Griffin helps Clippers rally past Blazers 74-71

Published February 17, 2012

| Associated Press

Blake Griffin had 21 points and 14 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers rally from an 18-point second-half deficit and beat the Portland Trail Blazers 74-71 on Thursday night.

Chris Paul, scoreless through three quarters, finished with 13 points as the Clippers outscored the Trail Blazers 22-11 during the fourth quarter. The win was Los Angeles' first in Portland since Dec. 12, 2008.

Both teams were held to season lows for points.

Mo Williams added 15 points for Los Angeles.

Nicolas Batum and Jamal Crawford each scored 19 points for Portland, which was playing its second straight game without All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who sprained his left ankle in Tuesday's game against Washington.

Portland's defense stumped the Clippers for most of the first half. Los Angeles made just 15 of 45 shots, and of its 15 field goals, seven were putbacks of offensive rebounds.

Batum got Portland rolling, scoring 15 points during the first quarter to stake the Blazers to a 27-20 lead. Early in the second, Crawford hit a 3-pointer as Portland scored eight unanswered points to build the lead to 15 points. The struggling Clippers were able to pull to within 43-32 by halftime.

Portland went on a scoring spurt by scoring the first seven points of the second half to take a 50-32 lead. But the Blazers' offense suddenly went cold, and Los Angeles slowly began its huge rally.

Portland made two field goals during a 9-minute stretch, and the Clippers shaved the deficit to 64-62 on Paul's layup with 6:56 remaining. Three minutes later, Williams' 3-pointer gave Los Angeles the lead at 67-66.

Paul hit a 3, then followed with a 16-footer with 1:05 left to put the Clippers ahead 72-67. Portland had chance to tie, but Wesley Matthews' wild 3-point shot missed at the buzzer.

Notes: Blazers owner Paul Allen issued a statement regarding news of a proposal of a new arena in Seattle and the possible return of the NBA to that city, saying: "It's exciting to think about the NBA coming back to Seattle and renewing the rivalry with the Portland Trail Blazers. However, it is too early for me to comment further without a specific plan or proposal to review." ... Los Angeles' 32 first-half points were a season low. The previous mark was 36 against San Antonio. ... The Clippers missed their first 11 shots from 3-point range.

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http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/02/17/griffin-helps-clippers-rally-past-blazers-74-71/