Clippers beat Raptors 103-83 for sixth straight win
Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, center, is defended by Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas, left, of Lithuania, Kyle Lowry, right, and Andrea Bargnani, of Italy, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP / Jae C. Hong)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, December 9, 2012 6:33PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 9, 2012 7:56PM EST
LOS ANGELES -- Jamal Crawford led a fourth-quarter rally by the reserves with 16 points and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated Toronto 102-83 on Sunday to win their sixth in a row while handing the Raptors their 10th consecutive road loss.
The backups gave the Clippers their first double-digit lead of the game after Toronto kept it close through the first three periods before dropping its fourth straight and 10th in its last 11. The Raptors have just four wins this season.
Eric Bledsoe added 14 points to help the Clippers' reserves outscore their counterparts 47-24.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 19 points. Chris Paul added 16 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 rebounds. Caron Butler was the only starter to play in the fourth, coming in only after Matt Barnes was ejected with 1:36 to play.
Toronto's DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points in his hometown. Linas Kleiza, who started in place of injured Mickael Pietrus, added 17 points, including five 3-pointers. Amir Johnson had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Toronto.
Crawford's streak of consecutive free throws ended at 58 when he missed two late in the second quarter for his first errant foul shots since Nov. 3.
Los Angeles outscored the Raptors 25-10 in the fourth, led by Bledsoe with 10 points. The Raptors managed one field goal over the final nine minutes.
Barnes and John Lucas tangled on the baseline and were called for double technicals after Crawford missed a 3-pointer. Referees dragged Barnes away and both players were ejected, bringing Butler back in.
Los Angeles led for much of a back-and-forth third, with its biggest margin of six points coming on a basket by Paul. The Raptors got timely 3-pointers from Kleiza and DeRozan, who had 11 points in the period. The Clippers were 9 of 15 from the free throw line.
The Clippers' second unit sparked a 15-11 stretch to start the second quarter and extend their lead to 40-32. Griffin, Paul and Jordan then returned only to be outscored 15-4, and Toronto carried a 47-44 lead into halftime. The Clippers shot just 36 per cent in the half, when their largest lead was eight.
Los Angeles opened the game by outscoring the Raptors 17-10, but Toronto closed within four by the end of the first quarter.