Clip­pers Erase 21-Point Deficit To Beat Pel­i­cans

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NE W YORK (Dis­patches) - Blake Grif­fin sank a clutch three-pointer as the Los Angeles Clip­pers com­pleted the team’s great­est road come­back since 2004 with a 112-103 win over the New Or­leans Pel­i­cans on Sun­day.

Grif­fin drained his three-pointer with 43 sec­onds re­main­ing en route to a 27-point per­for­mance against the Pel­i­cans who were play­ing their first game since a leg in­jury ended the sea­son of all-star cen­ter DeMar­cus Cousins.

Grif­fin also had 12 as­sists for the Clip­pers, who ral­lied from a 21-point first-half deficit and ended the Pel­i­cans’ four-game win streak.

Grif­fin said they got an ear­ful at half­time about their play in the first half from coach Doc Rivers.

“He got into us a lit­tle bit. He said all the things we needed to hear,” Grif­fin said. “When coaches say what you need to hear and play­ers come out and ex­e­cute on it, it’s a per­fect har­mony.”

Lou Wil­liams tal­lied 22 points, DeAn­dre Jor­dan had 12 points and 19 re­bounds, and Tyrone Wal­lace scored 19 points in the win. “We never feel like we are out of a game. We find hope in be­ing naive,” Wil­liams said. “We never think we are go­ing to lose.”

An­thony Davis had 25 points and 17 re­bounds for the Pel­i­cans, who missed star for­ward Cousins af­ter he tore his Achilles ten­don in the fi­nal minute of Fri­day’s win over Hous­ton. Cousins was av­er­ag­ing 25.2 points and 12.9 re­bounds when he went down.

The Pel­i­cans suf­fered just their sec­ond loss in their last nine con­tests. Else­where, Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo scored 27 points to lead his Mil­wau­kee Bucks to a 110-96 win over the Chicago Bulls. The all-star for­ward added nine re­bounds and eight as­sists to help the Bucks im­prove to 3-0 since in­terim coach Joe Prunty re­placed the fired Jason Kidd.

In Toronto, Fred VanVleet came off the bench to score a ca­reer-high 25 points as the Toronto Rap­tors man­han­dled the vis­it­ing Los Angeles Lakers 123-111 at the Air Canada Cen­ter.

With Sun­day’s win, it be­came of­fi­cial that Rap­tors head coach Dwane Casey and his staff are go­ing to join play­ers DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in Los Angeles for next month’s 2018 NBAAll-Star Game.

LeBron James had 25 points, 14 as­sists and nar­rowly missed his sec­ond straight triple­dou­ble, and Cleveland sent Detroit to its eighth straight loss.

Cleveland has won con­sec­u­tive games for the first time since a five-game win­ning streak Dec. 9-17.

James was 8 of 15 from the field, 8 of 9 from the foul line and had eight re­bounds. Kevin Love had 20 points and 11 re­bounds. To­bias Har­ris and An­thony Tol­liver each scored 20 points for the Pis­tons. It was the Pis­tons’ eighth straight loss. Rus­sell West­brook scored 37 points to lead the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der in a win over the Philadel­phia 76ers, 122-112 for their eighth straight vic­tory.

at San An­to­nio 113, Sacra­mento 98: Bryn Forbes scored a sea­son-high 23 points, help­ing San An­to­nio over­come a slug­gish in a game in which Sacra­mento coach Dave Jo­erger left in the open­ing min­utes af­ter a dizzy spell.

LaMar­cus Aldridge and Manu Gi­no­bili each added 15 points in San An­to­nio’s 13th straight win over Sacra­mento. De­jounte Mur­ray had 14 points and 10 as­sists, and Pau Ga­sol had 14 points and 11 re­bounds.

Jo­erger ex­ited two min­utes into the game af­ter slap­ping his hands to­gether af­ter a non-call, tak­ing two steps to­ward mid­court and then turn­ing to­ward his bench and drop­ping to one knee. He braced him­self with one hand on the court and an­other on a staff mem­ber be­fore ris­ing with the help of an­other staff mem­ber. He was taken to the locker room and was ex­am­ined by a Spurs team doc­tor. A San An­to­nio of­fi­cial said Jo­erger was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing light­head­ed­ness and was be­ing kept in the locker room for pre­cau­tion­ary rea­sons.

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