Clippers build early lead to hold off Blazers
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford scored 25 points off the bench and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Portland Trail Blazers, 103-90, on Thursday night.
DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul added 21 points apiece for the Clippers, who have won two in a row to improve to 4-2 on the young season. Jordan pulled down eight rebounds and Paul dished out six assists.
Nicolas Batum ended with 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Blazers, who have dropped two straight. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 16 and 14 points, respectively.
"The second half was what we need to do every time we're on the court," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
Holding a 17-16 lead halfway through the first quarter, the Clippers went on a 12-4 run. Willie Green and Matt Barnes made 3-pointers during the surge to give Los Angeles a 29-90 margin. Lillard stopped the spurt with a pair of free throws to make it a seven-point contest after 12 minutes.
The Clippers held a 31-28 lead when they went on a 22-2 run. Crawford tallied 10 points during the burst that Ronny Turiaf capped with a slam to make it a 53-30 game with four minutes left until half. It was a 60-39 contest at the break.
Portland used a big run at the end of the third period to get back in the game. Trailing by 20, 73-53, with 4:43 to go, the Blazers went on an 18-4 run. Batum tallied eight points during the surge, including a layup with 5.9 seconds left to make it 77-71.
Down by 10, 86-76, early in the fourth, Portland ripped off six straight points to make it an 86-82 contest.
"We had a letdown, but those guys had a burst of energy (in the second half). And this is a tough place to play," Paul said. "I put this as one of the top five toughest places to play in the NBA. That's a credit to them and their fans and how they never stop playing."
The Clippers responded with a pair of Eric Bledsoe free throws and a Jordan slam to make it an eight-point game with 6:25 to play. Portland never got closer than six the rest of the way.
The Clippers went 3-1 against Portland last season ... Blake Griffin was limited to seven points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which shot 53.2 percent from the field ... Wesley Matthews had 10 points for the Blazers, who shot 42.7 percent from the floor.
11/09 03:01:26 ET