- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Austin Rivers doesn’t bother checking the Clippers’ lineup these days. With so many injuries, he’s never sure who’s suiting up.

Rivers scored 21 points, DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 rebounds and Los Angeles beat the Phoenix Suns 108-94 on Wednesday night to end a three-game skid.

“We’ve got to stay in this until we get our guys back,” Rivers said. “Whoever is on the floor, let’s just attack.”

Back home from a 1-4 road trip, the injury-depleted Clippers had lost seven of 10 before leading all the way against a young Phoenix team that has its own injury woes.

The Clippers’ lineup included rookies C.J. Williams and Jamil Wilson. Williams had 12 points and Wilson scored 11.

“C.J. is solid,” coach Doc Rivers said. “Jamil can shoot the ball and he’s learning everything else on the fly.”

T.J. Warren led Phoenix with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Josh Jackson added 17 points. The Suns dropped their ninth in a row to the Clippers at Staples Center.

“We were sloppy for most of the night,” interim coach Jay Triano said. “We lacked focus. A very subpar performance for us.”

Ahead by 18 points at halftime, the Clippers extended their lead to 25 in the third quarter. They opened with an 18-11 run to go up 71-46, with Austin Rivers scoring nine points.

The Suns answered with a 19-3 spurt to close to 74-64, getting points from five different players.

“That has been our season so far, trying to get over that hump,” said Troy Daniels, who had seven points. “We need to continue to keep pushing and I think we can get there.”

The Clippers scored seven of the quarter’s final nine points for an 81-66 lead going into the fourth. Willie Reed grabbed Montrezl Harrell’s missed free throw and dunked, and Lou Williams followed with a jam. He finished with 18 points.

“We need to focus more on executing our offense,” Jackson said. “A lot of times we were just standing around a little bit, shot clock winding down and we end up putting up a bad shot.”

Phoenix made a final stand in the fourth. Down by 22, the Suns used a 14-5 run to get to 98-85. Warren had 14 in the period, but the Clippers got six straight points from Jordan, who finished with 12, to put the game away.

“This is the best defense we’ve played all season,” the younger Rivers said.

SPARK PLUG

Harrell scored 11 points off the bench, keeping up his pace in 10 games this month. He played 18 minutes, three more than his average.

BACK WHERE HE BEGAN

Clippers forward Sam Dekker next heads to Houston, where he began his NBA career after being drafted by the Rockets out of Wisconsin. He played two seasons there. “I’m always going to have love for Houston because they gave me a chance,” he said. “Going to see some friends, get dinner with some familiar faces, which will be nice. But once we lace up on the court, it’s all business.”

TIP-INS

Suns: G Devin Booker (left adductor strain), G Brandon Knight (left ACL tear), G Davon Reed (left meniscus repair) and F-C Alan Williams (right meniscus repair) were out. … The Suns had erased double-digit deficits in winning their two previous games. They were trying to win three in a row for the first time this season. … Phoenix fell to 0-2 against the Clippers this season.

Clippers: F Danilo Gallinari will be out until at least January with a partial tear of his left glute muscle. He missed 13 games with the strained left glute and returned briefly before sustaining a contusion to the glute muscle. Further examination revealed a partial tear. … F Wesley Johnson (left foot soreness) will be out about a week.

UP NEXT

Suns: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday in the opener of a three-game homestand.

Clippers: Visit the Houston Rockets on Friday, although former Clippers star Chris Paul’s availability is in doubt because of a sore left leg.

___

More AP NBA: www.apnews.com/tags/NBAbasketball


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