Grif­fin: Hard work is the so­lu­tion

Los Angeles Times - - NBA - By Brod­er­ick Turner brod­er­ick.turner@la­times.com Twit­ter: @BA_Turner

In­side the somber con­fines of the Clip­pers is a group grap­pling with mount­ing losses.

Con­tain­ing their frus­tra­tion will be para­mount if the Clip­pers are to dig out of their six-game swoon fol­low­ing Mon­day night’s de­feat to Philadel­phia.

The Clip­pers’ 4-0 start seems like it was eons ago con­sid­er­ing they have gone 1-8 since.

“You just have to un­der­stand it’s a long sea­son,” for­ward Blake Grif­fin said late Mon­day night. “We’re banged up. A cou­ple of wins will turn this around. I’ve been in this long enough to know that.”

It bears re­peat­ing that the Clip­pers must im­prove their de­fense if they want to break free of the los­ing.

And it bears re­peat­ing that the Clip­pers must ex­e­cute and trust their of­fen­sive sys­tem if they want to taste vic­tory.

“There’s no magic for­mula. We have to play harder, we have to play bet­ter. But, yeah, we just have to keep play­ing,” Grif­fin said.

The Clip­pers be­gin a five-game trip Fri­day in Cleve­land.

“It doesn’t get any eas­ier,” Clip­pers coach Doc Rivers said. “We go out on the road now and play Cleve­land in the first game. So we have a rough road trip com­ing up.

“Again, I like the pos­i­tives, which is how hard we are play­ing. The neg­a­tives are that we are los­ing games and we have to be bet­ter.”

Rook­ies give ef­fort

Out of ne­ces­sity, the Clip­pers have been forced to throw rook­ies Sin­dar­ius Thorn­well and Jawun Evans into ac­tion be­cause of in­juries in the back­court.

The two guards keep show­ing im­prove­ment.

Thorn­well has been a starter the last three games. He has played in all 13 games and is av­er­ag­ing 4.6 points in 15.1 min­utes.

Evans has be­come a key con­trib­u­tor off the bench. He has played in six games and has av­er­aged 5.3 points in 13.2 min­utes.

Their growth has mostly been on the de­fen­sive end.

“I thought our young guys were play­ing hard,” Rivers said. “Sin­dar­ius and Jawun, I think they have been ter­rific over­all.”

Gary Coron­ado Los An­ge­les Times

BLAKE GRIF­FIN rips his jersey af­ter the Clip­pers’ loss to Philadel­phia on Mon­day. The Clip­pers have lost six games in a row.

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