Basketball / Sports

Griffin leads Clips over Raptors, 118-105

LOS ANGELES--Friday night's game was all about Los Angeles Clippers All-Star power forward Blake Griffin dominating the Toronto Raptors, when he wasn't getting in foul trouble.

But this game was also about DeAndre Jordan staying the course when he was intentionally fouled by the Raptors and it was about Willie Green providing the Clippers with a spark when it was needed.

Griffin, who played just 28 minutes because of foul problems, had 36 points on 13-for-18 shooting and eight rebounds to help the Clippers to a 118-105 victory over the Raptors at Staples Center.

Jordan had scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He had a career-high 22 free-throw attempts, making 10 of them.

Green gave the Clippers a big lift, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Clippers stay ahead until Griffin returned.

"Sometimes you just have to figure out stuff," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said.

The game took on a different tone for the Clippers when Griffin picked up his fifth foul with 5:16 left in the third quarter, and when the Raptors began to intentionally foul Jordan midway through the third.

It was clear the Raptors were going to use any tactic possible to climb out of the 22-point hole the Clippers had put them in.

Raptors Coach Dwane Casey began to have Jordan intentionally fouled with 6:31 left in the third.

Over the next three minutes, Jordan shot 16 free throws, making eight. He made three of his last four free throws to help the Clippers open an 18-point lead.

"I was really happy for DJ," Rivers said. "If you miss a couple (of free throws) early, that's tough. He hung in there and started making a couple. You shoot six, eight, 10, you get a pretty good rhythm. I thought he started getting a pretty good rhythm at the line."

However, the Raptors' strategy worked enough to get the Clippers out of their offensive groove.

By the end of the third quarter, which took 41 minutes to play, the Clippers' lead had been sliced to nine points.

"It did do something," Rivers said. "It changed the rhythm of the game because we had a great pace and we never got back to the pace. So it did have that effect. But as far as the score stuff, it really didn't change it."

The Clippers had been serving up the Raptors by playing team-inspired basketball.

One of the biggest displays of team play started with the Clippers' defense in the third quarter.

It began when Jordan blocked a shot by Kyle Lowry. Griffin ran the ball down and kept it from going out of bounds by passing the ball back in to Jordan.

Jordan then passed ahead to Jamal Crawford (21 points), who passed the ball to Matt Barnes for a three-point basket from the corner that gave the Clippers an 82-60 lead.

Griffin was an unstoppable force in the first quarter, scoring 19 points while missing just three of his 11 field goals.

(c)2014 Los Angeles Times

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