Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/21/12
Perhaps no words signaled the change in expectations for the Clippers this season better than Chris Paul's statement after the Spurs swept the Clippers out of the playoffs Sunday night at Staples Center. "There are no moral victories around here," he said. Despite looking incredibly over-matched for most of their four-game series with San Antonio, the Clippers gave the Spurs their biggest sweat of their 18-game winning streak, having two chances to either tie or take the lead in the final minute of Game 4. But both times, the Clippers' hero this season, Paul, couldn't come through, committing a turnover and missing a shot to tie. "I had two opportunities. Being in that situation all season long, a lot of times, I was able to come through," Paul said. "To let my team down in that situation was the toughest part of my season and something I'll think about for a while." Paul's 23 points were his most in the Clippers' series with the Spurs. NOTES, QUOTES Del Negro's future with team unknown --After the Clippers' three-point loss to the Spurs Sunday night, coach Vinny Del Negro entered his postgame press conference with plenty of emotion on his face. Multiple times during the media session, Del Negro repeated two words: "It's tough." Del Negro went through his share of adversity during the year, dealing with injuries, a completely new roster and reports that he had lost the locker room. Still, he was able to win the first series of his four-year coaching career before losing to the Spurs. Del Negro's future with the team isn't certain, with the Clippers' owning an option for a third year on his deal. "I thought Coach did a great job," Clippers guard Chris Paul said. --In the second quarter, Blake Griffin took a shot to the face chasing after a loose ball. One of Griffin's teeth went through his lip, causing him to receive two stitches inside his mouth and two stitches outside. Griffin returned to the game and started the second half. QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's addicting. It makes me want to be back." -- Clippers guard Nick Young on being part of a winning team. Young joined the Clippers at the trade deadline and is a free agent this summer. ROSTER REPORT PLAYER NOTES: --F Blake Griffin grabbed 16 rebounds in Game 3, but Sunday he was only able to haul in five boards. Griffin finished with 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field. --G Eric Bledsoe continued his rapid maturation in Game 4, giving the Clippers a giant spark in the second half. Bledsoe scored 13 of his 17 points in the third and fourth quarters of the Clippers' three-point loss Sunday. --C DeAndre Jordan played over 30 minutes, scoring 10 points to go with eight rebounds. Jordan also blocked three shots. --G Chris Paul had his first 50 percent shooting game Sunday since Game 2 of the Clippers' series with Memphis. Paul led the Clippers with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field.
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