Harris, Gallinari help Clippers edge Blazers
PORTLAND, Ore. — Tobias Harris had 34 points and 11 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-100 on Sunday night.
Danilo Gallinari made the tiebreaking jumper with 47 seconds left and added 17 points for the Clippers.
Damian Lillard scored 30 points for Portland, which led by 13 at halftime but then had to play the second half without starting center Jusuf Nurkic because of a bruised shoulder.
With Portland missing its defensive anchor, the Clippers began the half on a 20-4 run. The Clippers kept the momentum going, outscoring the Blazers 38-16 in the third quarter.
With the game slipping away, Blazers coach Terry Stotts left Lillard in the game to start the fourth quarter, and the star guard’s personal 7-0 run in a span of 12 seconds tied it at 100 with 1:53 left.
But Gallinari made a short pull-up jumper, Portland missed a couple jumpers on the next possession and Patrick Beverley clinched it with a pair of free throws.
The loss ruined Maurice Harkless’ first start of the season. He had returned Wednesday from a knee injury that kept him out since Oct. 29.
Clippers: Los Angeles improved to 13-6, the best record in the Western Conference. The Clippers have done it with a roster absent of household names, but depth is the reason they are where they are.
“You have seven or eight guys that can start and they do,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We move it around. But as long as your group is good with that and the changes and we have good group.”
Trail Blazers: After a strong start to the season, the Blazers sputtered in the last two games of their road trip, losing by a combined 71 points. The defense, which was at one point in the top five in the league, has fallen to 16th in defensive efficiency.
“We’ve had three relatively poor defensive games, two of them against very good offensive teams,” coach Terry Stotts said before the game. “I am concerned. It’s not a trend I want to continue. Milwaukee was a train wreck.”
Clippers: Host Phoenix on Wednesday.
Trail Blazers: Host Orlando on Wednesday.
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