By Jon Gold, The Sports Xchange
LOS ANGELES -- The San Antonio Spurs entered its mid-week matchup at the Los Angeles Clippers as one of just two undefeated teams in the NBA, a wily veteran group that found a way to win its first four games.
Then they faced the fresh legs of the Clippers and no longer felt wily or veteran, just tired and spent.
The Clippers ran away from the Spurs with a big third quarter and dealt San Antonio its first loss of the season with a 106-84 win at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
The Clippers turned a six-point halftime lead into a 20-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter and continued to apply pressure to the struggling Spurs, who shot just 41 percent from the field and committed a season-high 20 turnovers.
Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds, DeAndre Jordan had a surprising 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting -- including eight in the decisive third quarter -- and Chris Paul added 10 points and 12 assists for Los Angeles (3-2), which won after losing two in a row.
San Antonio (4-1) had an off night offensively, no one had more than eight shot attempts -- and only Danny Green (12 points) and Tim Duncan (10 points) finished in double-figures. Tony Parker had four points and Manu Ginobili had nine for San Antonio.
The Clippers expect points from Griffin; not so much from Jordan. Yet both had 10 points to lead Los Angeles to a 47-41 halftime advantage. Jordan also added five rebounds and two blocks before the break, while Griffin contributed six rebounds.
The Clippers gained a six-point lead to end the first quarter and stretched it to 11 on a Matt Barnes 3-pointer with just more than eight minutes left in the half. San Antonio responded and trimmed the lead to as little as three. The Spurs had a chance to go into the half down by three, but Boris Diaw missed a 25-foot 3-pointer with one second left.
Diaw had eight points in a team-high 19:09 minutes before halftime, while teammate Danny Green contributed nine for the Spurs, who connected on 44.7 percent of their first-half shots. Duncan had four points, five rebounds and three assists in the first half. Parker scored just two first-half points on 1-of-5 shooting but added five assists.
NOTES: Clippers veteran guard Chauncey Billups said on ESPN's "NBA Countdown" that he hoped to return from a left Achilles injury in a month and that he had returned to practice with the team. ... Clippers forward Grant Hill, meanwhile, remains out with a bone bruise in his right knee, and there is no timetable for his return. ... Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro played for the Spurs from 1992-98. ... Paul entered the game as the league's assist leader with 46. ... The Clippers, who were outrebounded in each of their first four games this season, had a 19-16 advantage on the boards at the half.