Knight, Suns rise as LA Clippers play without Paul and Reddick, lose Griffin
Eric Bledsoe had 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Suns. AP

PHOENIX — Brandon Knight matched his career high with 37 points, Eric Bledsoe fell an assist shy of his second career triple-double and the Phoenix Suns rolled past the severely depleted Los Angeles Clippers 118-104 on Thursday night (Friday, Manila time).

Bledsoe had 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Clippers were without starting guards Chris Paul (groin strain) and J.J. Redick (lower back spasms), then Blake Griffin was ejected after drawing his second technical foul with 2:36 left in the first half.

That left Los Angeles without its top three scorers the rest of the way.

Jamaal Crawford scored 18 points and Wesley Johnson had 14 for the Clippers.

Knight made 6 of 10 3-point attempts. T.J. Warren matched his career best with 18 points for Phoenix, 14 in the second half.

Bledsoe had a great shot at that 10th assist in the final seconds when he found Jon Leuer inside, but the big forward missed the layup.

Phoenix snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Clippers.

The Suns starting backcourt of Bledsoe and Knight outscored the Clippers' replacement guards Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni 63-17.

Immediately after Griffin's ejection, the Suns went on a 9-1 run to end the half and lead 58-49, then blew it open by taking a 25-point lead in the third quarter. After Los Angeles cut the lead to 15 in the fourth quarter, Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek put Knight back in the game, and that allowed the guard to match the career best he set against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 31, 2013.

Griffin and the Suns' Mirza Teletovic were called for double-technicals with 7:02 to play in the half. Less than 5 minutes later, Griffin apparently said something to the referee and was whistled for his second "T'' and the ejection.

That left Los Angeles without three players who averaged a combined 58 points per game.


Redick was pronounced out of the game well before tipoff but Paul was a game-time decision. Both were hurt in the team's 118-110 loss to Dallas on Wednesday night.

Austin Rivers, son of Clippers coach Doc Rivers, started in place of Redick. Prigioni was the point guard in place of Paul.

Paul is the team's second-leading scorer at 15.7 points per game. He is averaging eight assists. Redick is the Clippers' third-leading scorer at 14.8 points per game.


The Suns had two injured players, too.

Starting forward Markieff Morris went to the locker room with a sprained left knee in the first quarter and did not return. Ronnie Price ran into DeAndre Jordan's elbow in the second quarter and was knocked to the court. He got up shaking his head and left to undergo the mandatory concussion protocol.



Clippers: The Clippers have lost four of five. ... Paul has missed two of Los Angeles' nine games. Redick hadn't missed any before Thursday night. ... Jordan was 5 of 13 from the free throw line.

Suns: As the second half of a TNT doubleheader, the game tipped off at 8:52 p.m., local time. ... Phoenix last beat the Clippers on Dec. 30, 2013, in Los Angeles. ... Tyson Chandler ranks second in field goal percentage (59.1) with the minimum of 2,000 field goals made. Artis Gilmore holds the record at 59.9 percent.


Clippers: Home against Detroit on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Suns: Home against Denver on Saturday.

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