Blake Griffin scored 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists as the Los Angeles Clippers notched their sixth straight home win 126-111 over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It was the first time since November 18 that Griffin failed to record at least 10 boards.
Los Angeles led by 10 after the first quarter, and never really looked back from there.
Minnesota’s Kevin Love, despite going the entire first half without a rebound due to foul trouble, was able to grab 11 in the second half to help extend his own double-double streak to 29 games.
He led the Timberwolves with 26 points in just 32 minutes.
The Clippers have climbed back to .500 at home (13-13) with their current six-game streak. They’ve improved to 16-25 since starting the season 5-21.
The Clippers’ leading scorer, Eric Gordon, left the game with just over three minutes to go in the first quarter with an injured tendon in his right ring finger. He returned in the second half, and finished with 23 points on 7-14 shooting including a perfect 3-3 from three-point range.
Los Angeles scored no fewer than 29 points in any quarter, but still managed to turn the ball over 24 times, leading to 31 Minnesota points.
Wolves forward Michael Beasley scored 21 points in his second game back after missing a few games with a sprained ankle. He was ejected at the 6:41 mark of the fourth quarter after picking up his second technical foul.
Baron Davis enjoyed yet another strong outing, scoring 20 points with four rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocked shots.
After shooting an abysmal 9-43 on three-point attempts in December, Davis has found his stroke, having knocked down 13-33 shots from beyond-the-arc. He went 3-6 from deep Wednesday night.
The Clippers also got major boosts off the bench from point guard Eric Bledsoe and forward Ike Diogu.
The two combined for 20 points (8-13 from the field), 11 rebounds and five assists.
DeAndre Jordan continued the best stretch of his career, picking up another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
A run to open the third quarter put the Clippers up by 21, before the Wolves closed the period on a nice streak to pull to within 13 entering the final frame.
However, the Clippers’ bench and stellar three-point shooting (12-21 for the game) kept the Timberwolves at bay.
Free throw shooting continues to be a problem for LA, however, as they hit just 26 of 36 shots from the charity stripe.
As a team, the Clippers rank last in the league in free throw percentage at just 68.8 percent, due in large part to Griffin getting the majority of the attempts. He’s a 60 percent foul shooter.
Minnesota is now just 2-21 on the road, and 10-33 overall. They’ll head home to Minneapolis to take on the Houston Rockets on Monday.
Starting center Darko Milicic left the game and didn’t return after spraining his left ankle in the third quarter.
The Clippers travel to Portland to face the Trail Blazers in an increasingly important game Thursday night. The Blazers are six games ahead of L.A. for the Western Coneference’s final playoff spot.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers, and covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for ProSportsBlogging.com.