LOS ANGELES — J.J. Redick’s shooting numbers had fallen off so dramatically that a day before the Clippers played the Charlotte Hornets, he joked, he had suffered an anxiety attack.
“I had been playing like (garbage),” Redick said.
He was being dramatic, but acknowledged how good it felt to break through with 22 points in Sunday’s 124-121 overtime win over the Hornets. He scored 19 points in the first half on a sizzling 8-of-10 shooting, and was scoring in a variety of ways. Only three of his hoops in the first two quarters were on 3-pointers.
Before Sunday, Redick had shot just 31.9 percent on 3-pointers in 10 games in February, and 34.8 percent from the field.
“There’s lingering doubt when you go through a prolonged shooting slump,” Redick said. “If I have a 2-for-16 game, generally speaking it’s whatever, I’m going to make shots the next night. But it feels like, really since the Boston game — so like the last eight games — I’ve had one good shooting game.”
There are two things that can be credited for Redick breaking through Sunday and, hopefully for the Clippers, recapturing what has made him so vital to their offense since he arrived in 2013.
One is the return of Chris Paul, who missed more than a month with a torn ligament in his left thumb.
“Everybody has missed CP,” Clippers assistant Mike Woodson said, “and to have him back, I know J.J. feels more comfortable probably when he’s out there starting with him, because they get a lot accomplished early in the game. J.J. benefited from it (against Charlotte) because he was able to shake loose and knock down some shots.”
Paul finished Sunday with 17 assists, and facilitated the offense that, when functioning, freed up Redick.
The Clippers can expect to see Paul’s return continue to pay such dividends. On Sunday, each of Clippers stars had peak performances: DeAndre Jordan had 20 points and 19 rebounds; Blake Griffin stuffed the box score, including a season-high 43 points; Redick was scorching hot and Paul racked up assists.
On Sunday, the concern was with everyone else. The bench contributed just 17 points, and supersubs Redick and Jamal Crawford were a combined 3-of-13 from the field.
The second factor contributing to Redick getting back on track?
“I always feel like eventually there’s going to be some kind of regression to the mean and I’m going to make shots,” he said.
He said he stuck to his normal gameday routines throughout February.
“I took this from Ray Allen about eight years ago, he said just never change your routine when you’re a shooter because you can’t blame it on that,” Redick said. “You just do what you do and have confidence that those shots are going to go in.”
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