MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers tightened their defense waiting for the offense to come around.
The result was a second-half burst with a strong push from the reserves to lead Los Angeles to a 101-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.
"I looked up at one point, and we were shooting like 28 percent," Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. "Our defense was keeping us there, then we finally took the game over when we started hitting shots. That's a good lesson for us."
Reserves Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford scored 15 points each to lead the Clippers. Chris Paul also had 15 points and eight assists as Los Angeles snapped a two-game losing streak. Griffin added 14 points and nine rebounds, while DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 14 boards.
The performance was a reversal from the previous night when the Clippers lost 107-97 at Atlanta — an effort coach Doc Rivers called "awful." Rivers credited Griffin and Jordan with stopping the Memphis frontline, particularly Zach Randolph, who was returning from missing two games after ingrown toenail surgery.
"I thought those two guys fought hard down low," said Rivers, who recorded his 600th win. "I just thought their leadership defensively was why we won the game."
Kosta Koufos led Memphis with 17 points, while Mike Conley had 16 on 6-for-8 shooting. Quincy Pondexter scored 15, and Randolph had 12 points and 12 rebounds, but made only four of his 13 shots.
The Clippers shot 13 for 20 in the fourth quarter as Paul and Griffin sat on the bench, leaving the game to the backups.
"The Clippers played real well defensively," Koufos said. "They established themselves early in the second half. They hit some tough shots."
The Clippers trailed 42-40 at the break before outscoring Memphis 61-39 in the second half while shooting 56 percent. Los Angeles' reserves ended the night outscoring their Memphis counterparts 50-31.
"That team has a lot of good players," Randolph said. "They have a lot of good bench players that could be starting."
As is the case when the two get together, it was chippy from the start. After meeting in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs the last two years, a rivalry has developed.