LOS ANGELES – Blake Griffin flirted with a triple-double and DeAndre Jordan had his best overall game of the season as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Portland Trailblazers 102-87 at Staples Center on Monday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Clippers caught fire in the first quarter as they looked to avenge their loss from a week ago in Portland at the hands of the Trailblazers. Led by Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan who combined for 15 points, the Clippers roared out to an early 11-point lead.
The Trailblazers would rally before the half as Maurice Harkliss scored 11 points in the second quarter alone and the two teams were tied at halftime.
Both teams lost their starting point guards in the third quarter as Damian Lillard left the game with an abdominal injury and Chris Paul headed to the locker room minutes later with a rib injury.
With both starting point guards out of the game, the Clippers bench took over and built up a double-digit lead by the end of the third quarter and cruised from there, closing out the Trailblazers with a dominant fourth quarter performance.
Griffin finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists as 11 different players scored for the Clippers in total.
Damian Lillard left the game midway through the third quarter with the Trailblazers tied with the Clippers. Soon after his departure, LA opened up a 10-point lead and never looked back.
MVP OF THE GAME
DeAndre Jordan. We'll overlook DJ's 22 missed free-throws and highlight his 18 points and 24 rebounds.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
DeAndre Jordan became the second player in the NBA this season, joining Andre Drummond with at least 20 rebounds in a game. Jordan finished with a season-high 24 rebounds. Jordan also attempted a career-high 34 free-throws.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
He's right. If you're reading this it's too late.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Blake Griffin cashing in those frequent flyer miles
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"I don't know what I'm getting Kobe for Christmas, but I know I'd like to take something from him. The 2010 Championship ring. I know I'd like to have that back." – Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on the Christmas Day game against the Lakers and Bryant's retirement announcement.
Portland point guard Damian Lillard left the game with abdominal pain in the third quarter and did not return.
Chris Paul left the game in the third quarter with a rib injury and did not return.
Portland Trailblazers (7-11, 3-7 on the road) 4th in Northwest Division
Los Angeles Clippers (10-8,8-4 at home) 2nd in Pacific Division
Portland heads back to the Rose Garden where they'll host the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 PM PST.
The Clippers have a day off before hosting the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 PM PST at Staples Center.