Clippers Beat Nuggets, 103-95: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul Dominate Before All-Star Game (VIDEO)
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Paul scored a season-high 36 points, Blake Griffin added 27 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Denver Nuggets 103-95 Wednesday night to snap a two-game skid in their last game before the All-Star break.
Paul and Griffin are headed to the game as starters in Orlando, having led their team to a 20-11 record in the first half of the lockout-shortened season. Griffin had 12 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan had 16 boards as the Clippers improved to 12-4 at home.
Arron Afflalo scored 20 points and rookie Jordan Hamilton added a season-high 18 points for the injury-riddled Nuggets, who lost their fifth in a row on the road. They played without Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, Nene and Rudy Fernandez.
The teams, who split their first two meetings, played it close throughout with 23 lead changes and 16 ties.
Paul scored 17 straight points over the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth that extended the Clippers' lead to 85-79.
The Nuggets answered with seven in a row, including three by Al Harrington, to take a 91-89 lead. Paul was 11 of 12 from the line and had nine assists.
From there, the Clippers outscored Denver 14-4 to end the game. Griffin had six points, making four straight free throws, while the Nuggets couldn't hit from outside. Harrington airballed a 3-pointer and missed another one on the ensuing possession. He finished with 11 points.
Denver didn't make a field goal over the final 7:27.
Paul scored the Clippers' final 12 points of the third, when they led 80-79. Denver led by five midway through the period before Griffin and Paul combined to score seven in a row and briefly put the Clippers ahead by two.
The Nuggets led 54-52 at the break, with neither team leading by more than five points in the first half. Hamilton scored 13 points, missing just two of his six field goal attempts, for the Nuggets. Paul scored all of his 13 points in the second quarter for the Clippers.
Notes: Nuggets F-C Nene missed his sixth straight game with a strained left calf. ... Griffin and Paul addressed the fans before the game, with Griffin thanking them for their support during the first half of the season. "We're going to go down to Orlando and try to make you guys proud," Paul added.
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