Clippers hang on to beat Trail Blazers, 106-102
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers finally got themselves together.
After five lackluster games to open the season, including a 17-point loss at Golden State, their offense, defense and energy came together in a 106-102 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
“We came out this year like we won something last year and everyone else came out like they got their heart broken,” said DeAndre Jordan, who had 14 rebounds. “We just needed to get back to what got us to where we were last year.”
J.J. Redick broke out of a shooting slump with 30 points, and Blake Griffin added 23 while playing sick. Chris Paul had 22 points and 11 assists, and Jamal Crawford scored 20 points in his first start of the season.
“I’m a positive person and my glass is always half-full,” Redick said. “I knew I would start making some shots. I never got too discouraged, but frustrated for sure.”
Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 25 points. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Robin Lopez scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half.
Another slow start led to the Clippers giving up 62 points in the first half, and Griffin “looked like he was about to die at halftime,” Paul said. “He was laid out in there.”
“I thought I was (dead),” said Griffin, who felt nauseous. “It wasn’t too bad until I started running up and down.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers tried to take Griffin out, and he refused.
“Without him, we don’t win this game,” Paul said.
Griffin milked what little energy he had and the Clippers rallied in the third, when they put together a nice run to leave the game tied at 79 heading into the final quarter.
“They came out in the second half with a lot more energy and were more active and picked it up and played at a different level,” Lillard said. “Redick was the difference. We should have defended him tighter but he made it tough on us when he started making shots.”
Griffin and Redick combined to score 15 of the Clippers’ first 17 points of the fourth, extending their lead to 96-88. Redick had nine in the key stretch.
Lillard singlehandedly kept the Blazers in the game, reducing their nine-point deficit to two with nine straight points that left them trailing 102-100 with just over a minute left.
WARRIORS 98, ROCKETS 87: At Houston, Stephen Curry had 34 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Golden State past depleted Houston in a matchup of undefeated teams.
Houston played without center Dwight Howard (flu-like symptoms) and power forward Terrence Jones (bruised right leg), which made things much easier for the Warriors inside.
PELICANS 100, SPURS 99: At San Antonio, Anthony Davis scored the game-winning basket and finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds to help New Orleans hold off San Antonio.
The Spurs went on a 15-4 run with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan on the bench to take a 99-98 lead. Danny Green capped the run with three free throws with 12 seconds remaining after he was fouled by Eric Gordon on a wild 3-point attempt as the shot clock was about to expire.
Davis then drove past Aron Baynes for a layup with 6.6 seconds left. Kawhi Leonard missed a pair of shots in the final seconds.
BUCKS 93, GRIZZLIES 92: At Milwaukee, Brandon Knight converted a three-point play with 1.1 seconds remaining to rally Milwaukee past Memphis, handing the Grizzlies their first loss of the season after six consecutive victories.
Memphis guard Mike Conley was fouled with 8 seconds remaining, but missed the first free throw and made the second to make it 92-90. On the ensuing possession, Knight scored on a drive and drew a foul from Courtney Lee. Knight then hit the winning free throw.
HEAT 102, TIMBERWOLVES 92: At Miami, Dwyane Wade had 25 points and eight assists, Chris Bosh scored 24 and Miami held on in the final minutes.
Luol Deng scored 14 points and Norris Cole added 11 for the Heat, who snapped a two-game slide.
CELTICS 106, BULLS 101: At Chicago, fill-in starter Evan Turner scored 19 points to lead short-handed Boston over Chicago.
The teams played without injured All-Star point guards Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose. Rondo and rookie guard Marcus Smart sat out for the Celtics, while Rose was sidelined for the second straight game and fourth in the last five.
WIZARDS 97, PACERS 90: At Indianapolis, John Wall scored 18 points and Nene had 17 to lead Washington.
The Wizards held a 54-35 lead at halftime, but had to hold off a late charge by the Pacers. Indiana outscored Washington 30-19 in the third quarter to get close, but couldn’t take the lead.
HAWKS 103, KNICKS 96: At Atlanta, Kyle Korver scored 27 points and Atlanta overcame a strong start by Carmelo Anthony and New York, handing the Knicks their fourth straight loss.
Jeff Teague had 19 points for the Hawks. Anthony led New York with 20 points, including 14 in the first period. Iman Shumpert had 19.