PHILADELPHIA -- The Los Angeles Clippers were coming off a loss in Cleveland two nights earlier, and now they were back on their heels a bit as a 21-point lead against the Philadelphia 76ers began to dwindle in the second half.
But the big three of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan steadied the Clippers down the stretch Monday night, pushing the team to a 94-83 win over the stubborn 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
Griffin led the team in scoring with 26 points on nine-for-14 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and three blocked shots, and took two charges.
Paul had 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting, and 13 assists.
And Jordan had 11 points, making five of seven shots, and took a season-high 21 rebounds.
The three performed their roles as leaders, making sure the Clippers (14-8) didn't let this game get away against the 7-15 76ers.
"In tough games, that's our responsibility as well," Griffin said. "So when we don't do that, we really feel that onus and the need to come and push it."
Jordan took care of the rebounding as usual -- he averages 13.3 per game, tied for second in the NBA -- finishing off his night with a tip-in of a Willie Green miss for the final margin. It was one of six offensive rebounds for Jordan.
"Rebounding was an issue for us last year," he said, "and I feel like one of our focus areas this year was to improve our rebounding."
The Clippers came out strong in the third quarter, going on a 13-0 run to open a 57-36 lead.
But they began to lose track of the game, their lead shrinking to seven points because the 76ers were simply playing harder.
It fell to the big three to right the ship in the fourth quarter.
Griffin scored on a drive to increase the lead to nine points.
Paul made a three-pointer to put the Clippers ahead by 11.
After Philadelphia fought back to within eight points, Griffin scored again.
The 76ers made one last push, pulling to within seven points and then getting the ball back with a chance to get even closer.
But Griffin took a charge from Hollis Thompson with 1:33 left, preserving the 90-83 lead.
It was all the Clippers needed, their big three coming through again to help the team improve to 2-2 on a seven-game trip. The next stop is Boston on Wednesday night.
"It starts with us, but at the same time, it's a team effort," said Jordan. "But we definitely have to set the tone of what we want and what we expect out of everybody."
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