It was the look Clippers guard Jamal Crawford wanted, but it wasn't the result. Crawford's 19-foot jump shot over Nicolas Batum was a fraction long and bounced off the back rim, giving the Portland Trail Blazers a 101-100 victory over the Clippers on Saturday night. Crawford scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, but he missed a scoop shot in the paint and the final jumper in the last 24 seconds. The shot over Batum came after Crawford grabbed an offensive rebound, got tied up and won the ensuing tip. It was a shot Crawford expects to make. "I'll take that shot 10 times out of 10, and I'll make it nine times out of 10," Crawford said. "That's just the one I missed." The Clippers trailed for most of the first three quarters, but they used an uptick in defensive intensity to take the lead in the fourth. Portland trailed by nine points with 2:38 left, but rookie Damian Lillard's 3-point shot sparked a 10-0 run to close out the game. "We've got to learn from it," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "It's a tough pill to swallow. We had an opportunity to steal this one, and we couldn't convert down the stretch." Blake Griffin scored 24 points, handed out 10 assists, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals. Since 2010-11 only LeBron James has finished a game with those numbers or better, last doing it on Dec. 30, 2011. Before the game, Del Negro said he wanted to see Griffin dominate in ways other than scoring. "Blake has the ability (to dominate) defensively, talking, leadership, rebounding," Del Negro said. "Obviously, he's doing a great job with his passing. His assists are up, and scoring, because he's got the ball. It's in all areas because he's more than capable of doing it. I want his mindset to be like that."
Clippers succumb to Trail Blazers' late charge
Orange County Register | Jan 28