LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe combined to help the Los Angeles Clippers end a four-game losing streak.
Griffin had 23 points and nine assists, helping the Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 96-83 on Sunday night and get even for a one-point loss to the Trail Blazers a day earlier.
“It’s everybody’s job on this team to step up, and that’s what I’ve tried to do," Griffin said. “Chris is a huge part of our team and he directs the game from the point guard spot. He has the ball in his hands during 85 percent of our offense. So when he goes out, our whole dynamic changes. But other guys have stepped up. Eric Bledsoe’s done a great job."
Bledsoe had 10 points, five assists and five rebounds in his seventh start, while Chris Paul missed his fourth straight game and seventh in the past nine because of a bruised right kneecap.
Bledsoe played 36 minutes without committing a turnover.
“I just played more aggressive and didn’t worry about it," Bledsoe said. “My last couple of games I was playing kind of passive, but tonight I did a good job of just staying aggressive. My teammates just told me to just stay in attack mode, and everybody else on the team played great. At the end of the day, turnovers are going to happen. You can’t play every game without having a turnover."
Griffin powered the Clippers to a 55-50 halftime lead with 15 points, including a fast break dunk off a long pass from DeAndre Jordan just before intermission.
Griffin also had an assist on six of the team’s first nine baskets, including Jordan’s alley-oop dunk and 3-pointers by Caron Butler and Matt Barnes.
“Our lead assist guy is not around, so we have to run some more things through Blake at the elbow and let him make plays for us," coach Vinny Del Negro said. “He draws so much attention, but he’s unselfish and he’s making the good basketball plays and making other players better. That’s what All-Stars do in this league."
Griffin didn’t get his first rebound in this game until after his sixth assist.
“Blake sharing the basketball made the game easier for everybody," Del Negro said. “He was kind of like a ‘point forward’ for us tonight. We had 33 assists and shot the ball well, which we haven’t been doing. We were unselfish in a lot of areas."
The Clippers have the third-best record in the NBA at 33-13 and are 2½ games behind San Antonio in the Western Conference.
Lamar Odom had eight points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
“We needed any kind of a win right now," Del Negro said. “We’re trying to accumulate as many as we can, and then we’ll count them up at the end of the year and see where we’re at.
“We obviously executed a little bit better and got solid production from several guys. I liked our intensity in the second half, and we did a better job guarding the 3-pointers. But more so, our activity defensively was the difference in the game."
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 21 points and 11 rebounds. It was Portland’s seventh loss in nine games.
“It’s hard to beat the same team two times in a row, especially on back-to-back said," rookie Damian Lillard said. “They’re a really good team. Last night I think we did a lot better job controlling their transition and not giving up as many easy plays."
Portland never led in the second half on Sunday, falling behind 74-59 after a driving layup by Bledsoe with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
Griffin didn’t play after going to the bench with 10 seconds left in the third quarter and the Clippers leading 78-62. But they built the margin to as many as 19 points on a layup by reserve forward Ronny Turiaf with 6:23 remaining.
“We didn’t take care of the ball and we had turnovers in the second half," Aldridge said. “I thought they had some easy breakouts that opened the game up. Griffin did a good job of finding guys and making good reads. But we didn’t play as well as we did last night, and some of the guys were a little tired."
Also on Sunday:
BOSTON — Paul Pierce hit a go-ahead jumper with 31 seconds left in the second overtime and Boston beat Miami, then learned All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury (related story, B1). It was the first game in Boston for Ray Allen since he left the Celtics after five seasons and signed as a free agent with Miami. He scored 21 points. Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Pierce added 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Celtics.
LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant had 21 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, Steve Nash added seven of his 17 points in the final 5½ minutes, and the Los Angles Lakers held off NBA-leading Oklahoma City. Pau Gasol scored 16 points in a reserve role as the Lakers picked up the most impressive victory of their thoroughly unimpressive season.
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony tied a franchise record with nine 3-pointers, then converted a go-ahead, three-point play with 12.5 seconds left to cap a 42-point night and lead New York to the victory. Atlanta shot a season-high 60 percent from the field but had their three-game winning streak snapped when Josh Smith, burned on Anthony’s basket, missed a 3-pointer on Atlanta’s final possession.
DALLAS — Shawn Marion scored 18 points for Dallas in his 1,000th game, and Dirk Nowitzki also had 18 while passing Allen Iverson on the career scoring list. It was the 10th straight home win for the Mavericks against Phoenix, who haven’t won in Dallas since March 14, 2007.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ryan Anderson scored 22 points for New Orleans, connecting on seven 3-pointers. Anderson was seven of 13 from the field, all of his attempts coming from outside the arc. Fellow reserve Jason Smith was five of seven from the field for 16 points, and Anthony Davis was the only New Orleans starter to finish in double figures with 10 points.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Brandon Knight had a career-high 31 points, including five 3-pointers, and Greg Monroe scored 17 to lead Detroit to the road win. Orlando had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds after a missed free throw, but missed three putback attempts.