Kaman scores 20 and Clippers beat Blazers 105-95
LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Clippers opened the new year the same way they ended the old one—with a victory.
Chris Kaman(notes) scored 20 points, Eric Gordon(notes) added 19 and Los Angeles pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 105-95 on Monday night in the teams’ second matchup in five days.
“We did a nice job of getting the ball into Kaman and letting him anchor us,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.
The Clippers have won two straight for just the fifth time this season. They will have a chance to equal their best streak of three in a row Wednesday against the defending NBA champion Lakers.
“We had a slow start in the first half and took care of the ball better in the second half,” Kaman said. “We had a good team game overall, were able to get stops and execute.”
Martell Webster(notes) scored a season-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, Andre Miller(notes) had 22 points and 16 assists and Juwan Howard(notes) added 16 points for the Blazers, who won 103-99 last week in Portland. Brandon Roy(notes) was held to six points after scoring 25 last week.
“They did a good job of denying me the basketball and double-teaming me when they had to,” Roy said. “I wasn’t as aggressive in the double-teams and we were a little late getting to our positions.”
The Clippers led by four points going into the final 12 minutes. They opened with an 18-6 spurt, including six by Rasual Butler(notes), to take their largest lead to that point, 95-80. The Blazers went nearly 4 minutes without a basket in that stretch.
“We made it an offensive game, and we didn’t establish that we could stop that team,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. “So they got what they wanted and controlled the majority of the game.”
He cut down his turnovers in the second half, when he committed two after having six in the first two quarters.
Kaman added eight rebounds and four assists in a continuation of the dominance he’s shown since the season began. He’s scored 20 or more points in 10 of the last 11 games and just missed his 10th double-double in the last 13 games. Kaman is the Western Conference’s top scoring center and second-leading rebounder.
“I think the whole league feels that if that team is healthy and together, they are a serious threat in the West,” McMillan said.
Butler was the only starter who played the final 1 1/2 minutes for the Clippers, when the reserves gave up three consecutive field goals.
The game was tied at halftime and neither team led by more than seven points in the third.
The Clippers ended Portland’s four-game winning streak against them at Staples Center, where the Blazers had won seven of the last eight.
NOTES: The Lakers beat the Clippers 99-92 on opening night of the season. … Dunleavy was back on the bench after missing Thursday’s game because of a herniated disc in his lower back. … The Blazers had won two straight and eight of their last 10 coming in.