Blake Griffin stars as Clippers down Blazers, end four-game slump

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Blake Griffin submitted 23 points and Caron Butler added 12 as the Los Angeles Clippers ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 96-83, Sunday at Staples Center.

After blowing a nine-point lead with over two minutes left Saturday in Portland, the Clippers took care of business this time, taking control of the game in the third period en route to the easy win.

“We needed any win right now. We’re just trying to accumulate as many wins as we can, and then count them up at the end of the year and see where we’re at,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said after the win.

The Clippers, who improved to 33-13, asserted their might in the shaded area against the Blazers, scoring 56 points in the paint while limiting their opponent to just 24.

The Trail Blazers (22-22) were also limited to four second-chance points, a season-low for a Clippers opponent this season.

Point guard Chris Paul missed his fourth straight game but his playmaking savvy was never missed as the Clippers matched their season high with 33 assists on 42 field goals. Griffin issued nine assists while three other teammates had at least five dimes.

“We were unselfish in a lot of areas. Moving the basketball was obviously a key, offensively, but more so I thought we were locked in better defensively, which translated to sharper offensive execution,” Del Negro added.

Eric Bledsoe added 10 points while Lamar Odom displayed his versatility with eight points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the Clippers.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 11 boards while rookie Damian Lillard finished with 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting for the Blazers, who made just three triples after burying 11 last Saturday.

A layup by DeAndre Jordan and a 3-pointer by Willie Green in the third period gave the Clippers a 50-40 lead.

Later in the quarter, Griffin and Bledsoe made back-to-back layups to push the Clippers ahead by 62-78 going into the fourth period.

Portland never got closer than 12 the rest of the way as the Clippers cruised to an easy win.

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