Clippers trade Blake Griffin, lose to Trail Blazers 104-96


LOS ANGELES — Damian Lillard knew not to underestimate the Los Angeles Clippers without newly traded star Blake Griffin.

Sure enough, the Clippers made a run in the fourth quarter but the Portland Trail Blazers won 104-96 on Tuesday night.

"Your mind could be trapped into thinking you don't think they have it," said Lillard, who scored 28 points.

CJ McCollum added 16 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Blazers, who ended a seven-game skid against the Clippers while winning their third in a row.

Portland shot just 37 percent from the floor, but rode a big third quarter to its third straight win.

"The third quarter was great," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "At both ends of the floor we moved the ball. The offense was efficient. Defensively we were on point. The third quarter was the best part of the game."

The Blazers shot 47 percent in the third, when they outscored the Clippers 30-16 led by Lillard's 10 points.

Griffin was dealt to Detroit in a stunning move on Monday, leaving Los Angeles where he had played his entire career.

"It was definitely tough to see him go," said DeAndre Jordan, who had 18 rebounds for the Clippers.

Lou Williams scored 20 points off the bench for the Clippers, who made a run in the fourth after they trailed by 20.

Montrezl Harrell scored 11 of his 15 points early in the period and then Los Angeles scored 10 straight points to get to 100-94.

But the Clippers were limited to one field goal in the final 2 minutes.



SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points and the Spurs escaped with a victory over the Nuggets.

The Spurs had four players in double figures, including 18 points each from Kyle Anderson and Pau Gasol.

Every Denver starter scored in double figures with Jamal Murray leading the way with 18 points and Gary Harris adding 17.

San Antonio had to battle to win its 11th straight at home over Denver. There were 18 lead changes and the Nuggets came within inches of a game-winning 19th.



TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Raptors rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the Timberwolves.

Minnesota has not won in Toronto since Jan. 21, 2004, when current Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins was eight years old.

Toronto is 19-4 at home this season, the second-best record in the NBA behind San Antonio (21-4).

Jimmy Butler scored 25 points, Wiggins had 15 and Jeff Teague and Gorgiu Dieng each finished with 14 but the Timberwolves lost for the fourth time in five games.


HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 60 points as part of a triple-double and the short-handed Houston Rockets beat the Orlando Magic 114-107 on Tuesday night.

Harden scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to eclipse the 57 points Calvin Murphy scored in 1978 to break Houston’s single-game scoring record. After Harden broke the record, cameras in the arena showed a shot of Murphy, who works on the television broadcast team, smiling and clapping for the Beard, who also had 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

The game was tied at 107 after a basket by Marreese Speights with just under four minutes to play. Neither team scored for more than two minutes after that before Harden took over, scoring the next six points to make it 113-107 with 45 seconds left.
He set the scoring mark when he stepped back and made a 3-pointer before crashing to the court after being fouled by Mario Hezonja. He then made the free throw to give him 60 points.