Struggling Clippers look to right ship vs. Knicks

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers hasn't been a fan of his team's recent play. And he was particularly unhappy after the Clippers were pounded 140-114 by the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

"To me, we've been playing like this for the last four or five games. Our last solid game, to me, was against the (Los Angeles) Lakers," Rivers told reporters, referring to the club's Christmas Day victory. "Since then, we haven't played well. We've won games. This is a continuing thing for us. We've gotten down in a couple of games, we've come back, but we have to (play) better basketball."

Los Angeles will attempt to rebound Sunday when it hosts the New York Knicks at Staples Center.

The Clippers have gone 3-2 in their past five games, with home losses to the Utah Jazz and the Grizzlies. Memphis used its 3-point shooting to hand Los Angeles its second-worst loss of the season, connecting on 18 of 39 attempts from long range (46.2 percent) to 7 of 30 (23.3 percent) for the Clippers.

"They played harder, they played faster, they attacked us and we didn't guard anybody," Rivers said. "So when you play like that, you should lose. And we didn't play together on offense, either, I didn't think. I didn't think the ball moved. I just think we came to the game today, we showed up and thought we were going to win, and we got our butt kicked. And we deserved to."

Montrezl Harrell scored a game-high 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting for the Clippers, who played without Paul George, sidelined by a strained hamstring. They also were missing Patrick Beverley for the third consecutive game with a sprained wrist. However, both could return against the Knicks.

Lou Williams and Kawhi Leonard each had 24 points against Memphis, but Leonard misfired on 16 of his 24 shots. He also committed five turnovers.

Leonard probably won't play against New York, since the club has held him out of back-to-back contests to protect a lingering knee problem.

The Knicks had their three-game winning streak snapped Friday in a 120-112 loss to the Suns in Phoenix. Marcus Morris Sr. had 25 points, and Bobby Portis scored 20 off the bench for the Knicks, who led for much of the contest before the Suns rallied in the fourth quarter.

"I think we came out less urgent and they came out in the third and imposed their will on us and they got a lot of confidence," said Morris, who converted 8 of 17 shots from the floor and 4 of 8 3-pointers, according to the New York Post.

Elfrid Payton, who became a first-time dad earlier Friday when his girlfriend gave birth to a girl, rejoined the club less than two hours before tip-off and finished with 15 points and six assists. Julius Randle added 13 points and 13 rebounds for New York. Randle, though, missed all six of his 3-point attempts and made just 5 of 17 shots overall.

"We scored enough points to win this game," Randle said, according to the Post. "We had a slow start to the third quarter and they were confident the rest of the way."

--Field Level Media
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