LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Paul scored seven of his 32 points in the final 2:56 and had nine assists, Blake Griffin added 19 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 120-107 on Saturday night.
All five Clippers starters reached double-digit scoring more than two minutes before the end of the third quarter. DeAndre Jordan finished with 18 rebounds and 12 points for the two-time defending Pacific Division champions, who were coming off an 89-85 loss to the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. Spencer Hawes had 14 points and eight boards off the bench.
Reserve Gerald Green scored 26 points for Phoenix and was ejected with 1:57 remaining after picking up his second technical foul. Goran Dragic added 19 for the Suns, who shot 38 percent from the field in the opener of a six-game road trip.
Marcus Morris missed nine of 10 shots and finished with three points in 18 minutes. Former Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe missed all six shots and ended up with one point and 10 assists in 34 minutes.
The Clippers took charge in the third, outscoring Phoenix 42-20 to pull ahead 96-74. They began the second half with a 13-3 run capped by Paul’s 3-pointer and increased the margin to 76-59 on Jordan’s three-point play with 6:23 left in the period.
The Suns, who trailed by as many as 26 points, got as close as 105-94 on a 3-pointer by Isaiah Thomas and a driving layup by Green with 6:01 to play.
Clippers forward Matt Barnes was ejected with 4:27 remaining after getting his second technical foul with Los Angeles ahead 111-94.
The first half ended in a 54-all tie after the Clippers went ahead by nine points on Jordan Farmar’s 3-pointer with 1:26 left in the opening quarter. Alex Len, the first player off the Suns’ bench, picked up three fouls in his first 3:42 on the court and finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in 25 minutes.
Suns: Phoenix lost three times to the Clippers during a 16-game stretch last March and finished one game behind Dallas for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot — despite 48 victories in Jeff Hornacek’s first season as their coach. They haven’t made the postseason since 2010. … In all five of their victories, the Suns’ leading scorer has come off the bench — Thomas three times and Green twice. Neither had a point during the first 16 1/2 minutes.
Clippers: The Clippers have not lost consecutive home games since Nov. 3-5, 2012, when Golden State and Cleveland beat them. … Paul played his 200th regular-season game with the club. The six-time All-Star has 6,193 assists, 45 behind Jerry West for 25th place on the career list. … Jordan played in his 248th consecutive regular-season game, the longest streak among active players and one shy of Freeman Williams for third place in franchise history behind Randy Smith (595) and Michael Brooks (293). … Swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts sat out his second straight game because of a sore right Achilles.
Suns: Visit Boston on Monday.
Clippers: Host Chicago on Monday.