Clippers beat Wizards behind Paul, Crawford

Dec 28, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) and Wizards guard John Wall (2) defend in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Clippers won 108-91.  

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chris Paul scored 23 points, reserve Jamal Crawford added 21 and the Los Angeles Clippers again overcame Blake Griffin’s absence, beating the Washington Wizards 108-91 on Monday night.

DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who got 54 points from the substitutes in their third straight win — second since Griffin was ruled out for at least two weeks with a quadriceps strain.

Even the 6-foot Paul helped make up for the loss of Griffin inside with a rare two-dunk performance. The Clippers never trailed and led by at least 10 throughout the last three quarters.

John Wall had 23 points and 11 assists, and Marcin Gortat added 12 points and 16 rebounds as the Wizards’ four-game win streak was snapped.

Otto Porter added 21 points off the bench for Washington, which is still dealing with injuries to starting guard Bradley Beal and reserves Nene, Gary Neal and Drew Gooden.

Paul’s first dunk capped a 21-6 game-opening run, with the 6-foot guard raising his arms in triumph toward his celebrating bench.

He failed to grab the rim on his second, but still sent his teammates leaping down the baseline in delight after an overhead slam on a three-point play made it 53-34.

PIERCE’S RETURN

Paul Pierce scored nine points for the Clippers in his first game in Washington since helping the Wizards to last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals.

He remembered that season fondly, even though he chose the Clippers over the Wizards in free agency this offseason.

"Just being around the young guys, teaching them every day, talking to them, this was one of my funnest years," said Pierce. "I embraced the city. They embraced me back."

He said his offseason decision stemmed his relationship with coach Doc Rivers and a desire to return to his home city, not any bad feelings toward Washington.

"Definitely made it easier being able to have Doc there as a coach," Pierce said. "And then being at home around my mother and have my kids be around their cousins and uncles and grandma."

TIP-INS

Clippers: Pierce started for a fourth time in 30 games this season. . Jordan posted a third consecutive double-double for the third time this season and his 17th overall . Reserve G Austin Rivers (ankle) returned after missing four games.

Wizards: Gortat posted his 16th double-double of the season. … Beal (leg) could begin non-basketball related activities this week, coach Randy Wittman said. He hasn’t played since Dec. 9.

UP NEXT

Clippers: at Charlotte on Wednesday.

Wizards: at Toronto on Wednesday.