After falling 101-100 to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Clippers got a little revenge back at the Staples Center on Sunday. Behind Blake Griffin's 23 points and nine assists, the Clippers beat the Blazers 96-83 and ended a four-game losing streak.
Playing without Chris Paul for a fourth straight game due to a bruised knee, Los Angeles (33-13) got off to a strong start, scoring 33 points in the first quarter and grabbing a six-point lead. That advantage was trimmed to five by halftime, but the Clippers used a big third quarter to create some separation. Los Angeles outscored Portland 23-12 in the third and cruised to victory in the fourth quarter. The Clippers' offense was humming pretty much all night, shooting 51.2 percent from the field and racking up 33 assists on 42 made field goals.
For the second straight game, Griffin out-dueled fellow All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Griffin nearly notched a triple-double in the loss on Saturday with 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, and followed that up with another masterful performance on Sunday. The huge assist totals the past two games are probably the most impressive aspect of these efforts, considering the power forward is handing out under four assists per game.
Aldridge did do pretty well in his own right, scoring 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and pulling down 11 rebounds. But he simply did not get much help, with only two other Blazers (once again .500 at 22-22) reaching double-digits in scoring and the bench contributing just 16 points.