LOS ANGELES -- After losing six in a row, the Los Angeles Clippers turned to defense to help end their skid against the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. J.J. Redick scored 22 points and Jamal Crawford contributed 18 as the Clippers defeated the Suns 109-98 at Staples Center. "It's certainly a different feel in the locker room after a game when you win," said Redick, who connected on 9 of 14 shots from the floor and 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Point guard Raymond Felton scored 16 points and center DeAndre Jordan pulled down 20 rebounds to go with nine points for the Clippers (23-14). Luc Mbah a Moute chipped in 13 points. Despite committing 20 turnovers (leading to 23 points) compared with 12 (11 points) for the Suns, Redick said the Clippers defended as well they had in weeks. "To me, it was our defense, especially in the second half," Redick said. "They had a lot of transition buckets off our turnovers in the first half and then in the second half we had an unbelievable half-court defense. "It reminded me of earlier in the season when we were flying around and covering for each other. Our rotations were phenomenal tonight." T.J. Warren had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Suns (10-25), who lost for the fourth time in five games and the eighth time in the last 10. Eric Bledsoe just missed a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, nine assists and eight boards. Devin Booker scored 13 points and Tyson Chandler added 12 points and six rebounds. "The last few games against Toronto, Utah and the Spurs we were playing really good defense, communicating and everything like that. Tonight, we lost that, didn't stick with the game plan and that's just what happened," said Booker, who missed 11 of 15 shots from the field, including 4 of 5 3-pointers. "It's always frustrating when you're losing, period. It's not about how many shots we hit or anything like that. Like I said, all the wins that we've got this year have been on the defensive end that leads to offense." Clippers point guard Chris Paul sat out his third straight game with a sore left hamstring. The Suns made a run late, pulling within 104-98 on two Bledsoe foul shots with 1:15 left, but they never scored again. A 14-0 run by the Clippers in the third quarter allowed a five-point lead to balloon to 89-70 after a dunk by Jordan with 1:50 remaining in the quarter. Phoenix scored the last six points of the third to cut the gap to 89-76 heading into the fourth quarter. "You have to give them credit defensively, but we missed a lot of easy shots that we normally hit," Chandler said. The Clippers' shooting boosted them to a 64-58 edge at the break. After hitting 62.5 percent in the second quarter, the Clippers finished the half making 56.8 percent, compared with 48 percent for the Suns. "Thirty-seven points in the second quarter. It's too many points with them having so many injuries," said Phoenix coach Earl Watson, whose club scored 32 in the quarter. The Clippers shot 46.8 percent from the floor in the game and the Suns hit 38.2 percent. Phoenix was 2 of 15 (13.3 percent) from long distance and Los Angeles was 7 of 16 (43.8 percent). "We have been growing defensively over the last three games, so we have to continue to build," Chandler said. "We have young players, so we have to take the good things, let them see it, and teach them their mistakes." Redick hit 6 of 8 from the field and 2 of 3 from 3-point range to lead all scorers with 14 points before intermission. The win was the second this season by the Clippers over the Suns. Los Angeles posted a 116-98 rout at Staples on Oct. 31. NOTES: Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the club would be cautious with PG Chris Paul and his sore left hamstring. "He's getting better, but we're just going to take our time," Rivers said. Rivers didn't indicate whether Paul would play Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. ... With Paul out, Rivers said the team could use more production from SG Jamal Crawford, who was scoreless in 30 minutes in a rout by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 31. Crawford, averaging 12.1 points before the game against the Suns, has managed just 12 points in his last three games. ... The Suns ranked second in pace entering the game at 103.1 possessions per 48 minutes. ... Phoenix resumes play Tuesday at home against the Miami Heat.
Clippers top Suns to end six-game losing streak
The Sports Xchange | Jan 3