Blake Griffin scored 23 points, Chris Paul had 23 points and 11 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers put a crimp in the New Orleans Pelicans’ playoff hopes with a 107-100 victory on Sunday.
J.J. Redick scored 20 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 16 rebounds and 12 points, helping the Clippers win their fourth in a row. They converted 18 Pelicans turnovers into 30 points and had a 25-6 advantage on second-chance points.
Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 26 points and 12 rebounds in 39 minutes after missing two games with a sprained left ankle. Tyreke Evans was sidelined because of the same injury and was replaced in the starting lineup by Norris Cole, who had 12 points before fouling out in the final minutes.
Former Clipper Eric Gordon, coming off the bench for the first time in 49 games this season, had 23 points and five assists in 37 minutes. Coach Monty Williams took him out of the starting lineup because he was late for a team meeting. Quincy Pondexter started at shooting guard instead and finished with 12 points.
The Pelicans have lost four of their last five games following a 9-2 stretch. They are three games behind Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff spot with 12 games left on their schedule. The Thunder beat Miami 93-75 on Sunday.
The Pelicans missed their first six shots of the fourth quarter before slicing an eight-point deficit to 85-83 with Norris Cole’s two free throws, Luke Babbitt’s 15-footer and Davis’ fast-break dunk with 7:25 to play. But the Clippers responded with a 16-8 spurt fueled by Griffin’s eight points and six by Redick, extending the margin to 101-91 with 3:13 remaining. New Orleans got no closer than six after that.
Gordon paced New Orleans to a 53-50 halftime lead with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers 37 seconds apart that triggered a 10-0 run in the final 2:03 of the second quarter. The Pelicans made their first seven shots and raced out to an 11-point lead before the Clippers pulled ahead for the first time, 27-26, on a 3-pointer by Hedo Turkoglu in the final minute of the first quarter.
Pelicans: Gordon landed face-first after getting fouled by Matt Barnes with 7:17 left in the third quarter and was slow to get up. But he was back on the court after getting attended to by a trainer during a timeout. … C Omer Asik missed his second straight game because of a strained right calf. … The Pelicans split their other two meetings with the Clippers, winning 108-103 on Jan. 30 at New Orleans with 28 points by Gordon, and losing 120-100 at Los Angeles on Dec. 6.
Clippers: The Clippers, who came in with the league’s second-highest field goal percentage behind Golden State (47.1), shot 46.2 percent from the field against the Pelicans. … Assistant coach Lawrence Frank has missed the team’s last three games due to personal reasons. … The Clippers have made a franchise-record 707 3-pointers. … The Clippers would have to go no worse than 4-7 the rest of the way to finish the regular season with 50 victories for the third straight year – which would be a franchise first. … This was the eighth and final home matinee on the Clippers’ schedule. They went 4-4 in such games.