Blazers inflict 4th straight loss on Clippers
APPORTLAND, Oregon -- The Los Angeles Clippers' NBA losing skid reached a worrying four games with a 101-100 defeat at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
January 28, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The Clippers have gone from 32-9 to 32-13 — with the past three losses coming in the absence of injured guard Chris Paul — and while they still lead the Pacific Division, they now trail league-leading Oklahoma City by 2-1/2 games.
In other key games, second-placed San Antonio made it eight straight wins by downing Phoenix, Houston extended its hoodoo over Brooklyn by beating the Nets for the 12th straight time, Utah edged Indiana in overtime, and Milwaukee downed Golden State.
Portland's Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his second triple-double in a week, as the Trail Blazers won a see-sawing contest.
Having been up by 14 points, Portland ceded the lead to Los Angeles in the fourth quarter, but reclaimed the advantage with 45 seconds to go when J.J. Hickson sank two foul shots. Jamal Crawford missed a 19-foot jumper for the Clippers with 0.9 seconds left.
Blake Griffin had 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Los Angeles.
The San Antonio Spurs extended their home winning streak to 16 games by beating the Phoenix Suns 108-99, with Tony Parker having 31 points and Manu Ginobili 20.
The Spurs were without Tim Duncan (sore knee) and coach Gregg Popovich (illness) for a third consecutive game but outscored Phoenix 27-17 in the fourth.
Michael Beasley had 25 points for the Suns, who lost for the first time since coach Lindsey Hunter took over.
The Houston Rockets performed strongly off the boards and in the key to beat the Brooklyn Nets 119-106.
James Harden scored 29 points and Chandler Parsons added 16 points and a career-high 11 assists for the Rockets, who outrebounded the Nets 50-31 and outscored Brooklyn 60-24 in the paint.
Jeremy Lin had 14 points, nine assists and six turnovers for Houston.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, on floor, reacts to a jump ball call as the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard, right, and Nicolas Batum, from France, hold the ball ...
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