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NBA -- Clippers start 8-game road trip on a high note


PhilBoxing.com




SAN FRANCISCO -- All-Star Blake Griffin finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers pounded a hard-earned 96-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The 6-foot-9, 251-pound power forward poured 12 points of his game-high output in the first quarter to set the tone for the Clippers. And when the going got a little rough in the final quarter, with the T-Wolves closing in at 90-88 in the homestretch, reserve Jamal Crawford and starting small forward Caron Butler created a one-two punch that carried Los Angeles to a tight finish.

"We go into every road trip with the goal to win them all. You can't win them all without winning the first one," Griffin told the Los Angeles Times. "We didn't play well through the first three (quarters). We did it in spurts but the way we pulled it out was encouraging. We have to be much, much better, added Griffin, whose Clippers began a tedious eight-game road swing.

The 34-13 Clippers, who hold a five-game lead over the Golden State Warriors in the Pacific Division, got 19 from Butler and 17 from Crawford. Center DeAndre Jordan chipped in with 16 and 12 rebounds while Eric Bledsoe, playing in place of the injured Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap), finished with 10 points and 10 assists.

Nikola Pekovic had a solid 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who dropped their fifth straight. Andre Kirilenko and J.J. Barea tallied 14 each and Alexey Shved chipped in 12.

At 17-25, the Timberwolves sank in the bottom of the Western Conference's Northwest Division. (JSM)

Photo: Power forward Blake Griffin scored 26 and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers collected a 96-90 road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joan Secuya-Medida.


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