|Clippers look for more road inspiration against Pacers|
INDIANAPOLIS -- After a 14-point loss on Tuesday night at Minnesota, Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers said he was convinced it was time for a players-only meeting.
Rivers told the Los Angeles Times that his message was: "I was like: 'If we're going to go out, we're going to go out together. If we're going to lose, we're going to lose together. If we're going to win, we're going to win together. No more bickering. No more, we need to do this. No more questioning each other, the coaches, whoever. We've got to be one team, one unit, playing with high energy and compete.
"Let's play harder than the other team and then if they beat us, you tip your hat to them. But no more of this ... losing team kind of mindset. That's what losing teams have. We're not one of those teams.'"
The message seemed to resonate as the Clippers broke a four-game losing streak with a 127-120 victory at Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Clippers' road trip continues at the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
The Clippers (38-33) are trying to keep pace in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"Listen, I've been here for four years and I've only ever been to the playoffs," said Rivers, whose father is Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "I told DJ (DeAndre Jordan) the same thing. I said, 'I'm not trying to go backwards.' And if we do lose and we don't make the playoffs, we at least go into the summer like, 'You know what? We gave it everything we got."
The Pacers will likely make the playoffs, but they are slumping.
Indiana center Domantas Sabonis, who averages 11.7 points and 7.9 rebounds, has missed the last four games with a sprained left ankle. His status is doubtful for Friday night. The Pacers have lost three of those four games without the key reserve.
The Pacers (41-31) shot 36.6 percent, the second lowest percentage of the season, in a 96-92 loss at New Orleans on Wednesday night.
"We missed some shots that we normally make," Pacers center Myles Turner said. "You are going to have nights like that in the NBA."
Pacers guard Victor Oladipo said they rushed some shots.
"There were some things we could have done better," Oladipo said. "Obviously, we need to go back and watch film and correct it."
Pacers coach Nate McMillan didn't see much to like in the loss.
"I just thought that we didn't really do a good job of executing," McMillan said. "We didn't show any poise out there. We were playing too fast. Everybody was taking quick shots and just settling for ... I don't know.
"Once again, we just get out there and throwing the ball toward the basket and not executing offensively. We never built a rhythm or established our offense."
The Pacers are led by Oladipo, who averages 23.3 points. The Clippers are led by sixth man Lou Williams, who is averaging 22.8 points.
The teams' second meeting will be April 1 in Los Angeles.