Clippers erase 21-point deficit to beat Pelicans


LOS ANGELES: Blake Griffin sank a clutch three-pointer as the Los Angeles Clippers completed the team’s greatest road comeback since 2004 with a 112-103 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

Griffin drained his three-pointer with 43 seconds remaining en route to a 27-point performance against the Pelicans who were playing their first game since a leg injury ended the season of all-star center DeMarcus Cousins.

Griffin also had 12 assists for the Clippers, who rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit and ended the Pelicans’ four-game win streak.

Griffin said they got an earful at halftime about their play in the first half from coach Doc Rivers.

Blake Griffin AFP PHOTO

“He got into us a little bit. He said all the things we needed to hear,” Griffin said. “When coaches say what you need to hear and players come out and execute on it, it’s a perfect harmony.”

Lou Williams tallied 22 points, DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and 19 rebounds, and Tyrone Wallace scored 19 points in the win.

“We never feel like we are out of a game. We find hope in being naive,” Williams said. “We never think we are going to lose.”

Anthony Davis had 25 points and 17 rebounds for the Pelicans, who missed star forward Cousins after he tore his Achilles tendon in the final minute of Friday’s win over Houston. Cousins was averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds when he went down.

The Pelicans suffered just their second loss in their last nine contests.

Elsewhere, Giannis Anteto­kounmpo scored 27 points to lead his Milwaukee Bucks to a 110-96 win over the Chicago Bulls.

The all-star forward added nine rebounds and eight assists to help the Bucks improve to 3-0 since interim coach Joe Prunty replaced the fired Jason Kidd.

In Toronto, Fred VanVleet came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points as the Toronto Raptors manhandled the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 123-111 at the Air Canada Center.

With Sunday’s win, it became official that Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and his staff are going to join players DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in Los Angeles for next month’s 2018 NBA All-Star Game.

LeBron James had 25 points, 14 assists, and narrowly missed his second straight triple-double, as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Detroit 121-104.

It was the Pistons’ eighth straight loss.

Russell Westbrook scored 37 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers, 122-112 for their eighth straight victory.



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