Wednesday's game wasn't looking good for the Clippers.
But then there was DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan opened the game with a quick six points, all on dunks. But what he did on the other end of the court was even more impressive -- he played tenacious defense and finished with 14 points, 20 rebounds and five blocked shots in the team's 108-95 win over New Orleans.
Jordan's standout performance came on the back end of a seven-game trip. Even he was surprised by his energy level.
"I don't know where it come from," he said. "I'm getting kind of old. I'm 25."
Jordan is averaging a career-high 13.4 rebounds a game so far this season. He said that's because he's embraced his role in a new way after having a talk with Coach Doc Rivers over the summer.
"He said he wanted me to be the leader and the anchor of our defense, and he really meant that," Jordan said. "On offense, he wanted me to just run, sprint, get easy baskets, set picks for guys, and help guys get open shots, and that's what I've been doing."
Rivers, who coached the Boston Celtics to a championship in 2008, said he was able to convince Jordan to want to do the less glamorous things on the court, the stuff that may not always show up on a stat sheet.
"When you look at the team, and you look at all of the weapons on the team, he had to look at where he'd make the biggest impact, and his biggest impact is doing all the other stuff," Rivers said.
In Wednesday's game, Jordan looked like a completely different player from last year, the guy we'd seldom see in fourth quarters because of his erratic play.
This time around, Jordan looked composed. He looked confident. He looked like he finally got it.
"He's just going after things now," Rivers said. "He's aggressive with it. I think he understands his role to the point where he accepts it, and loves it, and he embraces it. And he's a star in it."
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