Griffin, Dudley lead Clippers over Bobcats, 112-85
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 13 of his 31 points in the final 7:05 and Jared Dudley got 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 112-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Dudley faced his second former team in two games, making seven of 10 shots against the club that selected him with their first pick in 2007 and traded him to Phoenix after one season. He had nine points against the Suns on Monday in the Clippers’ 107-88 loss.
Chris Paul had 17 points and 14 assists for the defending Pacific Division champions, who beat the Bobcats for the sixth straight time and sent them to their 17th straight road loss against Western Conference opponents.
Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each scored 14 points for the Bobcats, whose previous six losses all were decided by five points or fewer.
Dudley jump-started the Clippers in the second half with a 3-pointer and a 22-footer, and they pulled away to a 75-62 lead on DeAndre Jordan’s tip-in with 6:19 left in the third quarter.
Dudley opened the fourth with another 3 to give Los Angeles an 84-69 cushion. But as hot as he was at the time, Dudley passed up a 3-point shot and drove the lane before dishing off to Ryan Hollins for a layup that resulted in a three-point play and an 87-71 advantage with 10:05 left.
Griffin, who began the final quarter on the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 5.2 seconds left in the third, reported back in with 7:56 remaining and drained four perimeter jumpers during a 1:33 span — the first two from 21 feet and the next two from 18 feet — to give the Clippers a 97-78 cushion with 5:32 left.
For good measure, Griffin added his seventh 3-pointer of the season with 1:50 on the clock for a 102-83 lead. The Bobcats didn’t make a field goal after Jefferson’s 16-footer with 4:04 remaining. Charlotte shot 38.2 percent from the field, making the Clippers 40-1 since the start of last season when holding an opponent under 42 percent.
Paul had 17 points and seven assists during a seesaw first half that included 18 lead changes, and both teams shot over 50 percent before leaving the court at intermission tied at 56. Neither club led by more than four points until Chris Douglas-Roberts converted an offensive rebound into a layup to give the Bobcats a 43-37 margin with 6:41 left in the second quarter.
The Bobcats came in having allowed the second-fewest points in the paint (35.8) and second-fewest fast-break points (9.9). The Clippers ended up with 38 and 15, respectively, after averaging 40.2 and 16.3 in both categories.
NOTES: The Clippers are 4-2 on New Year’s Day since the franchise relocated to Los Angeles in 1984-85, and 6-5 including the years in Buffalo and San Diego. … Charlotte’s Steve Clifford is one of nine rookie coaches in the NBA this season. The only ones with a winning record are Phoenix’s Jeff Hornacek and Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer. … Griffin has committed 43 turnovers in his last 12 games, including a career-worst eight last Saturday against Utah. … Walker has scored in double figures in 22 straight games, the longest such streak of his career. … Charlotte came in having allowed an average of 93.8 points, third-lowest in the league. Last season the Bobcats had the second-most porous defense, giving up 102.7 per game. … The Bobcats have gotten double-digit scoring from both Walker and Jefferson in each of the last 20 games. The club record for a tandem is 28 games, by Jason Richardson and Gerald Wallace in 2007-08.
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