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Liverpool pushes for star names

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Kawhi Leonard says Clippers’ growing pains are part of the process

first_img For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Good news, bad news – all of it’s part of the process.So says Kawhi Leonard, a two-time NBA champion who, regardless of the outcome, has preached perspective since embarking on his first season with the Clippers almost a month ago.Said Leonard, following Monday’s 98-88 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center: “It’s gonna take success, mistakes, arguments and losing games and winning games to get to that next level.”Then, after Wednesday’s 102-93 loss at Houston, Leonard said: “Just because we lose or win a game, or everything goes smooth, every night is a building process for us. Tonight definitely was. It was another game where we see what our guys like to do on the defensive and offensive end. We learn from it and stay moving.” BIG FAVORSIn the victory, the Pelicans enjoyed a career night from Derrick Favors, who grabbed 20 rebounds (and scored 20 points) as New Orleans outrebounded the Clippers 52-37. The Clippers also gave up 20 rebounds to Clint Capela on Wednesday night, when both teams pulled down 53.The Clippers come home leading by a smaller average margin on the boards – 47.8 to 45 – than they did when they left for the two-game trip, proud of their 48.3-43.5 advantage.“We heard a lot of people talking like we’re gonna be outrebounded every night and we took that personally,” center Ivica Zubac said before grabbing nine rebounds in only 22 minutes of action in the two losses. “We just want to show it don’t matter if you got a lot of big guys or not, we just go and get it.” Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates HELLO, RODNEYRodney McGruder also made a positive impression in his eighth game with the team, draining a career-best five 3-pointers (in seven attempts) en route to 20 points, two short of tying a career-high for the fourth-year NBA guard, who entered the game having scored only seven points this season.Related Articles Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum The scoring part of it went pretty well, though. Historically well, in fact.George’s 33 points (in 24 minutes, on 10-of-17 shooting) goes down as the fourth-most points in a Clippers debut, behind only Sam Cassell’s 35 in 2005, Phil Smith’s 35 in 1980 and Dominique Wilkins’ 34 in 1994.Moreover, according to Elias Sports Bureau, no player had finished with 30-plus points in 25 or fewer minutes in his first game with a team. Previously, the fewest minutes for a 30-point game in a team debut was Bobby Portis’ 30 points in 27:28 during his first game with the Wizards last season. What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 To ease the stress on his sore left knee, Leonard didn’t play in Paul George’s debut on Thursday – a 132-127 loss at New Orleans that dropped the Clippers to 7-5 and 0-3 without Leonard in the lineup – but he’s expected to join George on the court for the first time Saturday.It will be an important chapter in the ongoing education of the new-look Clippers, who continue with five consecutive home games, scheduled every other day starting Saturday against sensational second-year guard Trae Young (27.3 points, 9.1 assists) and the Atlanta Hawks (4-7).“We look forward to having our whole group back,” Clippers guard Lou Williams told reporters after logging a season-high 41 minutes Wednesday, fewer than 24 hours before he started for the third time this season and played nearly 37 minutes against the Pelicans.“We put a lot on Lou,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said in his postgame media address Thursday. “I thought Lou got tired one stretch. … So when you have all three of those guys offensively, you can take a (guy) like a Jrue Holiday (six steals Thursday) out of the game because whoever he’s guarding, you can play with the other two.”SPLASHY DEBUTFollowing his first game on the court as a Clipper, George said he saw lots of room to improve in terms of “just playing basketball.”last_img read more