The short-handed Clippers collapsed in the fourth quarter Wednesday, falling to the Indiana Pacers, 103-91.
The Clippers were playing without two of their starters. Chris Paul was sidelined by inflamed rib cartilage, and J.J. Redick sustained a sprained right ankle in the first minute of the game and didn’t return.
The Pacers opened the fourth quarter with a 14-1 run to turn a three-point lead into a 16-point advantage in less than three minutes.
The Clippers chipped away at the hole, cutting it to five points, 91-86, after Blake Griffin made a layup with just under three minutes left. But the Pacers’ fourth-quarter start proved too much to overcome.
Griffin led the Clippers with 19 points, though he needed 18 shots to get them. He also struggled at the line, making seven of his 14 free-throw attempts. In Paul’s absence, Griffin played the role of the team’s facilitator, leading the team in assists (six).
Lance Stephenson, who entered Wednesday’s game averaging 4.9 points, had a season-high 19 points off the bench against his former team. Jamal Crawford had 16 points, 11 of which he scored in the fourth quarter. DeAndre Jordan had 15 rebounds, though he only had two points, missing each of his four shots and going two for eight at the free-throw line.
Paul George led the Pacers with a game-high 31 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pacers led by as much as 11 points in the first quarter, but the Clippers tied the score at 29-29 heading into the second. There were 13 lead changes and nine ties in the game.
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Clippers amid their six-game homestand. The Clippers have only one home game remaining -- against the Orlando Magic on Saturday -- before leaving for a five-game trip.
The Clippers opened the season with a 4-0 record, then lost eight of their next 11 games before their current win streak was ended.