Clippers rally behind Crawford in 4th to beat Magic 103-101
Dec. 06, 2015
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Orlando Magic had their way through three quarters. Once the Los Angeles Clippers played some defense, their offense started flowing just in time.
Jamal Crawford scored 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, Wesley Johnson added 21 points off the bench and the Clippers rallied for a 103-101 victory Saturday night, snapping the Magic's five-game winning streak.
"The bigger sigh of relief is winning," Crawford said. "If I had the same game and we lose, it doesn't mean as much. We showed a lot of character. We really responded to the challenge."
Blake Griffin had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who played without injured guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick.
All of Johnson's field-goal attempts were 3-pointers. He made six and went 3 of 5 from the free throw line.
"They were sinking off so I had to take them," he said. "When I went in, J.J. CP and the coaches all told me to shoo the ball and to not think about it. I knew the ball was coming to me and I just had to be ready. I am really settling in. It's a good feeling."
Reserve Victor Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points and Elfrid Payton added 21 points for the Magic, who blew all of a 12-point lead early in the fourth.
"We played well enough to win, we just didn't pull out the game," Payton said. "We just got away from taking great shots."
After the Magic's early run in the fourth, the Clippers rattled off three straight 3-pointers, one by Johnson and two by Crawford, as part of a 22-7 run that gave them a 99-96 lead. Crawford had 15 points in the spurt during which the Magic went 3:33 without scoring.
"He got those shots because we were missing shots," Payton said. "He was able to get out on transition, get to the free throw line."
Griffin's jumper pushed the Clippers' lead to 101-98 before Jason Smith's tip cut it to 101-100.
Crawford got fouled and missed the first but made the second for a 102-100 lead with 10 seconds to go.
Oladipo's jumper bounced off the front of the rim and Tobias Harris fouled Austin Rivers, who made the first and missed the second for a 103-100 lead with 4.3 seconds left.
Payton went to the line and made the first and missed the second, but the Clippers gained possession with 1 second left.
"We were driving into traffic, trying to make shots we shouldn't have been trying to make," Magic coach Scott Skiles said. "Typically, that's what we've not been doing, but we did that tonight. We giftwrapped one for them."
Orlando shot 60 percent in the third and kept it up to start the fourth. The Magic outscored the Clippers 10-3, extending their lead to 89-77 before the Clippers fought back.
Former USC player Nikola Vucevic had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic.
The Magic opened the third with a 15-8 run that gave them a 65-61 lead. They hit three 3s in the spurt, including consecutive ones by Evan Fournier and Channing Frye. Payton had the other 3 while contributing seven points.
Griffin scored five of the Clippers' next seven points to give them a 68-67 lead.
Orlando then outscored the Clippers 12-5, including nine in a row, to lead 79-74 going into the fourth.
Magic: They fell to 4-6 on the road. ... They've had nine games decided by five points or less and six decided by three points or less.
Clippers: Paul missed his second straight game with inflamed rib cartilage. ... Redick has a sprained right ankle that he hurt in the opening 18 seconds of Wednesday's loss to Indiana. ... F Josh Smith turned 30 on Saturday. ... Their upcoming five-game, 10-day trip covers about 5,082 miles.
The Magic dominated in three categories: the paint, second-chance points and fast break points.
They outscored the Clippers 52-32 in the paint, 22-15 on second-chance baskets and 19-12 in fast break offense.
Oladipo knocked knees with Crawford and left the game with 4:48 to play after scoring six points early in the fourth. He returned with barely a minute left.
"It couldn't have happened at a worse time," he said.
The Magic visit Denver on Tuesday.
The Clippers open a five-game road trip at Minnesota on Monday.