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  • Griffin's 37 powers Clippers

  • LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin scored 22 of his 37 points in the first quarter and made 14 of 16 shots before fouling out, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 112-105 on Monday night for their eighth straight victory.
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  • LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin scored 22 of his 37 points in the first quarter and made 14 of 16 shots before fouling out, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 112-105 on Monday night for their eighth straight victory.
    Darren Collison scored 20 points and Chris Paul added 17 points and 11 assists for the Pacific Division leaders, who were 55.1 percent from the field and improved to 23-1 when shooting at least 50 percent.
    Goran Dragic had 23 points and five assists during a foul-plagued 33 minutes for the Suns, who slipped a half-game behind idle Memphis for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot and are 11/2 behind Dallas. Phoenix hasn't made the postseason since 2010 under coach Alvin Gentry, now a Clippers associate head coach.
    Gerald Green, who had a career-high 41 points for the Suns in last Thursday's 128-122 win over Oklahoma City, finished with 16 points after averaging 23.4 over his previous 13 games. Miles Plumlee, playing his second game after missing the previous two because of a sprained right knee, had 12 points and nine rebounds as all five Suns starters scored in double figures.
    Dragic came in averaging 20.5 points, third in the league among point guards behind Stephen Curry (23.5) and Kyrie Irving (21.5). But he picked up his third foul 2 minutes into the second quarter and wasn't a factor until the fourth, when the Suns rallied from a 19-point deficit with 8:11 remaining and got it down to 109-105 on Dragic's layup with 32.5 seconds to play.
    Knicks 123, 76ers 110
    At New York, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 28 points as New York topped Philadelphia, sending the 76ers to their 17th straight loss.
    Amare Stoudemire added 23 points, and J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony each had 22 as the Knicks won their fourth game in a row.
    Michael Carter-Williams recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, while Tony Wroten also had 23 points for the struggling 76ers.
    The Knicks, who trailed by 12 points in the first quarter, took their biggest lead of the game, 110-89, on the fourth of Hardaway Jr's five 3-pointers with 7:37 left and never led by less than 12 the rest of the way.
    Heat 99, Wizards 90
    At Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, LeBron James led all scorers with 23 points and Miami clinched a playoff spot.
    Chris Bosh scored 22 for the Heat, who snapped a three-game slide and moved within one game of Indiana in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
    Ray Allen added 13 for Miami, which was down one midway through the fourth before Wade sparked a 12-0 run with five points, three assists and a block at the rim. The Heat never trailed again, and avoided their first four-game slide since 2011.
    Bobcats 105, Nuggets 98
    At Charlotte, N.C., Al Jefferson scored 26 points and Kemba Walker added 24 as Charlotte won its seventh straight at home.
    Jefferson made 10 of his first 14 field-goal attempts and also had a game-high 12 rebounds. Walker added seven assists for the Bobcats, who also received a big boost from Gary Neal off the bench. Neal made his first six field-goal tries, including three 3-pointers, and ended up with 19 points.
    Josh McRoberts added 15 points for Charlotte, including a key 3-pointer with 6:15 left at the shot-clock buzzer to extend Charlotte's lead to 90-82 after Denver had cut it to five at 87-82.
    Ty Lawson scored 24 points to lead the Nuggets.
    Bucks 105, Magic 98
    At Milwaukee, Brandon Knight scored 24 points and sparked Milwaukee's rousing rally from an 18-point deficit with a dunk.
    Knight confounded Orlando with a quick first step and threw down a dunk for a 74-71 lead with 10:57 left after Ramon Sessions went high for an outlet pass in the lane and patted the ball back to his driving backcourt mate.
    Nets 101, Raptors 97
    At New York, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston each scored 18 points and an ailing Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining to lead Brooklyn past Atlantic Division-leading Toronto.
    Pierce finished with 15 points and Joe Johnson added 14 for the Nets, who won their season-high eighth straight at home. Brooklyn moved three games behind Toronto in the Atlantic.
    Kyle Lowry scored 21 points to lead Toronto, which had won nine of its previous 11.
    Hawks 112, Jazz 110
    At Salt Lake City, Kyle Korver scored 26 points and Paul Millsap added 23 to help Atlanta outlast Utah to snap a six-game losing streak.
    Jeff Teague had 14 points and the Hawks used a late 16-4 run to end a 10-game road skid and salvage a win at the end of a gloomy six-game road trip.
    The Jazz led 96-93 after Trey Burke's 3-pointer, but Korver started an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer and then a contested jumper to beat the shot clock. Trey Burke made a layup before Millsap countered with two free throws and Korver added two of his own.
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