Barnes, Griffin lead Clippers to 5th straight win

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PHOENIX (AP) - Matt Barnes knows shooting nights like this are rare moments to be savored.

The 11-year NBA veteran scored 18 of his 28 points in the third quarter and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 104-96 Tuesday to match their season best of five victories in a row.

Barnes made 12 of his first 13 shots and scored 16 points in the first 5:09 of the third quarter.

“I felt like I got good looks every time,” he said. “I found a little bit of space and was able to get the shot up. Every time it left my hands it felt good. One of those nights.”

Blake Griffin added 22 points and Darren Collison had 18 for Los Angeles.

DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 17 rebounds and blocked Goran Dragic’s layup try with the Suns still in it with 41 seconds to go.

P.J. Tucker scored 18 and Gerald Green 17 on 6-of-19 shooting for the Suns, who played without center Miles Plumlee (right knee sprain). They also lost guard Leandro Barbosa to a broken left hand in the first half.

Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said Barbosa would be out four to six weeks.

After Jordan’s block, his two free throws sealed it at 101-94 with 39.5 seconds left.

Phoenix led by as many as 12 in the third quarter and trailed by as many as 15 in the fourth before cutting it to three late.

Trailing 61-49, Los Angeles outscored the Suns 32-10 to take an 81-71 lead on Barnes‘ layup after a Clippers offensive rebound with 38.9 seconds to go in the third quarter. Markieff Morris scored to cut Los Angeles’ lead to 81-73 entering the fourth.

Barnes shot 7 of 7 for 18 points in the third quarter. Griffin added 12 in the period.

The Clippers won despite a 4-for-14 shooting night from Chris Paul. Dragic, his Phoenix counterpart, was 5 for 14. They had nine assists apiece.

“It is not going to be Blake and Chris every night,” Barnes said. “We have a deep team and you have to be accountable for everybody and we have been showing that lately.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers credited his team’s second-half defense.

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