THE Los Angeles Clippers overcame late 10-point deficit and some early drama in the stands behind Blake Griffin’s season-high 32 points to rally past the New York Knicks, 119-115, at the Madison Square Garden on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
Both teams got in a tight, high-scoring battle early that was marred by an altercation between former Knicks forward Charles Oakley and MSG security in the first quarter. Oakley got ejected and arrested for the incident, that slightly took the spotlight from an entertaining ball game.
The Clippers found themselves trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter before Griffin led a 21-9 run to regain the lead, 109-107, at the 3:29 mark. The Knicks got back on top, 111-109, with a Kristaps Porzingis basket entering the last two minutes, but Jamal Crawford and DeAndre Jordan teamed up for a 9-3 blitz that gave the Clippers the lead for good.
Porzingis split his charities but the Knicks still had a chance to come away with the win after Jordan came up empty at the stripe and keep the score at 118-115 in the Clippers favor with 18 seconds remaining. But Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis flubbed two chances to tie the game and Griffin sealed the win with a free throw to end the Clippers’ three-game slide.
Griffin added eight rebounds and five assists to his tally, while Jordan put in a huge double-double of 28 points and 15 boards for the Clippers (32-21). Crawford chipped in 20 markers off the bench.
Anthony led the Knicks, losers of three straight to fall to 22-32, with 28 points and nine rebounds. Porzingis added 27 markers while Derrick Rose scored 20.