It didn't matter because the Clippers still had one Aaron Jamal Crawford.
Crawford broke a tie with a 29-foot three-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire late in the fourth quarter to nudge the Clippers toward a 100-94 victory over the
"As soon as I let it go," Crawford said, "it felt good."
Crawford added another jumper and finished with eight of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Clippers rally from a six-point deficit with 6:41 left. Crawford's points represented the entirety of the bench scoring for the Clippers, with fellow reserves
"We just hung in there,"
The Clippers held Portland forward
"Tonight, we won defensively," said Paul, who helped hold Portland to six for 26 behind the three-point line. "We just tried to run them off the three and make it tough for them."
Crawford was greeted with a few boos when he entered the game in the first quarter to face the team he spent one disappointing season with before joining the Clippers in 2012.
He disappointed Trail Blazers fans again in a different way, making 10 of 22 shots.
Rivers used what felt like a playoff rotation in the first half, with only eight players logging minutes and Crawford playing backup point guard instead of
"I like that at times," Rivers said. "I won't do that every night."
Crawford helped the Clippers maintain a narrow lead in the second quarter by scoring 10 consecutive points. Center
Jordan finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds, making all eight of his shots.
Griffin's bid to become a first-team all-NBA defensive player went somewhat askew during a first half in which he did little to slow Aldridge, who scored 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting. But the Clippers started slowing the All-Star in the minutes that mattered.
"We just kept throwing different guys on him," Rivers said. "Even 'Baby' [Davis] leaned on him a little bit and then Blake had him and then D.J. had him, so it was good."