Griffin powers Clippers to OT win over Hornets

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[February 27, 2017]  LOS ANGELES -- A determined effort in overtime allowed the Los Angeles Clippers to overcome the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night.

Blake Griffin scored 43 points and collected 10 rebounds, lifting the Clippers to a 124-121 victory over the Hornets at Staples Center.

"It was weird, it was sloppy at times, but playing in a game like this and the situation of losing the last two (games), you'll take a win any way you can get it," said Griffin, who made 15 of 26 shots from the floor, 3 of 4 from 3-point range and scored seven of the club's 11 points in overtime. "I thought we just did a good job of scraping."

DeAndre Jordan contributed 20 points and 19 rebounds for the Clippers, who defeated the Hornets at Staples for the seventh consecutive time. Chris Paul had 15 points, 17 assists and nine rebounds, while J.J. Redick scored 22 points for Los Angeles (36-23).

The Clippers prevailed despite blowing a 17-point lead in the third quarter.

Kemba Walker led the Hornets (25-34) with 34 points, and Nicolas Batum added 31 points and eight rebounds. Jeremy Lamb chipped in 19 points, while Frank Kaminsky finished with 16 points and five rebounds before fouling out with 4:21 left in regulation.

"First of all, you have to give them a lot of credit," said Redick, who scored 19 points in the first half. "I thought we played a really good offensive first half, a really good offensive third quarter, and Batum and Walker were awesome tonight. When it came down to it, I think we just made some really gritty plays in overtime. Blake was huge."

Charlotte fell for the sixth time in seven contests. The Hornets also have dropped six in a row to the Clippers.

"A loss is never good, but we just have to try and continue to play the way that we played in the second half," said Walker, who connected on 11 of 19 shots and 6 of 10 from long distance. "Got in it with a great pace, we played some pretty good defense and we just have to try our best to be consistent."

In the extra session, Griffin missed one of two free throws for a 121-120 lead with 20 seconds left. The Hornets had a chance to take the lead, but a turnover by Walker led to a dunk by Jordan for a 123-120 advantage with three seconds remaining, sealing the outcome. The Clippers intentionally fouled Walker with two seconds left to prevent the Hornets from taking a 3-pointer.

"We didn't give up, we made big plays, we made stops," said Batum, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. "We did some good things, but at the end, one or two more plays and we could have closed out the game."

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Clippers guard J.J. Redick (4) dives for a loose ball in the second half of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center. Clippers won in OT 124-121. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Griffin's three-point play with 1:16 left in overtime put the Clippers up 118-116. Paul's bucket 19 seconds later made it a four-point lead.

Two fouls shots by Lamb closed the gap to two at 1:05, and then Lamb's baseline jumper with 31 seconds tied the score.

In regulation, a 3-pointer by Batum gave the Hornets a 108-107 advantage, but Griffin nailed a corner trey for a 110-108 lead with 1:05 left. Griffin's three-point play gave the Clippers a 113-108 edge, but Walker's 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining pulled the Hornets to within two.

Walker tied the score with two free throws with 11.9 seconds remaining.

Paul couldn't convert a jumper over Walker just before the horn, forcing overtime. However, Griffin bailed out the Clippers.

"Blake and I talked before the game about being aggressive. and he could have had more (points)," Paul said. "He could have had 50 points."

NOTES: Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said his team is as healthy as it has been all season. "Now we got to get our timing and our rhythm back because we haven't played with this group and that may take a little bit, but we'll get it," Rivers said. ... Rivers was ill after the game and unable to attend the postgame press conference. Assistant coach Mike Woodson replaced him. ... Hornets coach Steve Clifford is pleased with the recent play of C Frank Kaminsky, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds Saturday in a win over the Sacramento Kings. Kaminsky's role has been expanded in the absence of F/C Cody Zeller (quad soreness) and C Miles Plumlee (right calf strain). "The thing I've liked about it is his defense," Clifford said of Kaminsky. ... The Hornets visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. ... The Clippers host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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