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(Saturday, January 26th)
Final Score: Portland 101, LA Clippers 100
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers have missed their closer over the last three games.
A pair of J.J. Hickson go-ahead free throws with 45.2 seconds remaining lifted the Portland Trail Blazers to a 101-100 triumph over the Chris Paul-less Clippers.
Portland netted the final 10 points of the contest.
"To end the game on a 10-0 run was a testament to what we've done for most of the season," Portland head coach Terry Stotts said. "We don't quit. We bounce back. We're resilient."
Without Paul in the lineup, Los Angeles didn't tally a point over the final 2:38.
Paul sat out his third contest in a row with a bruised right kneecap, an injury which has caused him to miss six tilts so far this season. The Clippers have lost a season-high four straight since winning 24 of 27.
The team is 3-3 without Paul overall this year.
Nicolas Batum registered a triple-double with 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, while Damian Lillard added 20 points for Portland, which has won two straight on the heels of a six-game losing streak.
Blake Griffin had 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to lead Los Angeles, which also dropped a season-high four in a row from Nov. 21-26, but followed by winning 17 consecutive games.
Lamar Odom's driving dunk gave the Clippers their nine-point edge with 2:38 to play, but Lillard knocked down a 3-pointer, Hickson had a dunk and Wesley Matthews' three-point play pulled Portland within 100-99 with 1:09 left.
After Odom missed a jumper, Hickson was fouled on the rebound and proceeded to sink both free throws. Batum then stole a pass away from Matt Barnes, but Los Angeles regained possession with 23.7 to go after Batum threw the ball away.
Jamal Crawford was unable to get his driving layup to fall, but then won a jump ball between he and Batum. Crawford got the ball along the right wing and rose over the outstretched arm of Batum, but his shot hit off the back of the rim.
"I thought it was in," Crawford said of the shot. "I got the space I wanted, everything."
Portland led 25-22 after one, 51-45 at the break and 82-76 heading into the final frame.
The Clippers held a 56-32 points in the paint advantage ... Griffin's 10 assists tied a career-high ... Batum recorded his first career triple-double on Monday against the Washington Wizards.
01/27 02:02:29 ET