LOS ANGELES, Sporting Alert – J.J. Redick knocked down key free throws in the closing minutes to help the Los Angeles Clippers battle to a 121-120 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Clippers, J.J Make Key Three Throws
Redick finished the game with 19 points on 5 of 11 shooting, but made all eight of his free throws, including three in the final 7.9 seconds to push the Clippers’ lead to four points on Portland’s final possession.
Damian Lillard nailed a 3-pointer for the Trail Blazers with 1.7 seconds left, but it was little too late.
Forward Blake Griffin finished with a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds and point guard Chris Paul added a double-double with 21 points and 14 assists to go with five rebounds for the Clippers (18-7).
Jamal Crawford ended with 14 points and Raymond Felton and Luc Mbah a Moute scored 10 points each for Los Angeles to sweep the three-game season series with Portland.
DeAndre Jordan grabbed 12 rebounds for the LA Clippers but was ejected along with Blazers forward Evan Turner with 11.5 left on a double technical call.
”It’s just competition,” said Paul, who was also called for a flagrant foul.
”Guys out there fighting and trying to get a win and stuff happens.”
Portland Battled Hard In Defeat
C.J. McCollum led Portland with 25 points before fouling out, Lillard tallied 24 points and eight assists and Mason Plumlee added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Trail Blazers (12-14) as the game saw 12 lead changes and as many ties.
”It was probably our most competitive game of the year,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
”It was a tough loss but I like the way we competed throughout the game. We got down and came back. It was a very good effort.”
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers added: ”I’m sure there is no love lost.
”We play each other a lot and whenever you play each other a lot it seems like you get testy. We don’t really care if you like us or not.”
Turner finished with 15 points on 7 of 12 shooting with six assists and Allen Crabbe added 13 points for Portland, which lost its fourth straight.
Despite the defeat, Lillard saw some positive things.
”The way we played tonight is the way we’re supposed to play,” Lillard said. ”This is what gives us our best chance against good teams, like they are.
“It’s what we’ve kind of been missing on a consistent basis. We did a good job but lost the game. We want to win.”
Close Game Until The Final Whistle
Los Angeles went up by five at 118-113 with 18.1 seconds remaining and the Trail Blazers managed to cut the deficit to one-point with 7.9 left.
The Clippers shot 47 percent from the field overall and went 48 percent from 3-pointers and made 26 of their 28 free throws in the win.
Portland, which won the rebounding battle 42-38, was 50 percent on shooting and made 10 of 21 from 3-point range.
The Trail Blazers return home on Tuesday night to host Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Los Angeles travels to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.