Crawford, Clippers take down Suns
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to help lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 117-99 decision over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday at Staples Center.
Crawford led a Clippers bench that scored all 32 points for Los Angeles in the fourth quarter, while Blake Griffin totaled 24 points, eight rebounds and a career-best four steals in the team's fifth straight win.
Chris Paul put forth a double-double, tallying 16 points and 11 assists in the victory.
"Our bench is very unique, when they come in its like another group of starters," said Paul. "We have to just come out and work on being better."
Michael Beasley scored a team-high 21 points off the bench for the Suns, who dropped their sixth straight game and fifth in a row on the road.
"They made a run in the fourth quarter and we need to take care of the ball," said Suns coach Alvin Gentry. "We have to execute better, they have a well- balanced team. Chris Paul has made a world of difference for them."
Shannon Brown scored 19 and Luis Scola followed with 18 points and 10 boards. Goran Dragic, who entered the game leading the Suns in scoring, didn't make his first field goal until late in the fourth quarter. He finished with eight points and five assists for the game.
The Suns maintained a 31-28 advantage going into the second quarter and held the lead until a pair of free throws by DeAndre Jordan put the Clippers on top 45-44 with 4:59 left in the quarter.
Beasley, who scored 13 in the stanza, brought the Suns even with a 3-pointer shortly after, but a 10-3 Clippers surge put Los Angeles ahead by seven before closing out the half with a 63-57 edge.
After Paul got in the lane for a layup, Brown buried a triple and then connected on a fadeaway jumper before back-to-back 3-pointers from Jared Dudley and Markieff Morris closed the gap to one with 4:09 left in the third.
The Suns took a 77-76 lead following a pair of free throws from Morris, but a Crawford jumper and a Caron Butler triple put the Clippers back in front for good and they carried an 85-83 advantage into the final period.
Los Angeles began to run away with it from there, building a 15-point lead quickly thanks to 17-4 run to start the period. Crawford scored 11 points during the stretch, as his running layup to cap the surge gave the Clippers a comfortable 102-87 lead.
The margin swelled to as many as 18 before the final buzzer.
Los Angeles outscored Phoenix 32-16 in the final period ... The Clippers doubled the Suns' points in the paint, outscoring them 64-32 ... Phoenix had come in to the contest winners in six of the last eight matchups with the Clippers ... The Suns' Jermaine O'Neal was ejected in the fourth quarter after picking up two technical fouls.
12/08 18:44:33 ET