Clippers put up a great effort in beating Spurs, 115-92

The "great teams" find a way to win games when they return home tired from a grueling trip.


The Clippers may not be able to call themselves one of those great teams just yet, but they demonstrated some resolve to overcome the fatigue a two-week trip can cause to pull out a 115-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers returned home early Sunday from a seven-game, 13-day East Coast trip having won their last game to build a little momentum before they played the Spurs.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers didn't know how his team was going respond when it returned home, but he knew the Clippers had to show some mental toughness.

"San Antonio, they find a way to win those games," Rivers said before the game. "And all the great teams do, and we have to as well."

The Clippers won their second straight game because their stars played like stars and their role players played their roles.

"It tells you that they are into it mentally," Rivers said after the game. "This would have been an easy game to have an excuse. It's what I said before the game, San Antonio always finds a way to win these games when they come off the rodeo trip. So we found a way today to win the game."

Blake Griffin was a handful for the Spurs, his 27 points on eight-for-14 shooting and 11-for-15 shooting from the free-throw line playing a big role. Griffin also had nine rebounds.

Chris Paul did his thing again, scoring 23 points on eight-for-13 shooting, handing out seven assists and collecting eight rebounds.

Then there was the effort from the role players like Jamal CrawfordJared Dudley, DeAndre Jordan and Willie Green.

Crawford, who started his second consecutive game at shooting guard, had 17 points, Dudley 14 and Green 11 off the bench.

Jordan had 11 rebounds, seven points and three blocked shots.

The Spurs lost point guard Tony Parker in the third quarter after he suffered a bruised right shin, but this was a night that belonged to a Clippers team that shot 51.3% from the field and 47.8% (11 for 23) from three-point range.

If the Clippers were a weary team from all of their traveling, they didn't show any signs of slowing down in the second quarter.

It was when they got down by 10 points at the start of the second quarter that the Clippers seem to become an energized team.

They went on a 19-0 run, looking like a team that was full of energy, opening a lead that grew to 10 points in the second quarter.

"I think they wanted to win really bad," Rivers said. "They are playing a great team. I guess the only silver lining in this tough game is that the team you play, it's easy to get up for. They are a great team. They were in the [NBA] Finals. They are the team to beat in the West. I thought our guys were ready to play."

Twitter: @BA_Turner