Griffin scores 30 and Clippers cruise by Knicks 114-105
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, left, defends Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 30 points, Chris Paul had 13 points and 13 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the New York Knicks 114-105 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time).
DeAndre Jordan added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and the Clippers blew the game open by outscoring the Knicks 34-19 in the third quarter for a 25-point lead.
The Clippers (42-29) pulled to within one game of the Utah Jazz for fourth in the Western Conference and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They have 11 regular season games remaining.
The fading Knicks were led by Kristaps Porzingis’ 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Derek Rose had 18 points and Carmelo Anthony had 16. Largely using their bench, they cut the 25-point deficit to seven points in final minutes.
Griffin got off to a hot start, hitting eight of his first 10 shots. Jordan was right behind, connecting on 5-of-6 to help the Clippers shoot 55.8 percent in the first half. Griffin had 20 points at the break.
Knicks: Have vanished from the playoff picture. Once 16-13, the Knicks are 11-30 over their last 41 games and have lost 7-of-9. Porzingis returned to the lineup after missing one game with a thigh injury.
Clippers: Have gone with Luc Mbah A Moute as their small forward all season, though he gets the playing time of a reserve. He has started 64-of-69 games, yet is averaging only 22.9 minutes per game.
Knicks: Travel to Salt Lake City to meet the Jazz on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Utah swamped the Knicks in New York in their only previous meeting, 94-79.
Clippers: Are the designated visitor Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in matchup against the Lakers at Staples Center. The teams have split their first two meetings.