Clippers beat Knicks for 10th straight time
LOS ANGELES -- Defense and a pivotal third-quarter surge sparked the Los Angeles Clippers to a win over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
Blake Griffin scored 30 points in three quarters, and the Clippers beat the Knicks for the 10th consecutive time with a 114-105 victory at Staples Center.
DeAndre Jordan had 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, and J.J. Redick also scored 14 for the Clippers, who closed within a game of the Utah Jazz for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers (42-29) are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies for the fifth seed.
Los Angeles, though, isn't satisfied with its recent play. The Clippers are 7-8 since the All-Star break.
"We still got a ways to go," said Clippers point guard Chris Paul, who had 13 points and 13 assists. "Our team begins and ends on the defensive end. You're going to make shots some nights, you're going to miss some nights, but it's defense. That's where you build the trust and where you build your identity."
Austin Rivers came off the bench to score 17 points, while Jamal Crawford finished with 14 for the Clippers.
Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis each scored 18 points to lead the Knicks (27-43), who have dropped five of their past six contests. Porzingis, who also had 11 rebounds, returned to the lineup after missing a game with a thigh bruise.
New York's Carmelo Anthony scored 16 points and Justin Holiday chipped in 11.
"The start of the third quarter really hurt us after the easy buckets (the Clippers) scored," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "That's the time where you can cut down their lead into four or five points and make them think about the game. Instead, they let it build up to 20 and we were playing from behind. Our (reserves) got in there and played hard and had some success down the stretch."
Griffin scored 10 of his points in the third quarter to help the Clippers outscore the Knicks 34-19. Los Angeles hit 6 of 11 from 3-point range to 0 of 5 for New York in the third. Griffin hit both of his attempts.
"He's a top power forward in the league, especially when he's shooting well on the outside," said Porzingis, who connected on 9 of 16 shots, but missed all four of his 3-point attempts. "It's hard to stop him, and the connection he has with DeAndre makes it hard to guard them. They really know how to find each other and they play well together."
After taking a 63-53 lead at the break, the Clippers opened the third with a 17-4 run for an 80-57 advantage after a 3-pointer by Paul with 7:14 remaining in the quarter.
"We got stops," Griffin said. "Getting stops the first three possessions, whatever it was, led to some easy buckets and then they called timeout. We just kind of kept that momentum."
Los Angeles led 97-72 heading into the final quarter, allowing Clippers coach Doc Rivers to rest his starters.
However, the Knicks made a late run and sliced the Clippers' lead to 111-103 after two foul shots by Chasson Randle with 37 seconds remaining, but the Clippers held on for the win.
The Clippers outshot the Knicks 49.4 percent to 44.9 percent. From long distance, the Clippers made 10 of 31 shots (32.3 percent) to 6 of 24 (25 percent) for the Knicks.
"I just loved the third quarter," Doc Rivers said. "We got out, we got stops, we ran. I thought our transition game all was good tonight. So I enjoyed that."
NOTES: Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he might rest some of his players when Los Angeles visits the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Rivers didn't say what Clippers might sit out. Rivers rested F Blake Griffin and C DeAndre Jordan in a loss last Thursday at the Denver Nuggets. ... New York lost the season series for the fifth year in a row. The Knicks are 2-15 all-time at Staples Center. ... Clippers G Jamal Crawford turned 37. ... The Knicks, who are 11-25 on the road, resume their four-game trip Wednesday at the Utah Jazz. ... The Clippers will be the road team when they play the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday at Staples.