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Paul, Griffin, Foye Lead Clips to Narrow Win over Blazers

Posted By Taylor Smith On Mar 31 2012 @ 5:10 pm In Los Angeles Clippers,NBA | No Comments

Another day, another last-second win for the L.A. Clippers.

Chris Paul hit a game-winning driving layup with just five seconds remaining to lift the Clippers over the reeling Portland Trail Blazers 98-97 Friday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers improved to 30-21 on the season, and have now won four consecutive games and maintain the No. 4 seed in the tight Western Conference playoff race.

Paul, Blake Griffin and Randy Foye each led Los Angeles with 20 points on the evening, while Caron Butler, DeAndre Jordan and Nick Young all chipped-in with double-figure scoring efforts.

Curiously, the Clips had an extremely rough time trying to stop Portland’s J.J. Hickson, who led all scorers with 29 points and also grabbed 13 boards, starting in place of All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.

Hickson has been impressive since being acquired off waivers from the Kings about two weeks ago, and is averaging 20.6 points in his last three games.

The lead changed hands four different times in the final minute of play, capped-off by Paul’s game-clincher. Wesley Matthews missed a wild runner at the other end before time expired on the Trail Blazers.

Portland fell to just 7-19 away from home on the season, and 24-28 overall.

The Blazers franchise is suddenly finding themselves in a state of transition, having lost Brandon Roy and Greg Oden due to chronic injuries, while also having traded Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline. They fired longtime head coach Nate McMillan that same day.

The Clippers now trail the Lakers by just one game in the Pacific Division and No. 3 seed, but still sit just one game in front of the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.

Quick turnaround for Los Angeles, as well, as they’ll host the surging Utah Jazz Saturday night at Staples.

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