Griffin-led Clippers get revenge
LOS ANGELES Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers quickly made up for Saturday night.
The Clippers, who were outscored 10-0 down the stretch in losing 101-100 Saturday at the Rose Garden, responded with a solid 96-83 win over the Trail Blazers in Sunday's rematch at Staples Center.
The Blazers lacked fire and stamina, especially in the second half, as they fell to 22-22.
The Clippers scored the last seven points of the first half, then outscored Portland 23-12 in the third period to build on their 55-50 halftime advantage. The 12 points matched the Blazers' low for any quarter this season.
Portland never got closer than 12 points in the late stages Sunday.
Power forward Griffin had game highs 23 points and nine assists, with five rebounds and two steals, even though he sat out the fourth quarter.
"He's unselfish, and he's making good basketball plays and making us play better. That's what All-Stars do in this league," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland's All-Star power forward, countered with a team-high 21 points and game-high 11 rebounds. He was 9 of 14 from the field and added four assists.
But the Blazers lacked firepower elsewhere. Damian Lillard scored 16 points and J.J. Hickson had 15 points and nine rebounds, but Nicolas Batum had just 8 points on 3-for-5 shooting, Wesley Matthews scored 7 points on 3-for-9 shooting, and the Portland bench totaled 16 points in 62 minutes, going 4 of 15 from the field with four turnovers and two assists.
Lillard had five turnovers, Batum four.
And the Blazers were outscored 56-24 in the paint, while managing to make just 3 of 15 shots from 3-point range and score only four second-chance points, the least by a Clippers opponent this season.
L.A. improved to 38-13 overall, third in the NBA Western Conference. The Clips are 20-5 at home.
The Clippers were without star point guard Chris Paul for the fourth game in a row. He was out with a bruised knee cap.
Portland, which will play Dallas at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Rose Garden, is 7-14 on the road.
The Blazers are ninth in the West, one game behind Houston (24-22) and three games better than the 10th-place Los Angeles Lakers (19-25).