Nic Batum gets triple-double, Blazers edge Clippers 101-100Posted by Inside Hoops
Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his second triple-double in a week and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Los Angeles Clippers their fourth straight loss with a 101-100 victory on Saturday night.
The Clippers, playing without guard Chis Paul for the third straight game because of a bruised right kneecap, trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half but reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter.
They held off the Blazers until Wesley Matthews pulled Portland within 100-99 with a layup and free throw.
J.J. Hickson made a pair of foul shots to give the Blazers back the lead with 45 seconds left and Jamal Crawford missed a 19-foot jumper for the Clippers with 0.9 seconds left for the final margin.
Blake Griffin had 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, just shy of his third career triple-double.
The Clippers are 3-3 in the six total games Paul has missed because of his kneecap.
Eric Bledsoe once again started in the All-Star guard’s place…
The Clippers have been without guard Chauncey Billups since Dec. 5 because of tendinitis in his left foot. Billups, Del Negro said, is improving, although there is still no timetable for his return. … DeNegro said he thought Clippers sixth man Jamal Crawford - who played for the Blazers last year - should have made the All-Star team. Crawford is averaging 16.7 points and playing starter’s minutes (29.3 per game) with the Clippers. ”Obviously I’m biased,” Del Negro said. ”Jamal has been fantastic for us.”
– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press