LOS ANGELES (AP) — J.J. Redick had 22 points and the Los Angeles Clippers hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to hold off the Orlando Magic 105-96 on Wednesday night, improving to 5-0 in the new year.
Marreese Speights scored 10 of his 13 in the fourth, including three 3-pointers, on a night when the Clippers committed 21 turnovers. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 rebounds (to go with 10 points) for his NBA-leading sixth game with 20 or more.
Aaron Gordon had 28 points, 18 in the first half, to lead Orlando, which has lost four in a row and six of seven. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 12 rebounds for his team-high 18th double-double.
The teams kept it close in the fourth, when the Clippers never led by more than nine. Their bench carried them, with Redick and Chris Paul the only starters who scored in the period.
The Magic got to 92-90 on Gordon’s 3-pointer before Speights and Redick answered with consecutive 3s. That steadied the Clippers, who got seven points from Paul down the stretch.
Orlando controlled the first 1½ quarters behind Gordon’s scoring and the Clippers’ early turnovers.
Los Angeles took over with a 20-8 run to close the half leading 56-51. Paul got the offense going with back-to-back baskets, Redick hit consecutive 3s and Jordan had two one-handed dunks in a row. His first came on Paul’s alley-oop pass, and on the second he took Austin Rivers’ pass and went flying through the lane.
Magic: F/C Serge Ibaka sat out with a sprained right shoulder. … G Elfrid Payton started despite a bruised right quadriceps.
Clippers: Paul surpassed 13,000 minutes played in a Clippers uniform in the first quarter, the 10th player in team history to do so. … Rivers was back in the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s game with flu-like symptoms. His father, coach Doc Rivers, also returned after missing Tuesday’s practice for what he said was the first time in his career with similar symptoms.
Blake Griffin is on track to return to the Clippers this month after having knee surgery.
The elder Rivers said Griffin “feels great” and his return is still based on the team’s original estimate of four to six weeks.
Griffin was averaging 21.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists before having arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from his right knee on Dec. 20.
Magic: Visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday in the third of six games on their road trip.
Clippers: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, a team they lost to by nine points on Christmas.
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