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Clippers 123, Nets 84

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LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin played like the All-Star starter he was announced as earlier in the day, scoring 22 points by halftime as the Los Angeles Clippers steamrolled the Brooklyn Nets 123-84 at Staples Center on Thursday night.

The 22-point first half was Griffin’s biggest output of the season, but he had plenty of help. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds) by halftime and point guard Chris Paul had 11 of his 17 assists in the first half.

With the Clippers leading by 33 points at halftime, Griffin and the rest of the Clippers’ starters got limited minutes in the second half. Griffin finished with a game-high 24 points. Jordan finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.

The in-game rest was a welcome sendoff for the Clippers, who play nine of their next 10 games on the road so that Staples Center can host the Grammy Awards show.

The Nets, meanwhile, suffered their ninth loss in the past 11 games. Playing without point guard Deron Williams (rib injury) and forward Kevin Garnett (coach’s decision — rest), the Nets did little but watch the Clippers’ taillights disappear into the distance Thursday night.

Guard Jarrett Jack hit a 3-point shot that gave the Nets a 17-14 lead six minutes into the game. The Nets could have gone back to the hotel at that point — and, defensively, it looked like they did.

The Clippers scored the next 10 points and 15 of the next 17 with Griffin and Jordan doing most of the damage. It only got worse for the Nets in the second quarter. The Clippers missed just five shots in the quarter — three of them in one sequence as Clippers guard Jamal Crawford tried three 3s.

The Clippers outscored the Nets 56-20 over the final 18 minutes of the first half after Jack’s 3-pointer, setting up extended garbage time in the second half.

The Nets were led by center Mason Plumlee with 16 points. No other Nets starter reached double-digits as the Nets shot just 37.5 percent in the loss.

NOTES: Clippers F Blake Griffin was named one of the Western Conference’s five starters for this year’s All-Star Game on Feb. 15 in New York. It is Griffin’s fifth consecutive All-Star selection and fourth consecutive start. … Clippers PG Chris Paul was not named to the starting five. But Lakers G Kobe Bryant was. Given the news Thursday that Bryant has a rotator cuff injury, Paul could be named to the starting lineup as a replacement or he could make the team when reserves are announced on Jan. 29. “I’m assuming Chris will be on it,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It’d be a shame if he wasn’t. …I think probably publicly, nationally (Paul gets overlooked). It’s just Groundhog Day — a little like (Spurs F Tim) Duncan that way. People don’t realize how good he is.” … Amid speculation that the Nets would look to trade him before the deadline, Nets C Brook Lopez started in place of Kevin Garnett Thursday night. Lopez came in averaging 21 points in his previous three games and 21.4 in his previous seven games against the Clippers.

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

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