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Paul, Jordan, Clippers dominate Suns

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LOS ANGELES — Too much Chris Paul on offense and a heavy dose of DeAndre Jordan on defense sparked the Los Angeles Clippers in a rout of the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

Paul scored 32 points and Jordan grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked seven shots, leading the Clippers to a 120-107 win over the Suns at Staples Center.

Paul, who hit 10 of 13 shots from the floor, including five 3-pointers, also had nine assists and five rebounds as the Clippers (5-3) beat the Suns (5-5) for the eighth time in the last 10 meetings.

Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin finished with 19 points and eight rebounds and reserve center Spencer Hawes and guard J.J. Redick added 14 points each.

However, it was Jordan’s play that drew high praise from Paul and his teammates.

“Unbelievable,” Paul said of Jordan, who also scored 12 points by hitting all four of his shots from the field and four free throws.

“D.J. is one of those guys — thankfully he doesn’t miss games or anything like that — but I almost couldn’t imagine him not being out there because he covers up so much out there on the defensive end. When guys blow by us, now they know you’ve got to see D.J. when you get into the lane.”

With Paul guiding them, the Clippers hopped in the fast lane in the third quarter, bolting to a double-digit lead and coasting the rest of the way. Los Angeles outscored Phoenix 42-20 in the quarter after being tied at 54 at the break. Paul had 11 points in the quarter.

Paul opened the third quarter by hitting three treys and guard J.J. Redick added one to give the Clippers a 70-57 advantage less than four minutes into the quarter. They continued to pour it on, building a 96-74 cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

“I know he will not do that every game, but sometimes I would like him to be more of an aggressive player like he was tonight,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I told him that coming into the season. He is such a point guard that it is hard for him to do it. When he is very aggressive, we are a very dangerous basketball team.”

Phoenix cut the deficit to 105-94 after a layup by forward Gerald Green with 6:01 left in the game but failed to get any closer.

“We couldn’t finish out the game after we dug ourselves in a hole,” said Green, who led the Suns with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers, before being ejected with less than two minutes remaining after picking up his second technical foul.

“They were knocking down shots (in the third quarter). I think they shot a lot of free throws. It’s tough when you put a team on the free throw line as many times as they did, it’s hard to win games.”

The Clippers led by as much as nine in the first half before the Suns rallied. Green sparked the comeback, scoring 11 points in the second quarter and connecting on 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc.

Guards Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas had 19 points apiece for Phoenix. Center Alex Len chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds.

“We allowed them (to make) too many open 3s, especially in transition,” said Dragic, who hit 7 of 14 shots from the field. “I think that saved them. But I think that crucial moment was the third quarter. They played well, we played bad.”

Clippers forward Matt Barnes scored 12 points before being ejected after drawing his second technical with 4:27 left.

NOTES: Clippers G Chris Paul is the first NBA player, since the league began tracking turnovers in 1977 to have 70 assists with only nine turnovers in the first seven games of the season. … Los Angeles G Chris Douglas-Roberts has a strained Achilles’. There is no timetable for his return, though coach Doc Rivers doesn’t believe he will miss significant time. … Suns G Isaiah Thomas scored 148 points in the first nine games, the best start for a reserve since Eddie Johnson had 196 in 1989-90 season. … Los Angeles made 14 of 29 on 3-pointers compared with 11 of 30 for Phoenix. … The Suns had a big advantage on point in the paint, scoring 52 to 30 for the Clippers. … Phoenix ventures to Boston to play the Celtics on Monday for the second game of a six-game road trip. … Los Angeles hosts the Chicago Bulls on Monday.

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

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