Clippers 105, Bucks 98
LOS ANGELES (AP)
The only statistic Blake Griffin was interested in didn't appear on the boxscore.
He had 32 points and 11 rebounds for his 39th double-double, and the Los Angeles Clippers withstood a fourth-quarter challenge to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-98 Monday night for their ninth straight home win.
''That's the best stat,'' Griffin said. ''It's huge for us to protect our home court.''
The Clippers tied the third-longest consecutive home victory streak in franchise history set when the team was known as the Buffalo Braves and won nine in a row from Oct. 22-Nov. 23, 1974.
They got another bit of good news, too.
Eric Gordon, the Clippers' leading scorer who was expected to be out for a month because of a right wrist injury, is now day-to-day and could join the team for its upcoming trip, a team spokesperson said after the game.
Randy Foye added 20 points in his fourth consecutive start in place of Gordon, while Baron Davis added 18 and DeAndre Jordan had 16. The Clippers were 25 of 27 from the free throw line in a game that featured 18 lead changes.
Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said Bogut's right knee was bothering him after he got hit awkwardly in a second-half collision with Foye.
''It was tough with Blake Griffin in the post. He's a monster, as well as DeAndre Jordan,'' Maggette said. ''They have two key guys that you really can't play off of. You can't get too much help from another player because they have so many different moves.''
Griffin shot 13 of 20 from the floor, made all six of his free throws and had six assists, although he was on the bench for part of his teammates' game-winning rally.
The Clippers ran off 11 straight points to turn a one-point deficit into a 94-84 lead with 5:17 remaining. Five different players scored, although none of them was Griffin.
Maggette scored the next six points for the Bucks before Carlos Delfino added a basket, drawing them to 96-92. Foye missed, but Davis scrambled to collect the rebound, then dribbled several seconds off the clock before kicking out to Foye, whose 3-pointer kept the Clippers ahead 99-92 with 42 seconds left.
''I saw that shot was going to come off (the rim),'' Davis said. ''Nobody was blocking me out. I had to use all my energy for that one. I got in the lane, saw Randy and knew he wasn't going to miss it again.''
Griffin added, ''I've never seen him jump that high in my life. It sealed the game for us and it kind of put them in panic mode.''
Delfino turned the ball over when he stepped out of bounds, and the Bucks were forced to foul over the final seconds.
''Our defense was pretty good, but they had a couple of extra possessions down the stretch because of offensive rebounds,'' Milwaukee's Keyon Dooling said. ''Baron made a great play to drive and then kick it out to Randy Foye for the three, and that was kind of the backbreaker.''
The Bucks outscored the Clippers 16-8 in the third to take their largest lead, 71-64. Maggette, Ilyasova and Bogut had four points each in the spurt.
The Clippers by closing with a 13-2 run, including six by Ryan Gomes, led 77-73 going into the fourth. Jordan kept his cool when Jon Brockman grabbed the front of his jersey and nearly dragged him to the court after Jordan's alley-oop dunk.
After shooting 26 percent in the first quarter, the Bucks found their offfense in the second. Brandon Jennings, who finished with 12 points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to launch a 16-6 run that gave Milwaukee its first lead of the game. From there, the teams traded leads until Griffin's jumper put the Clippers ahead 49-47 at the break.
The Clippers rolled through an easy opening quarter when they shot 58 percent and led by 12 points. The highlight of Griffin's array of dunks was a fast-break one-handed windmill he slammed down to cap his own run of six straight points.
''I knew I had to do something or I'd never hear the end of it,'' he said.
Notes: Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro was asked if the team would consider unloading injured C Chris Kaman before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He said any option that would help improve the team in the standings has to be considered. ... The Clippers have won 14 of 20 games against Milwaukee since 2001. ... Bucks G John Salmons missed his eighth straight game because of a right hip strain. ... The Clippers will go for a 10th straight home win on Wednesday against the Central Division-leading Chicago Bulls before heading out on a 10-game road trip.