THE FACTS: After blowing a nine-point lead with just over two minutes remaining the night before in Portland, the Clippers weren't about to allow a repeat performance less than 24 hours later. Los Angeles took control against the Trail Blazers early in the third quarter Sunday night and didn't let off the gas in the 96-83 victory at Staples Center, ending a four-game losing streak.
QUOTABLE: "We needed any win right now. We're just trying to accumulate as many wins as we can, and then count them up at the end of the year and see where we're at."
-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro
THE STAT: The Clippers (33-13) were dominant in the paint against Portland. They scored 56 points down low and gave up 24. The Trail Blazers (22-22) were also limited to four second-chance points, a season-low for a Clippers opponent this season.
TURNING POINT: A layup by DeAndre Jordan and a 3-pointer by Willie Green on the first two offensive possessions of the second half gave the Clippers their biggest lead, 50-40, and a 10-2 run later in the quarter stretched the advantage to 15. Portland never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.
HOT: Clippers point guard Chris Paul missed his fourth straight game and seventh in the last nine with a bruised right knee cap, but Blake Griffin once again did his part to fill some of that void. He finished with 23 points, nine assists, five rebounds and two steals, despite sitting out the fourth quarter with the game in hand. In the last five games, he's averaging 23.2 points, 6.8 assists, 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 steals.
NOT: The Trail Blazers scored 12 points in the third quarter, which matched their lowest-scoring quarter this season. The only other time they scored 12 in a quarter was during the fourth against Dallas on Nov. 5. Portland rookie point guard Damian Lillard finished with 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting. He also committed a team-high five turnovers.
GOOD MOVE: Even without Paul in the lineup, the Clippers still managed to match their season high with 33 assists on 42 field goals. Four players had at least five for L.A. Portland was even more efficient with their passing. The Trail Blazers finished with 27 assists on 28 field goals.
QUOTABLE II: "We were unselfish in a lot of areas. Moving the basketball was obviously a key, offensively, but more so I thought we were locked in better defensively, which translated to sharper offensive execution."
--Vinny Del Negro
BAD MOVE: Griffin was one assist away from his second consecutive game with double digits in that category. He spotted Lamar Odom along the baseline with a clear lane in front of him, made a clean pass and Odom rose up for what looked like a sure dunk. But the ball sailed out of his hands before he could stuff it through the rim and went out of bounds with 10 seconds left in the quarter. Griffin didn't get a chance to make another pass, as he watched the rest of the game from the bench. Odom certainly made up for it in other areas, totaling eight points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
QUOTABLE II: "He's unselfish and he's making good basketball plays and making us play better. That's what All-Stars do in this league."
--Vinny Del Negro on Griffin
NOTABLE: The Clippers play their next eight games on the road. ... Portland shot 11-for-25 from 3-point range on Saturday night, but was 3-for-15 on Sunday. ... Griffin continues to significantly improve his free-throw shooting. A career 60.2-percent shooter from the foul line, Griffin shot 5-for-6 against the Trail Blazers, improving to 49-for-69 in his last 12 games (71 percent). ... The Clippers shot 65 percent from the floor in the opening quarter and nine different players for L.A. had at least one field goal during that stretch. ... Portland forward Nicolas Batum, who posted the first two triple-doubles of his career this week, finished with eight points, six rebounds and eight assists.
UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday @ Minnesota, Friday @ Toronto, Sunday @ Boston. For the Trail Blazers, Tuesday vs. Dallas, Friday @ Utah, Saturday vs. Utah.