Jordan, Clippers overpower Pelicans

Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Clippers center DeAndre Jordan upstaged the return of Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, leading Los Angeles to a dominating victory over New Orleans.
Jordan scored 14 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked five shots as the Clippers used a third-quarter run to coast to a 108-95 win Wednesday over the Pelicans at Staples Center.
"Outstanding, outstanding," Clippers point guard Chris Paul said of Jordan's performance. "No question he was MVP of the game tonight. We don't win this game without his energy.
"He just kept telling us, 'Come on, come on fellows.' And we fed off it.
"I love what D.J. is doing. He's the cornerstone of our defense. He rolls and gets everybody open on the offensive end. We should be seeing him in New Orleans (at the All-Star Game) come February if he keeps playing like that."
Jordan hit all six of his shots from the floor and two of four free throws. However, he took more pride in his defense, saying he hopes to be the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year.
"I'm just trying to be the best player I can be for our team. If that happens, it happens, but I take it on as a challenge," Jordan said. "It's definitely a goal of mine. I don't want to win just one time. I want to win it multiple times. It's a process, and I'm taking the steps to become a better defensive player."
Forward Blake Griffin scored 21 points and added 10 rebounds, helping the Clippers earn their third win in a row and their fourth consecutive decision over New Orleans. The Pelicans (11-13) lost their third straight and their fifth in the past seven outings.
Los Angeles (18-9) had seven players score in double figures.
Paul had 12 points and 11 assists, and forward Jared Dudley added 20 points. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford scored 17 points despite shooting 3-for-13 from the field.
New Orleans got a boost from Davis, back after missing seven games with a fractured left hand, but it wasn't enough. Davis, who came off the bench midway through the first quarter, scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in his first game since going down Dec. 1 in a win over the New York Knicks. He also had three steals.
"It felt good to be back on the floor," said Davis, who hit 10 of his 18 field-goal attempts. "Just to go back and play with my teammates and have fun and do the things I'm used to doing was great -- except for the loss. But we've got to learn from it."
Forward Ryan Anderson finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Pelicans. Guard Jrue Holiday added 13 points and 10 assists. Guard Tyreke Evans, who returned from a two-game absence caused by an ankle injury, recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Los Angeles led 55-51 early in the third quarter before going on a 17-3 run. New Orleans never was able to cut the margin below double digits again.
"They forced the issue, especially in the beginning in the third quarter," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "We never could get it close."
Griffin scored 13 of the Clippers' 26 points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer. Griffin was 2-for-3 from behind the arc, making him 5-for=13 for the season. He also had five assists.
The Clippers led by as much as nine in the first half before settling for a 52-47 halftime lead.
NOTES: Wednesday's game marked the second meeting between Doc Rivers and his son, Pelicans G Austin Rivers, but the first since Rivers became the Clippers' coach. "Obviously, it's a strange thing when he's on the floor," said Doc Rivers, who faced his son last season when he coached the Boston Celtics. "It's (my) son, but you want to beat him." The father said earlier in the day that he and his son would have dinner after the game. "If we lose, I'm not going out with him," Austin Rivers joked. ... Los Angeles F Matt Barnes, out since suffering a retinal tear in his left eye last month, was in uniform but didn't play. "He's ready to play, but he hasn't had a practice," Doc Rivers said. Barnes likely will return to the lineup Saturday when the Clippers host the Denver Nuggets. ... The Pelicans' next game is Saturday in Portland against the Trail Blazers. ... The attendance was 19,060, a sellout.

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