time in a row, with 2.4 per game. Blake Griffin would lead the Clippers in scoring with 18.0 points per game along with a team high 8.3 rebounds per game. Jamal Crawford had a big season off the bench scoring, 16.5 points per games, while DeAndre Jordan was strong in the middle with 7.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
2013 Playoffs: The Clippers would finish the season strong, winning their last seven games as they faced the Memphis Grizzlies for the second straight season in the first round of the playoffs. With Chris Paul leading the way with 23 points, the Clippers would win the opener 112-91. The Clippers would also win Game 2 at Staples Center 93-91 on a buzzer beater by Paul. However, the Clippers would stumble in Memphis losing the next two games by double digits; making matters worse Blake Griffin would sustain an ankle sprain that would hobble him the remainder of the series. Without a healthy Griffin, the Clippers would suffer a 103-93 loss at home in Game 5, as the Grizzlies went on to win the series in six games. Following their disappointing playoff exit the Clippers would dismiss Coach Vinny Del Negro. To replace Del Negro the Clippers would hire Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics.
2013/14: Upon his arrival in Los Angeles, Doc Rivers sought to bring a winner’s attitude, ordering that the Lakers championship banners at the Staples Center be covered up during Clippers home games. Hiring Doc Rivers also helped the Clippers convince Chris Paul stay and sign a five-year contract extension. Looking for some downtown shooting, the Clippers acquire J.J. Reddick from the Milwaukee Bucks’ Despite opening the season with a 116-103 loss to the Lakers, the Clippers started the season well, winning seven of their first ten games, including a 126-115 win over the Golden State Warriors in the home opener. After ending December with a record of 21-12 the Clippers faced a big test as Chris Paul suffered a shoulder injury during a 116-92 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on January 4th. Originally expected to miss up to six weeks, Paul returned after month on the sidelines. In his absence the Clippers saw Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford each raise their games to keep the team atop the Pacific Division, posting a record of 12-5. Blake Griffin continued his strong play after Chris Paul returned, scoring 20 or more points in a franchise-record 31 straight games. Blake Griffin would finish third in MVP voting, as he led the Clippers in scoring a team high 24.1 ppg, with 9.5 rebounds per game. Chris Paul would finish second in scoring with 19.1 ppg and a team high 10.7 assists per game. Meanwhile DeAndre Jordan led the NBA in rebounding, with 13.6 boards per game. Also playing a key role in the Clippers second straight division title was Jamal Crawford who led all NBA reserves in scoring with 18.6 points per game, helping the Clippers finish with their best record in franchise history 57-25. As the Clippers were taking over Los Angeles, they delivered the Lakers their most humiliating loss in franchise history, winning 142-94 on March 6th.
2014 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Los Angeles Clippers would face another big rival from California in the Golden State Warriors. Game 1 at the Staples Center would be a thriller, as the Warriors earned a 109-105 win, as Darren Collison attempting a game tying three pointer in the closing seconds accidently stepped out of bounds. With Blake Griffin scoring 35 points, the Clippers bounced back in a big way in Game 2, winning 138-98 in the largest margin of victory in their postseason franchise history. As the series shifted to Oakland, the Clippers again built a big lead, but the Warriors would make a charge in the second half erasing an 18-point deficit. However, the Clippers would hold on to win the game 98-96, with Blake Griffin scoring 32 points and DeAndre Jordan grabbing 22 rebounds. A day after their win in Game 3, the Clippers team was rocked by the news of Owner Donald Sterling’s racial comments as an audio tape of him demanding his mistress not allow black people to sit near him surfaced. When the Clippers took the court for Game 4, they showed their dissatisfaction tossing their warmups on the floor and turning their uniforms inside out during pre-game warmups. Not surprisingly the Clippers would suffer a 118-97 loss as the Warriors evened the series at two games apiece. As the Clippers prepared to paly Game 5 at home, there was talk that the players with boycott unless the NBA acted to punish Donald Sterling. Acting swiftly On April 29, 2014, the NBA issued a lifetime ban to Sterling. The league also issued a $2.5 million fine against Donald Sterling (the highest allowable by the NBA) and barred him from attending games or practices involving any NBA team; being present in any Clippers office or facility; and from participating in any team business, player personnel decisions or league activity. New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also stated that he would try to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. The action by Adam Silver clearly was met with satisfaction league wide, as the Clippers rebounded to win Game 5 at home 113-103, as DeAndre Jordan led the way with 25 points and 18 rebounds. Looking to close the series in six games, the Clippers suffered a 100-109 loss, despite another big game from Jordan who had 19 points and 19 rebounds, as Matt Barnes attempt at game winning three-pointer was too late. In Game 7, the Clippers and Warriors would an old-fashioned shoot out. The Warriors got off the first blows with 32 points in each of the first two quarters. The Clippers answered back with 34 points in the second quarter, and trailed at halftime 64-56. The Clippers would take control in the third quarter outscoring the Warriors 31-20. With each team hitting nearly every shot the Clippers would hold to win the game and the series 126-121, as Blake Griffin scored 24 points, while DeAndre Jordan had 18 boards and Chris Paul had 14 assists. The Clippers hot shooting would continue to the second round, as they scored a 122-105 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opener on the road. However, the Thunder would strike back to win Game 2 by a score of 112-101. The Thunder would also take Game 3 as the series shifted to L.A., winning 118-112 behind 36 points from MVP Kevin Durant. Durant would scorch the Lakers for 40 points in Game 4, helping the Thunder build a 22-point lead. However, the Clippers seeing their season slip away rallied to win the game 101-99 as Darren Collison’s layup with one-minute left gave the Clips the lead for good. Blake Griffin had a big game scoring 24 points with 17 rebounds as the series returned to Oklahoma City for Game 5. However, the Clippers would suffer a controversial 105-104 loss, winning after a controversial out of bounds call went against Los Angeles. With 11.3 seconds left, officials ruled the ball went off Matt Barnes, but replays showed it hit Reggie Jackson of OKC last. Looking force a seventh game, the Clippers built an early double-digit lead at the Staples Center, but eventually they would run out of gas as Kevin Durant posted 39 points to lead the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals with a 104-98 win.
Donald Sterling Fall Out: After the playoffs ended for the Clippers, the future of Donald Sterling became the main focus. Several players and Coach Doc Rivers said they would never play for the team if Sterling were reinstated as the team’s owner. The comments that Sterling made to his mistress V. Stiviano shined a light on bizarre and often reprehensible behavior that had been the hallmark of Donald Sterling’s three-decade ownership of the Clippers. At the time the racial remarks came to light, Sterling was set to be honored by the NAACP for a second time, despite a history of housing discrimination against minorities. The story became tabloid fodder and became the biggest discussion on cable news shows and stole the spotlight from the NBA Playoffs. Stiviano herself was Mexican and African ancestry, would take to wearing a welding mask in public as she released more tapes and went on a media blitz. Meanwhile, Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly tried to take over the team, claiming that the 80-year-old was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. A claim that was helped, when Donald Sterling gave a rambling at time incoherent interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper. Donald Sterling threatened to sue the NBA and began investigating every other owner. At the same time, Shelly Sterling had agreed to sell the team to Microsoft Co-Founder Steve Ballmer for an astonishing $2 Billion. The league moved fast to approve the sale to Ballmer, who had been trying to get an NBA team and move it to Seattle for several years. Sterling took his wife to court over control of the team; the matter would go to the probate court, where a judge found in favor of Shelly Sterling, allowing the team to be sold. Donald Sterling continued to fight before an appellate court, but in the end, Shelly’s takeover was cleared, and the sale was finalized.
2014/15: After the Donald Sterling fallout, the Los Angeles Clippers were sold for $2 Billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The deal was contingent on Balmer keeping the team in Los Angeles, as he had previously sought to bring a team to Seattle, while Shelly Sterling had deals that would give him the status of Clippers #1 fan and owner emeritus. Balmer is a polar opposite of Donald Sterling, outgoing and fun-loving he would become an instant fan favorite. With Blake Griffin leading the way, the Clippers got off to a strong starting, posting a 16-5 record in their first 21 games, highlighted by a nine-game winning streak. Despite their solid play, all chances of winning the Pacific again were all but wiped out as the Golden State Warriors jumped out to 21-2 start over the same period. After ending December with a record of 22-11, the Clippers started January strong, winning 11 of 15 games. The Clippers would make history in February acquiring Austin Rivers, marking the first time in NBA history that a father coaches his son. Trouble started for the Clippers in February as they started the month with four straight losses. Things looked even worse as Blake Griffin was sidelined with a staph infection in his elbow. Griffin would miss 15 games and the All-Star Game, but the Clippers would not sink as DeAndre Jordan raised his game to another level, with three straight games of 20 rebounds. Jordan would go on to lead the NBA in rebounding with 15 boards per game. The Clippers would survive the absence of Griffin and finished the season strong, winning 14 of their last 15 games to finish third overall in the West with a record of 56-26. Blake Griffin was once again the Clippers leading scorer with 21.9 points per game, adding 7.6 rebounds per game. Chris Paul meanwhile also had a solid season with 19.2 points per game with a team-best 10.2 assists per game.
2015 Playoffs: The Clippers would face the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round. In the opener, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin combined a 1-2 knockout punch to deliver Los Angeles a 107-92 win at Staples Center. Paul led the way with 32 points seven rebounds and six assists, while Griffin scored 26 points with 12 rebounds and six assists. The Spurs would bounce back to win Game 2 in overtime 111-107. DeAndre Jordan was a big reason for the Clippers’ success and helped them build a lead in Game 2 with 20 points and 15 boards. Still, his season-long struggles at the free-throw line allowed the Spurs to rally and force overtime, as Jordan made just 4-or-12 shots from the free-throw line, with San Antonio fouling him on nearly every possession. As the series shifted to San Antonio, the Spurs showed their dominance in Game 3, winning 100-73 to take a 2-1 series lead. The Clippers would bounce back in Game 4, winning 114-105 to even the series. Once again, Paul and Griffin led the way. Chris Paul again was the game’s high scorer with 34 points, while Blake Griffin had 20 points and 19 rebounds, as the Clippers dominated the boards with 43 rebounds. Back in Los Angeles for Game 5, the Clippers would suffer a controversial 11-107 loss, as DeAndre Jordan was called for a controversial, offensive goaltending call with 4.3 seconds left wiping out a potential go-ahead score with the score 108-107. The Clippers would once again rebound winning Game 6 on the road 102-96, like Paul, Griffin, and Jordan all recorded double-doubles. Game 7 at Staples Center would be one of the best playoff games in the history of the NBA, with the game see-sawing back and forth featuring 31 lead changes and 19 ties as neither team ever held more than an eight-point advantage. With the score tied 109-109, Chris Paul, who earlier in the game left with a hamstring injury, put up a shot over Danny Green and Tim Duncan that banked into the basket with one second left to give the Clippers a dramatic 111-109 win. Despite the injury, Paul scored a game-high 27 points, while Blake Griffin delivered a Triple-Double with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and ten assists. In the second round, the Clippers would face the Houston Rockets. Playing without Game 7 hero Chris Paul, the Clippers would win the opener on the road 117-101 as Blake Griffin had a Triple-Double with 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists. Paul would also sit out Game 2, as the Rockets evened the series with a 115-109 victory. Chris Paul Would return for Game 3 as the series shifted to LA, but the big heroes were J.J. Reddick, who scored a game-high 31 points, while Austin Rivers scored 25 points off the bench to lead the Clippers to a 124-99 win. The Clippers also dominated Game 4, winning 128-95 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Rockets would win 124-103 in Game 5 at Houston, but back in Los Angeles, Staples Center was party city with fans anticipating the Clippers’ first-ever trip to the conference finals. Things appeared to be heading the Clippers way as they held a 19-point lead late in the third quarter. However, the Clippers suddenly went ice cold as the Rockets rallied to win the game 119-107, outscoring the Clippers 51-20 over the game’s final 15 minutes. The Rockets would go on to complete the series comeback with a 119-110 win in Game 7, becoming just the ninth team in NBA history to rally from down 3-1.
2015/16: It was an all-new look for the Los Angeles Clippers, who designed modern looking uniforms and logos that were designed by Owner Steve Balmer and did not draw rave reviews. After their second-round collapse, the Clippers entered the season with much to prove as they had one of the best teams on paper but never could make the most of their talent. Keeping the talent together would be a tough task as DeAndre Jordan agreed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks for a four-year deal worth $80 million. However, Jordan’s Clippers teammates would talk him into reconsidering his decision, and when it came time to sign a deal, he decided to stay in LA for $88 million. In the final hours before signing his contract, players from the Clippers visited DeAndre Jordan to prevent the Mavericks from being able to contact him. The Clippers began the season with four straight wins, but after suffering a 112-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the fifth game went into a bit of a tailspin, losing eight of 11 games, and slipped below .500 at 7-8. The Clippers would rebound and win nine of 11 games but suffered three straight losses heading into Christmas. The Clippers would beat the Los Angeles Lakers 94-84 on Christmas but were less than jolly a day later when Blake Griffin went down with a quad injury. Despite losing one of their star players, the Clippers played well over the next month, as they finished January with a record of 32-16. Just before he was set to return, Blake Griffin got into an altercation with a team employee and ended up suffering a broken hand that would sideline him another two months. Blake Griffin would not return until April, also serving a three-game suspension for breaking team rules. In total Griffin, would miss 45 games, with Chris Paul leading the way the Clippers managed to play well in his absence, winning 30 games. Paul averaged 19.5 points and 10.0 assists per game and was one of two Clippers to average a double-double as DeAndre Jordan averaged 12.7 points per game, while his 13.8 rebounds per game were second-highest in the NBA. J.J. Reddick also had a strong season with 16.3 ppg, as he was one of the league’s best three-point shooters. Also, playing a key role off the bench was Jamal Crawford, who was named the NBA’s sixth man for a third time, with a 14.2 ppg. After Blake Griffin returned, the Clippers would win six straight before closing the season with 114-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns. It would be another solid season for the Clippers as they posted a record of 53-29 and qualified fourth in the Western Conference.
2016 NBA Playoffs: The Los Angeles Clippers would face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. With Chris Paul leading the way, with 28 points, the Clippers got off to a terrific start, winning the opener at Staples Center 115-95. Paul also had a strong Game 2, scoring 25 points, while DeAndre Jordan had 18 boards as the Clippers won 102-81 to take a 2-0 series lead. As the series went north to Portland, the Clippers prospects went south as Mason Plumlee began to take over the boards, grabbing 21 rebounds in Game 3 as the Trail Blazers won 96-88. Plumlee had another 14 boards in Game 4, as Portland evened the series with a 98-84 win, making matters worse both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul suffered season-ending injuries, with Griffin aggravating his quad injury. At the same time, Paul fractured a bone in his hand. Not even a return to Los Angeles could get the Clippers back on track as Mason Plumlee continued to dominate the glass as the Blazers took the series lead with a 108-98 win in Game 5. Hoping for a spark, Coach Doc Rivers tinkered with the Clippers lineup giving Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, and Paul Pierce a start. Crawford responded by scoring a game-high 32 points, while Rivers scored 21. However, it was not enough as the Blazers with C.J. McCollum leading the way won Game 6 by a score of 106-103 to win the series.
2016/17: After their disappointing first-round playoff exit, the Los Angeles Clippers came into the season looking to take a big step forward. Early on, it looked like the Clippers would be a serious challenger for the Golden State Warriors, as they got off to the best start in franchise history at 14-2. However, in December, the Clippers hit rough waters as they ended December on a six-game losing streak and went into the New Year with a record of 22-14. The Clippers got back on track in January, as they won seven straight games to start 2017. A wrist injury to Chris Paul and a knee injury to Blake Griffin led to more struggles, as the Clippers finished fourth overall in the Western Conference with a record of 51-31. The Clippers finished the season strong winning their last seven games. Blake Griffin was the Clippers top scorer, averaging 21.6 points per game, with 8.1 rebounds per game. Chris Paul meanwhile scored 18.1 points per game with 9.2 assists. DeAndre Jordan meanwhile was the Clippers beast of the boards with 13.8 rebounds per game.
2017 Playoffs: Facing the Utah Jazz in the first round, the Los Angeles Clippers had the home-court edge, but Game 1 saw that advantage disappear as the Jazz won 97-95 at Staples Center. The Clippers rebounded to even the series with a 99-91 win in Game 2. With Chris Paul scoring 34 points in Game 3, the Clippers took control of the series with a 111-106 win in Utah. The Jazz would make even the series with a 105-98 win in Game 4, as they went into a dry spell in the fourth quarter. Back in Los Angeles, the Clippers missed a chance to take control of the series, dropping Game 5 by a score of 98-93, despite a strong game from Chris Paul. Facing elimination, Paul was again strong in Game 6, scoring 29 points as the Clippers won the game 98-93 to force a seventh game back at home. The entire series was one in which the road team seemed to have the advantage, and that did not change for Game 7, as the Jazz won 104-91 to send the Clippers sailing into an uncertain offseason.
2017/18: It was a year of transition for the Los Angeles Clippers, who, after stagnating, decided to retool. The moves began with the decision to trade Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. In return, the Clippers received a draft pick and seven players (Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Liggins, and Kyle Wiltjer). The Clippers also picked Danilo Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets in a three-team deal that sent Jamaal Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks. The Clippers played well early but saw their season begin to unravel in November, losing nine straight games. Injuries continued to play a role as Gallinari played just 21 games, and Beverly played 11 games. After hitting the New Year with a record of 16-19, the Clippers continuing improved play that began at Christmas climbed back over .500. However, the remake of their roster was not complete, as the Clippers traded Blake Griffin, along with Brice Johnson and Willie Reed, to the Detroit Pistons for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and Boban Marjanovic and two draft picks. The Clippers played well after the January 29th trade, winning seven of ten games in February as they stayed in the playoff chase. Lou Williams was a valuable player off the bench, leading Los Angeles in scoring with 22.6 points per game, as he made just 19 starts. Williams would go on to win the sixth man award for the second time in his career. The Clippers’ playoff hopes took a hit down the stretch as they lost five of six games in March and five of their final six games, finishing 42-40, falling five games short of the postseason. The Clippers’ exodus continued after the season, as DeAndre Jordan signed with the Dallas Mavericks, while Austin Rivers was traded to the Washington Wizards for Marcin Gorat.
2018/19: The era of Lob City, was over for the Los Angeles Clippers, but the remade team still coached by Doc Rivers was still competitive. Lou Williams continued to provide a spark off the bench, again leading the team in scoring with 20.6 points per game. He also averaged 5.4 assists per game on the way to being named the sixth man of the year for the second straight season. Danilo Gallinari bounced back from injury, averaging a career-best 19.8 ppg. With a healthy team, the Clippers surged in November, winning nine-of-ten games. Tobias Harris also proved valuable, averaging 20.9 ppg, before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on February 6th. Harris was traded to Philadelphia with Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, and Landry Shamet with four draft picks. Muscala was later set to the Los Angeles Lakers for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac. With Landry Shamet playing well, the Clippers had a big March, winning 13 games. This helped the Clippers secure the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 48-34.
2019 Playoffs: The Los Angeles Clippers would face the Golden State Warriors in the first round. The Warriors had been to the NBA Finals four straight seasons and were seeking the third consecutive NBA Championship. The Warriors won the opener 121-104 and appeared to be on their way to a 2-0 series lead, leading 94-63 in the middle of the third quarter of Game 2. However, the Clippers roared back to win the game 135-131 to even the series. The 31-point comeback was the largest in the history of the NBA Playoffs. Lou Williams led the comeback efforts, scoring a game-high 36 points. After their comeback win in Game 2, the Clippers failed to hold serve at home, suffering a 132-105 loss in Game 3 and a 113-105 loss in Game 4. In Oakland for Game 5, the Clippers won 129-121, as Williams again excelled off the bench with 33 points and ten assists. The Warriors would again beat the Clippers 129-110 at Staples Center in Game 6, with Kevin Durant scoring 50 points to end the series in six games. However, with their showing in the playoffs, it was clear, the Clippers wear again sailing in the right direction.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on March 18, 2003. Last updated on March 16, 2020 at 11:50 pm ET.