BLAKE Griffin got off to a strong start before the Los Angeles Clippers doused a late-game rally by the New York Knicks to escape with a 114-105 win at the Staples Center on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
The Clippers kept a comfortable lead starting in the second quarter, while the Knicks mounted small runs to keep within striking distance, cutting a lead as large as 23 points down to 15 near the end of the third quarter before the home team unleashed a 17-7 blitz to take a 25-point advantage into the fourth.
The Knicks bench got New York back with an 11-2 run late in the fourth period to cut the gap to eight, 109-101, with 1:32 left. But the Clippers held on with some crucial free throws while the Knicks blew some chances to chip the lead down with some misses at the stripe.
Griffin had 30 points in three quarters, and watched the Clippers reserves preserve their second straight win to improve to 42-29. Austin Rivers scored 17 off the bench, while Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan and JJ Redick all added 14 markers apiece. Chris Paul added 13 points and 13 assists.
Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis led the way for the skidding Knicks (27-43) with 18 points apiece. Carmelo Anthony added 16 markers.