Turnovers have been a problem for Clippers – LA Times

By Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times

Turn, turn, turn.

That is, as in turning the ball over.

One consistent thread through the Clippers’ first five games has been inconsistent ballhandling. They’ve had 78 turnovers in those five games, four of them losses, an alarming average of 15.6 turnovers a game.

There was a season high of 21 against Dallas on Saturday and a low of 11 at Utah on Friday, although there were other assorted issues in the loss to the Jazz, which featured a fourth-quarter collapse.

The same problem surfaced in the lone Clippers’ victory, a 93-90 win against the Timberwolves on Monday at Staples Center.

The Clippers’ 20 turnovers — including five by point guard Baron Davis — helped the Timberwolves erase deficit after deficit. The Clippers blew a 13-point third-quarter lead and barely hung on to win.

“I thought we did a lot of good things as far as execution,” Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said. “But the one thing that hurt was turnovers. We shot a high percentage, but every time we would get up eight or nine points, our turnovers would let them get back in the game.

“I thought our defense was solid, but the amount of easy buckets they made was too many. We have to place a higher value on the ball. We have a couple of days to work on it and hopefully, we will improve.”

Change at forward

Monday’s game featured Rasual Butler’s first start at small forward for the Clippers, at the expense of struggling Al Thornton, who made only two of six shots and had two turnovers.

Butler made only three of 15 shots, but he was clutch from the free-throw line against Minnesota. Butler gave himself so-so reviews a day later, via his Twitter account.

“I got my first 1st start last night,” he wrote. ” . . . I wasn’t on like I would have like to be but we got the job done!”