PORTLAND, Ore., Sporting Alert — Blake Griffin drilled a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 104-103 on Thursday night to remained unbeaten.
Trailing by two points after CJ McCollum made 1 of 2 free throws with 5.9 seconds remaining, Griffin collected the ball on the left side and hit a 25-foot 3-pointer off a dribble to seal the win for the Clippers, who improved to 4-0 this season.
Griffin, who has led the LA Clippers in scoring through their opening four games, finished with 25 points and 16 of those coming during the fourth quarter.
The forward also had eight rebounds and five assists in the win.
”Honestly, I was just trying to get two (points),“ Griffin said. ”I was looking to see if we could get something easy or a quick layup. I was just trying to get a clean shot.
“But as time ticked away, I just didn’t think I could get to the rim in time. I just kind of took what was there.
“I saw Al-Farouq [Aminu] and somebody hesitate (on defense), so I pump-faked and let it go.”
Danilo Gallinari and Austin Rivers had 16 points apiece, Patrick Beverley finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Lou Williams scored 13 points off the bench for Los Angeles.
DeAndre Jordan had seven points and 18 rebounds for the Clippers, who are one of two unbeaten teams still in the NBA this season.
Doc Rivers’ men were winning outside of Los Angeles for the first time in this campaign and are off to a 4-0 start for the second time in three seasons.
“Great, great win,” Rivers said. “We didn’t play well. The first half was great. The second half we didn’t move the ball.”
Damian Lillard scored 14 of his 25 points during the third quarter as all five Portland starters scored in double figures.
Lillard also dished out six assists, while C.J. McCollum had 23 points with five assists and four rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu made five 3-pointers and ended with 19 points and six rebounds for the Trail Blazers (3-2).
Maurice Harkless scored 13 points and Jusuf Nurkic chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Ed Davis grabbed 10 rebounds for Portland, which trailed 62-53 at halftime.
The Clippers led 86-82 with 9:38 remaining, but the Trail Blazers came back to lock the contest at 89-89 with 8:21 left and then took a 94-91 advantage with just over seven minutes to play.
Griffin gave Los Angeles a 101-100 lead with 1:06 to play, but McCollum put the Blazers back ahead with 44 seconds remaining.
However, McCollum missed the chance to put the Blazers three-points in front when he made one of two free throws with five seconds remaining and that paved the way for Griffin’s late winning shot.
“A great shot,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “Tough way to lose. A very disappointing loss.”
The Clippers shot 46.8 percent, while the Blazers were 39.3 percent.