Crawford Helps Clippers Beat Kings In OT
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SACRAMENTO (AP) — Jamal Crawford had a season-high 31 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds off the bench to help the Los Angeles Clippers to a 104-98 overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Crawford made two free throws with 21 seconds left in the extra period to cap a 10-0 run. Blake Griffin added 21 points and 12 assists, while DeAndre Jordan blocked a career-high nine shots for the Clippers, who played without point guard Chris Paul for the first time this season.
Patrick Patterson scored the first four points of overtime to give the Kings a 98-94 lead before Griffin scored twice and Jordan added a bucket off an offensive rebound. Crawford followed with an 18-foot, step-back jumper with 1:28 remaining before sealing the win from the free throw line.
The win moved Clippers coach Doc Rivers within one victory of 600 for his career.
Sacramento, which missed two 3-pointers over the final 70 seconds, lost its third straight this season to its Western Conference foes.
Los Angeles needed to rally after blowing a five-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation.
Greivis Vasquez made an off-balance 3-pointer that banked in off the backboard for Sacramento, and Ben McLemore added two free throws with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Crawford had a chance to win it for Los Angeles but missed a long jumper from the top of the 3-point line at the buzzer.
The teams, who played six days earlier in Southern California, were much more restrained in their third matchup of the season.
That might have been because Paul, who has been at the center of much of the heat between them, did not play. Paul was held out for the first time this season after straining a hamstring against the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
“We have a bunch of games coming up so it’s smarter to rest him,” Rivers said before the game. “I think Chris knows it’s the right thing to do. Right now we’ll just do things, guards, by committee.”
Darren Collison, who started in place of Paul, had seven points in the first half but didn’t record his first assist until midway through the third quarter.
Crawford came off the bench with 13 points and five assists in the first 24 minutes to help Los Angeles get going after a sluggish start.
The Clippers, who edged the Kings 103-102 at home on Nov. 23, shot just 38 percent in the first quarter and trailed by as much as eight before making their run.
Crawford had nine points in the second quarter, including a driving layup with 5.3 seconds left that gave Los Angeles a 50-45 lead at the break.
The Clippers maintained their slim lead for most of the third quarter. Griffin scored eight points in the period to go over 5,000 for his career, while Crawford made his second 3-pointer with 44 seconds left to keep Los Angeles in front 73-72.
McLemore and John Salmons finished with 14 points apiece while Derrick Williams had 12 points and a pair of thunderous dunks in his Sacramento debut. The second overall pick in the 2011 draft, Williams was acquired in a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this week in exchange for Luc Mbah a Moute.
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