Griffin's 37 points help Clippers beat Suns

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 11, 2014 at 1:51 am •  Published: March 11, 2014

"Give Phoenix credit. They're playing for their lives right now and they need every win, so you knew they were not going away," Rivers said. "At least that's the way I felt on the bench."

Gerald Green, who had a career-high 41 points for the Suns in last Thursday's 128-122 win over Oklahoma City, finished with 16 points after averaging 23.4 over his previous 13 games. Miles Plumlee, playing his second game after missing the previous two because of a sprained right knee, had 12 points and nine rebounds as all five Suns starters scored in double figures.

Dragic came in averaging 20.5 points, third in the league among point guards behind Stephen Curry (23.5) and Kyrie Irving (21.5). But he picked up his third foul 2 minutes into the second quarter and wasn't a factor until the fourth, when the Suns rallied from a 19-point deficit with 8:11 remaining and got it down to 109-105 on Dragic's layup with 32.5 seconds to play.

But that was as close as they got, as Barnes made three of four free throws to close it out.

Los Angeles was leading 105-95 when Griffin picked up his sixth foul on a charge under the basket. Dragic made a pair of driving layups 28 seconds apart to slice the margin to 105-99 with 2:21 to go. But Paul responded with a 16-foot bank shot and two free throws for an eight-point cushion with 1:21 left.

"They got up early on us. We fell back and continued to play. It was just one of those situations where it was too little, too late," Tucker said. "It happens to us a lot. Against the top teams in the league, you can't get down by so much early. Even coming back and making it close at the end is not enough.

"We ran out of gas."

NOTES: Clippers G Jamal Crawford was on the inactive list for the fourth time in five games because of a left calf strain. He tried to play through it during Saturday's win over Atlanta, but spent only 9 1-2 minutes on the court and attempted two shots — both of which missed. "I don't know when he's coming back. I just don't know," Rivers said. "I didn't think he looked good the other night, just running. I don't get involved very often with that stuff, but he wasn't running natural, so we'll just wait until he's back to playing 100 percent." ... The Clippers have scored at 100 or more points in 16 straight home games since their loss to the Suns. It's their longest such streak since the 1983-84 season, their last one in San Diego.