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Griffin leads Clippers over Raptors 94-90
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Blake Griffin had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Chris Kaman added 17 points and 12 boards, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Toronto 94-90 on Saturday night to hand the Raptors their fourth straight loss.
The Clippers had lost their previous five meetings with the Raptors by an average of 17.4 points. Eric Gordon, who missed his first 11 shots in Friday’s 112-104 loss to the Lakers, had 17 points after getting into early foul trouble, and Mo Williams finished with just nine points after scoring a season-high 30 against the two-time defending champions.
Ed Davis had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who ended a 1-4 road trip in which they fell behind by more than 40 points to both Denver and Golden State.
Jose Calderon, who sat out the second half of Friday’s 138-100 loss to the Warriors because of a strained left hamstring, was back in the starting lineup against the Clippers and scored 16 points in 34 minutes.
Raptors leading scorer Andrea Bargnani was scratched because of an ankle problem. In Friday night’s 138-100 loss at Golden State, Bargnani scored just seven points in 27 1-2 minutes after averaging 23.3 over his previous six games.
The Raptors, who set a franchise record for most points allowed in a half by surrendering 84 in the first 24 minutes against the Warriors, led the Clippers 44-43 at intermission. They went up by as many as 10 with 8:27 remaining before the Clippers pulled ahead 85-82 with a 15-2 run capped by Kaman’s layup off an offensive rebound with 3:21 left.
Toronto regained the lead at 88-87 on a layup by Davis with 1:58 to go, but Griffin got it back for good with a dunk, and Gordon hit the Clippers‘ first 3-pointer of the game with a minute left to put Los Angeles ahead 92-88. Williams helped sealed the win with a pair of free throws.
Fourth-year Toronto forward Julian Wright, averaging 14.4 minutes in his first season with Toronto and upset about his limited playing time, spent the entire game on the bench in uniform after refusing to report into Friday’s game in the third quarter with the Raptors being blown out by the Warriors. He wasn’t suspended, but did apologize to his teammates.
DeMar DeRozan, who was born in nearby Compton and played his high school ball there, started out 0 for 9 from the field and was 3 for 15 overall with seven points in 34 minutes. He finally ended his shooting drought on a 14-footer with 9:56 to play, extending Toronto’s lead to 77-68.
This was DeRozan’s first visit to Staples Center since All-Star weekend, when the USC alum competed against Griffin in the slam-dunk contest and waited two days before publicly expressing his displeasure about Griffin’s dunk over a car. DeRozan was watching from the bench just a few feet away when Griffin blew an alley-oop dunk attempt on a lob pass from Randy Foye with 3:25 left in the first quarter.
Notes: The Clippers were 0 for 8 on 3-pointers before Gordon’s clutch shot. The last time they went an entire game without making one was Jan. 15, 2008 (0 for 6). … Both teams wrapped up their respective schedules against the other conference. Toronto finished 8-22 against the West, and the Clippers were 13-17 against the East _ including a 122-101 victory at Washington on March 12. … Toronto entered Saturday as one of six teams allowing 105 or more points per game. … The Raptors have lost the second game of a back-to-back set seven of the last eight times they’ve had one.
By Tom Fitton
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