- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - J.J. Redick came through at the free-throw line in the closing seconds to help the Los Angeles Clippers pull out a win in a game that saw the teams trade leads until the final minutes.

Blake Griffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Chris Paul had 21 points and 14 assists, and the Clippers held off the Portland Trail Blazers 121-120 Monday night to sweep the three-game season series.

Redick finished with 19 points, hitting all eight of his free throws - including three in the final seconds to push Los Angeles’ lead to four points.

Portland’s Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left for the final margin.

“It was an up-and-down game, back and forth,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “Each team made not big runs, but little runs and that was kind of the ebb and flow of the game.”

The final minutes saw Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Blazers forward Evan Turner ejected. Portland center Mason Plumlee was hit with a technical after he elbowed Griffin on a drive in his face, causing a cut on his upper lip that needed three stitches after the game.

That only highlighted what was a roughly played game throughout.

“I’m sure there is no love lost,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We play each other a lot and whenever you play each other a lot it seems like you get testy. We don’t really care if you like us or not.”

Paul was also charged with a flagrant foul.

“It’s just competition,” Paul said. “Guys out there fighting and trying to get a win and stuff happens.”

Paul hit a three-pointer with just over 2 minutes to play, and later added a pair of free throws to give the Clippers a 118-113 lead with 18 seconds to play.

But the Blazers responded again, Lillard hit a pair of free throws himself. After Lillard’s last 3 the Clippers ran out the clock.

“It was probably our most competitive game of the year,” Stotts said. “It was a tough loss but I like the way we competed throughout the game. We got down and came back. It was a very good effort.”

C.J. McCollum had 25 points and Lillard finished with 24 points and eight assists for the Trail Blazers, who lost their fourth straight - all on the road.

“The way we played tonight is the way we’re supposed to play,” Lillard said. “This is what gives us our best chance against good teams, like they are. It’s what we’ve kind of been missing on a consistent basis. We did a good job but lost the game. We want to win.”

The Clippers acted like they were going to dominate early, jumping out to a 38-27 lead at the end of the first quarter. They connected on 14 of 22 field goals (63.6 percent), came up with four blocked shots and outscored Portland 14-4 to close the quarter.

But Portland charged back in the second, opening with a 13-2 run and then just kept rolling. The Blazers outscored the Clippers 33-18 in the second quarter to take a 60-56 lead at the half.

“I thought we did a great job early being an aggressor and then somewhere we lost it, but down the stretch the guys made plays,” Griffin said.


The 6-11 Plumlee had a strong game, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots.


Stotts also picked up a technical when he objected to foul called against McCollum on a three-point attempt with 4:14 left. Redick hit all four free throws.

“No comment,” was all Stotts offered.


Trail Blazers: F Al-Farouq Aminu (back contusion) was called a game-time decision, but started against the Clippers. … Lillard scored a team-record 695 points in the Blazers first 25 games, eclipsing Clyde Drexler’s previous mark of 681 in 1988.

Clippers: Backup PG Austin Rivers is undergoing NBA concussion protocol and missed Monday’s contest. … Monday marked the Clippers’ 247th consecutive sellout at Staples Center. … G Raymond Felton returned to the team after missing the past two games to attend his grandmother’s funeral.


Trail Blazers: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

Clippers: At Orlando on Wednesday night.

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