Clippers dominate Trail Blazers in the 4th for 2-0 series lead | Inquirer Sports

Clippers dominate Trail Blazers in the 4th for 2-0 series lead

/ 01:55 PM April 21, 2016

LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul scored 25 points, J.J. Redick added 17 and the Los Angeles Clippers pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 102-81 Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Damian Lillard and Mason Plumlee led the Blazers with 17 points each. CJ McCollum added 16 after being held to nine in their 20-point loss in the series opener. Plumlee and Al-Farouq Aminu had 10 rebounds each. Portland shot a season-worst 34.1 percent.

Game 3 is Saturday in Portland.


Blake Griffin had 12 points and nine rebounds and DeAndre Jordan had 18 rebounds for the Clippers, who shot 46 percent and topped 100 points for the second straight game.


The Clippers’ bench put the game out of reach in the fourth, stretching a six-point lead to 16 before Redick, Paul, and Griffin returned with 7:38 to play. Griffin made his presence felt immediately with a monstrous cutting dunk that roused the crowd.

Los Angeles’ reserves opened the fourth on a 14-4 run. McCollum’s struggles in that stretch were emblematic of the entire game. He turned the ball over and missed a 3-pointer while the Clippers kept converting at their end. Wesley Johnson grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a turnaround jumper, Austin Rivers hit a 3-pointer and Jamal Crawford benefited from a goaltending call.

NBA Clippers Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, goes up for a dunk against Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless. AP

The Blazers’ only lead came on the game’s opening basket. They got better production from McCollum (nine points in Game 1) and Plumlee (four points, five rebounds and no assists in Game 1), but were doomed by their shooting.

Both teams’ shooting woes continued into the third quarter, when the Clippers led by 12 before Portland closed within three. Each time, the Clippers came up with a basket – Paul dunked and hit a 3-pointer and Jordan dunked to keep Portland at bay, taking a 67-61 lead into the fourth. The Clippers were 9 for 24 and the Blazers were 6 for 24 in the period.

The Clippers opened a 15-point lead early in the second quarter before the Blazers closed on a 24-13 spurt to trail 47-43 at the break. The Clippers’ defense was especially good, with Cole Aldrich, Jeff Green and Jordan coming up with big blocks. Portland struggled on 16-of-47 shooting in the half, with Lillard making just two layups.

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TAGS: Basketball, Chris Paul, JJ Redick, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, Portland Trail Blazers

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