LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored a season-high 45 points, drilling the winning 3-pointer that hit the rim and dropped in at the buzzer, to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 121-120 in overtime Monday night for their eighth straight victory.
Griffin made 15 of 17 free throws, and finished two points off his career high. Chris Paul had 20 points and 10 assists, J.J. Redick added 17 points, and DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 14 rebounds in a game featuring rat-a-tat offense.READ MORE: DEA Agents Going Online In Effort To Catch Drug Dealers, Distributors
Eric Bledsoe had a triple-double of 27 points, a career-high 16 assists and 11 rebounds for the Suns. Markieff Morris scored 21 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime that rallied the Suns from a two-point deficit to a four-point lead.
Goran Dragic added 17 points for the Suns, who had six players in double figures. Bledsoe tied his career high in rebounds against his former team. The Suns lost their second straight and fourth in six games.
In the five-minute extra session, Morris hit a wide-open 3-pointer that put the Suns ahead, 117-116, after Griffin scored the Clippers’ first four points.
Bledsoe was called for goaltending, leading to a basket by Redick that left the Clippers trailing 120-118. The Suns committed a shot-clock turnover with 5 seconds to go, setting up Griffin’s game-winner from the right wing.
Bledsoe’s 3-pointer drew the Suns within one with 2:01 left in regulation before Paul answered with a step-back jumper that kept Los Angeles ahead 112-109.
Morris hit a jump hook to draw the Suns within one and then Matt Barnes was called for a foul away from the ball, putting Gerald Green at the line. He made the shot to tie the game at 112-112 with 27 seconds left.
Bledsoe missed a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left and Green lost the offensive rebound out of bounds near the Clippers’ bench. Paul dribbled around and put up the potential winning shot only to have it blocked by Bledsoe, forcing overtime.
It was the Clippers’ closest game after winning their last five by an average of 21.4 points.
The fourth quarter bogged down when Jamal Crawford was called for a loose ball foul after getting tangled with Bledsoe at midcourt and then saying something to referee Mark Lindsay, who hit him with a technical and his first career ejection. Coach Doc Rivers got a tech for arguing the call, which was confirmed after a video review.READ MORE: Report: Orange County Hate Crimes Against Asian-Americans Up 1,200%
The Clippers weren’t the same for a stretch after that, going from leading by three with 9:13 left to trailing by five. Bledsoe scored six straight and Markieff Morris hit back-to-back 3-pointers as part of the Suns’ run.
But Los Angeles got back into it with Griffin and Paul combining for nine straight points to produce a 107-103 lead. Griffin’s driving layup, a one-hander off the glass, drew a foul and he made his fifth straight free throw.
Griffin ran off nine points in a row in the third, when the Clippers built a 12-point lead — their largest of the game. His fastbreak driving dunk in the first left Suns coach Jeff Hornacek shaking his head on the sideline.
Suns: The Suns had no offensive rebounds in the first half against a team that is averaging the fewest in the league. … G Isaiah Thomas (right ankle contusion) sat out.
Clippers: The guard trio of Jordan Farmar (back spasms), Reggie Bullock (right ankle sprain) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (sore right Achilles) remained out. … Julius Erving attended the game.
Suns: Host Miami on Tuesday.
Clippers: At Indiana on Wednesday.MORE NEWS: OC Receives More Than 83,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses In Single Day
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