Jordan grabs 24 rebounds, Clippers beat Blazers 102-87
LOS ANGELES (AP) Blake Griffin scored 23 points, DeAndre Jordan had a season-high 24 rebounds along with 18 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 102-87 on Monday night for their third straight victory.
Griffin, who began the day with an NBA-best .548 field goal percentage, made eight of 19 shots and grabbed eight boards. Chris Paul had 10 points and six assists in 24 minutes, leaving in the third quarter because of a strained rib muscle.
Griffin's 450 points are the most by a Clippers player through the first 18 games of a season since the franchise relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984-85.
The Clippers barely outrebounded Portland 55-54, the first time in 18 games this season that they had the advantage in that department - although they have finished on even terms three times.
Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, who leads the team with a 25.4 scoring average, left the game because of abdominal pain with 10:13 remaining in the third quarter and Portland trailing 53-51. He finished with seven points and no assists in 17 minutes.
Maurice Harkless led Portland with 15 points. Shooting guard C.J. McCollum, who entered second on the team with a 20.4 scoring average, missed eight of his first nine shots and finished 4 for 15 with 12 points and 10 assists.
Meyers Leonard trimmed the Clippers' lead to 77-70 on an 11-footer with 9:12 to play, but Los Angeles went on a 15-6 run to pull ahead 92-76 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining. J.J. Redick's 3-pointer capped the rally with his fourth and final 3-pointer.
Portland sent Jordan to the free throw line nine times in the final 3:51, hoping to get back in the game, and the Clippers' center missed 10 of 18. But it didn't help the cold-shooting Blazers, who finished at 37.9 percent.
McCollum hit a 3 from the top of the key with 2 seconds left in the first half, pulling the Blazers into a 49-all tie.
Harkless, the fourth player off the Portland bench, led the Blazers with 11 points in the half - all during a 21-3 surge that turned a 13-point deficit into a 42-37 lead with 3:34 left in the second quarter.
The Clippers opened the game with a 19-4 run that included seven points and six rebounds by Jordan, the franchise's career rebounding leader. The Clippers are 16-8 in the regular season when he grabs at least 20.
Trail Blazers: Lillard, in the first season of a five-year, $120 million contract extension, has led Portland in scoring in 15 of its first 18 games. ... C Chris Kaman, who spent his first eight NBA seasons with the Clippers, didn't play because of a sprained right ankle. . The Blazers finished a five-game stretch in which they played the Clippers and Lakers twice each. . The Blazers go into December with a 7-11 record, compared to their 13-4 mark last season. They have won more than 50 games in each of the last two seasons. . Portland is 0-8 when trailing after three quarters.
Clippers: Redick has made a career-high 11 field goals in a game on four occasions, and three of those times he did it against Portland. He was 5 for 14 in this one. . The Clippers recalled G C.J. Wilcox and F Branden Dawson from the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League. Both were on the inactive list.
Trail Blazers: Host Dallas on Tuesday.
Clippers: Host Indiana on Wednesday.