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Clippers rally from 17 down to beat Suns 112-108

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BOB BAUM | April 3, 2014 01:30 AM EST | AP

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PHOENIX (AP) — Darren Collison and Blake Griffin scored 23 points apiece and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Phoenix Suns 112-108 Wednesday night.

Chris Paul added 20 points, including a 32-foot 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired to put the Clippers up for good 108-106 with 1:48 to play.

Eight Suns reached double figures, led by Marcus Morris with 16 points.

Phoenix fell into a three-way tie with Memphis and Dallas for the last two playoff spots in the West. The Suns would lose the tiebreaker the way it stood Wednesday night.

Phoenix used a 22-5 run to lead 91-74 with 1:49 left in the third period and was up 91-78 entering the fourth.

Griffin had been listed as doubtful for the game with back spasms.

Ex-Sun Jared Dudley made two free throws with 8.1 seconds to play to clinch the Clippers' fourth victory in a row and 17th in 19 games.

Goran Dragic and Gerald Green scored 15 points apiece for the Suns, but Dragic was just 2 of 11 from the field, 0 of 5 from 3-point range. P.J. Tucker, whose rebounding was a big factor in the Suns' third-quarter run, had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

With Griffin and Paul on the bench, the Clippers scored 11 in a row early in the fourth quarter — the last five by Willie Green — to cut Phoenix's lead to 92-85. Dudley's 3-pointer with 5:57 to go cut it to 97-94.

Dudley's two free throws put Los Angeles ahead 105-104 with 2:38 left. Eric Bledsoe's 9-foot floater gave the Suns their last lead 106-105 with 2:15 left.

Phoenix's defense was strong on the next possession, and just before the clock was to expire, Paul let hit from far beyond the arc. Griffin's rebound basket with 49.5 seconds left made it 110-106. Bledsoe scored on the layup to cut it to 110-108.

The Suns had a chance to tie it, but Collison blocked Bledsoe's layup from behind. The ball went out of bounds off the Suns and Dudley's free throws iced the win.

The Suns broke away from a 69-69 tie with their 22-5 outburst. Tucker had three rebound baskets in the run. He was fouled on his final one, capping the big run with a three-point play that gave Phoenix its biggest lead, 91-74, with 1:49 left in the period. The Clippers scored the next four to trail 91-78 entering the fourth.

Phoenix led 62-60 at the break.

NOTES: Bledsoe drew a technical foul for slamming his hand on the scorer's table after being called for an offensive foul, his third foul of the game, with 10:39 left in first half. ... Jamal Crawford, in and out of the Clippers lineup lately, was out again with a sore left Achilles tendon. ... Only two of Phoenix's seven remaining games are at home.