The Clippers entered Saturday’s game against the Phoenix Suns coming off of four days of relative rest (two practices, two off days). Clippers Coach Doc Rivers didn’t know how his team would respond -- rusty or rejuvenated.
The answer became clear in the third quarter, when the Clippers outscored the Suns, 42-20, turning a game that was tied 54-54 at halftime into a 120-107 win for the Clippers.
In the third quarter, the Clippers led by as many as 26 points, their biggest lead of the season. They got a little sloppy in the fourth quarter, though, allowing a charge led by Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas to cut their lead to 11, but the Clippers quickly regained control.
Each of the Clippers’ starters finished in double figures. Chris Paul had 32 points and nine assists. Blake Griffin had 19 points and eight rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 12 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocked shots. J.J. Redick had 14 points and Matt Barnes added 12.
In addition, Clippers reserve power forward/center Spencer Hawes, who has struggled recently because of a strained left foot, finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. He dunked the ball, charged down the lane drawing fouls, completed three-point plays and hit jump shots.
The Clippers shot better than the Suns, 52.9% to 38.4%, and outrebounded them, 47-43. It was the second consecutive game the Clippers won the battle of the boards. The Clippers also went to the free-throw line 43 times as the Suns only had 23 attempts.
Green led Phoenix with 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting.