Clippers 106, Bobcats 84

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Shorthanded as the Los Angeles Clippers were Tuesday, it hardly mattered with the lowly Charlotte Bobcats in town.
It didn't matter that Jamal Crawford was in Seattle celebrating the birth of his daughter or that Eric Bledsoe was nursing a sore left calf. The Clippers had more than enough to easily handle the Bobcats, 106-84, at Staples Center.
That was thanks mostly to Blake Griffin, who demoralized Charlotte with seven highlight reel dunks to rip the life out of the young Bobcats and send the home crowd into a frenzy.
Griffin finished with 24 points while playing just three quarters, hitting 11 of 14 shots and seemingly always on the verge of a thunderous dunk.
Matt Barnes came off the bench to score 17 points, Caron Butler had 16 and DeAndre Jordan had 13 for the Clippers, who took control at the end of the first half and led by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter.
Gerald Henderson scored 24 points for the Bobcats and Kemba Walker added 15, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Bobcats lost their fifth straight to the Clippers.
Lob City was in full effect during a two-minute spurt to end the first half, turning the game around and igniting sold out Staples Center.
As usual, Griffin played a leading role.
With Chris Paul assisting him at every turn.
With three mighty dunks, one more impressive than the other, Griffin sparked a 7-0 run to give the Clippers a 54-45 lead at halftime.
By the time his personal dunk contest was over, the Clippers took control of what had been a close game, the Bobcats realized they were in over the heads -- literally -- and the Clippers were on their way to their second win in a row.
And Paul and Griffin were forging an even tighter bond.
"It just gets better and better," Griffin said. "It's easy to play with a point guard like that."
NOTES: It's been a struggle all year for the Clippers to field a complete team, and that continued Tuesday as they played Charlotte without guards Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe. Crawford's fiancee gave birth to a baby girl Monday and he was given the night off against the Bobcats. Crawford is expected to join the team on their upcoming three-game road trip. Bledsoe suffered a slight left calf injury two games ago against San Antonio, played through it in a win over Utah Saturday, but experienced tightness Monday and was held out against Charlotte. He is listed as day to day. ... One of the challenges facing the Bobcats is getting guard Kemba Walker to be more vocally assertive. It's simply not in his nature to be verbally forceful, but for Charlotte and Walker to take that next step, he needs to be. "What we try to say is, for two-and-a-half hours he has to be somebody he's not with his voice. And I think there's a buy in to that the last few weeks and for us that's good," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "In order for him to punch in to be a top 15 guard in this league that piece has to happen for him. He can't hide behind the fact he's a little more bashful."

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