LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 24 points while picking up his 16th technical, and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in beating the Denver Nuggets 117-105 on Tuesday night for their franchise-record 57th victory of the season.
Chris Paul had 21 points and 10 assists, and J.J. Redick added 18 points in the Clippers’ finale at home, where they went 34-7 for another franchise mark. DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 16 rebounds.
The win kept the Clippers in the hunt for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They would need to win at Portland and Oklahoma City would need to lose to Detroit on Wednesday night for the Clippers to claim the second spot. Otherwise, they will remain the third seed.
Los Angeles will have to get by without Griffin on the road since his 16th tech triggered a league-mandated one-game suspension.
Kenneth Faried led the Nuggets with 21 points and Aaron Brooks added 19. Timofey Mozgov had 18 points and 11 rebounds as Denver’s three-game winning streak ended.
Griffin was assessed the tech with 3:23 left in the second quarter. He swung his right arm around to try to get the ball from Mozgov and hit him in the head. Griffin pleaded his case with the referees to no avail. Unless the league rescinds the tech, he’ll sit out.
The Clippers scored the game’s first 13 points and never looked back. Paul hit two 3-pointers and Matt Barnes added another before the Nuggets called timeout to regroup. Redick scored 10 unanswered points by himself, including two 3-pointers that extended the Clippers’ lead to 18 points. Griffin had three one-handed highlight dunks in the first.
Mozgov helped the Nuggets close within single-digits after trailing by 23 with a three-point play that left them down 88-80 to end the third.
Denver twice got within five in the fourth, when all of the Clippers’ starters except Barnes and Jordan rested. But Los Angeles pulled away down the stretch for the easy win.
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