Griffin lifts Clippers again
LAS VEGAS -- The Los Angeles Clippers held on for the 88-86 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA SPORTS play at the Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of University of Nevada - Las Vegas.
DeAndre Jordan's 21 points and 12 rebounds led Los Angeles' strong inside presence outscoring New Orleans 48-30 in the paint. Eric Gordon paced the Clippers with 22 points, while Blake Griffin registered 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Hornets' guard Darren Collison led all scorers with 23 in the loss. Marcus Thornton scored 10 in the final quarter as he kept the game close, but was not enough as Los Angeles held on for the win. Thornton finished the game with 19.
The Clippers never trailed in the first half, and led by as many as 10 in the first quarter. Jordan scored eight points and Griffin chipped in with five in the effort to propel Los Angeles to a 20-14 lead.
Los Angeles extended their lead to as many as 11 in the second period following a 10-3 outburst on the back of Gordon's 10-point quarter. Jordan chipped in with six in the quarter to total 14 in the half. Despite all Hornets players registering points in the first half, New Orleans trailed at halftime 42-35.
After falling behind by 12 points early in the third quarter, New Orleans stormed back to grab their first lead of the game with 26 seconds remaining in the frame. But, Gordon came back on the next possession for Los Angeles to retake the lead 62-61 to end the period. Griffin posted 11 points in the quarter, going 4-4 from the field. Collison and Anthony Tolliver combined for 16 of the Hornets 26 third quarter points.