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Clippers 103, Trail Blazers 90

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Los Angeles Clippers built a Mount Everest-like lead in the first half Thursday night at the Rose Garden.

They wound up needing nearly every bit of that advantage in a 103-90 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers sliced what was once a 24-point deficit to four with seven minutes to go before the visitors regained command to seize their second victory in as many nights.

Jamal Crawford -- who played for Portland a year ago -- came off the bench to lead the Clippers with 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting. Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan added 21 points and eight rebounds, and Chris Paul contributed 21 points, six assists and four rebounds for the winners.

The Clippers (4-2) held a huge advantage in rebounds, 44-31, and points in the paint, 56-30.

Nicolas Batum scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and also collected nine rebounds and five assists for Portland (2-3).

Trailing 60-39 at halftime, the Blazers surged in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 77-71 after three quarters. The Blazers, who shot 34.9 percent from the field in the first half, made 12 of 17 shots in the quarter.

Batum, who hit two of 10 shots in the first half, scored 12 points in the third as Portland outscored Los Angeles 32-17.

Crawford scored the Clippers' first nine points in the fourth quarter to keep the Blazers at bay for a while. However, Portland rookie Meyers Leonard had three dunks in a three-minute span, the third drawing the hosts to within 86-82.

The Clippers shot 58.1 percent in the first half and had a 28-15 the rebounding edge before the break. Paul (13 first-half points) and Jordan (12) led the way.

Paul got off early against Portland rookie Damian Lillard in the point guard matchup, scoring nine points in the first six minutes to stake the Clippers to a 17-15 lead.

Jordan was also too much for the Blazers to handle in the early going, collecting eight points and four rebounds as Los Angeles increased the margin to 26-18 with three minutes left in the first quarter. The Clippers upped the margin to nine before settling for a 29-22 advantage after one.

The Clippers started a layup drill, scoring four straight at the basket. That sent them off on a 24-8 run that pushed the lead to 53-30 with four minutes left in the second quarter. Los Angeles' advantage peaked at 24 points just before the break.

NOTES: Crawford was greeted by a smattering of boos when he entered the game for the visitors late in the first quarter. ... The Clippers won last year's season series 3-1, the first time they ruled the Blazers since the 2006-07 season. ... In Wednesday night's 114-91 win over San Antonio, the Clippers held the Spurs' Big Three -- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- to a combined 23 points. ... Jordan entered the game ranked fourth in the NBA in blocked shots at 2.8 per game. He had just one block Thursday. ... Lillard went into the contest leading the league's rookies in scoring (19.3 points per game) and assists (8.0 per game). He produced 16 points and four assists against the Clippers.
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