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Clippers 121, Suns 120 (OT)

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LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin scored 45 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime, lifting the Los Angeles Clippers to a 121-120 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night at Staples Center.

Griffin made 14 of 24 shots, including both 3-pointers he attempted, as the Clippers (15-5) won their eighth in a row. Point guard Chris Paul added 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.

The Suns, who got a triple-double from guard Eric Bledsoe, lost its second straight. Bledsoe, a former Clipper, finished with 27 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by forward Markieff Morris, who scored 21 points and had seven rebounds, lifted Phoenix (12-10) to a 120-116 lead with 43.7 seconds remaining.

A layup by guard J.J. Redick, who scored 17 points, pulled the Clippers to within two with 29.6 seconds left in overtime before Griffin delivered.

The game turned briefly in the Suns’ favor with 9:13 remaining in the fourth quarter when Clippers reserve guard Jamal Crawford was ejected with his team leading 94-91. With Green defending, Crawford lost the ball near midcourt. As he attempted to retrieve it, Crawford fouled Bledsoe. Crawford jumped up to argue the call with referee Mark Lindsay, who quickly tossed him. It was the first ejection of Crawford’s 14-year career.

Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers also received a technical during the sequence.

Two free throws by Bledsoe cut the Clippers’ lead to one before an 8-2 spurt allowed Phoenix to grab a 101-96 advantage with 7:23 left after a layup by center Miles Plumlee.

Los Angeles, though, rallied. Two foul shots by Paul put the Clippers up 104-103. Griffin’s three-point play with 4:14 remaining capped an 11-2 run for a four-point advantage.

Bledsoe’s 3-pointer pulled Phoenix to within 110-109, but Paul answered with a jumper with 1:42 left that pushed the Clippers’ lead back to three. Markieff Morris’ bucket in the lane cut the lead to one again.

A free throw by Phoenix forward Gerald Green tied the score at 112 with 27.7 seconds left after a flagrant-1 foul by forward Matt Barnes.

The Clippers got the final possession with 5.2 seconds remaining in regulation. However, Paul’s shot on a drive was blocked by Bledsoe, forcing overtime.

NOTES: Suns coach Jeff Hornacek is not surprised the Clippers rebounded from a 5-4 start. “They’re a good team; you knew it was going to happen,” Hornacek said. “They were one of the best teams last year, and you figured with Chris (Paul) and Blake (Griffin) and the rest of those guys it would only be a matter of time.” … The Clippers are 14-1, winning 12 in a row, in their past 14 games when they score 100 points or more. … Phoenix G Isaiah Thomas missed his seventh straight game with a right ankle contusion. Thomas is improving, but there is no timetable for his return, Hornacek said. … Los Angeles G Jordan Farmar sat out his second consecutive contest with back spasms, and G Reggie Bullock missed his third with a right ankle sprain.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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