gordan dragic

The Phoenix Suns are 2-0 under Lindsey Hunter, and the Los Angeles Clippers dearly miss Chris Paul.

Goran Dragic scored 19 of his 24 points in the first half and the Suns held on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 93-88 on Thursday night, giving Hunter his second victory in two nights as interim coach after he replaced the fired Alvin Gentry.

Marcin Gortat added 15 points, including two free throws with 23.3 seconds left. Luis Scola and Markieff Morris had 14 apiece for the Suns, who have won consecutive games for the first time since a season-high, four-game winning streak ended on Dec. 19. Dragic also had eight assists.

The Clippers, who lost their third straight, were without Paul for the fifth time in seven games because of a bruised right kneecap. The team is 3-2 without him, and he’s expected to miss two more games.

Jamal Crawford led Los Angeles with 21 points. Eric Bledsoe scored 15 and Blake Griffin had 12. Griffin said he reinjured his left ankle early in the game but still played 36 minutes.

”Our offense was stagnant,” Griffin said. ”Our defense wasn’t great. We did a poor job and it starts with me. I have to do a better job of setting the tone early and being a leader out there, especially with Chris not out there.”

The Clippers shot just under 40 percent for the game, 33 percent (7 for 21) in the fourth quarter.

– Reported by Bob Baum of the Associated Press