Magic ends skid, beats Clippers
BY BETH HARRIS Associated Press
Sunday, January 13, 2013
1/13/13 at 7:17 AM
LOS ANGELES - Two streaking teams going in opposite directions. The Clippers, co-owners of the NBA's best record and on a roll at home. The Magic, playing opponents close only to fall short while piling up the franchise's longest skid since the 2003-04 season.
Something had to give, and this time, it was the Clippers.
J.J. Redick gave Orlando its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left, Arron Afflalo tied his season high with 30 points, and the Magic won 104-101 on Saturday to snap a 10-game skid.
"It wasn't a letdown by us. Don't try to take anything away from them," Clippers guard Chris Paul said. "They made tough shot after tough shot. J.J. Reddick had a hand in his face half the time."
The loss ended the Clippers' franchise-record, 13-game home-winning streak and provided them with a scare when All-Star Paul went down holding his right knee with 54 seconds to go.
"It was real scary," Paul said. "I was looking up, trying to run down the ball, and J.J. Redick and I bumped knees."
Paul returned after a timeout and hit a 15-footer to draw his team within one with 33 seconds left.
But the Clippers turned the ball over on Jamal Crawford's offensive foul, with Redick drawing the charge.
"I got the ball in transition and I thought I saw Matt (Barnes) over there," Crawford said. "I thought I made the right decision, but J.J. Redick guessed right. I thought he was going to rotate, so I faced it. When I put the ball down he stayed there, so lucky guess."
Josh McRoberts found Nikola Vucevic open under the basket, and Vucevic dunked to extend Orlando's lead to 104-101 with 8 seconds left.
After a timeout, Crawford missed a 3-pointer as time expired.
The Clippers were 6 of 6 from the free throw line, and Orlando was 15 of 19.
"That's unheard of," Paul said. "Blake (Griffin) takes 22 shots and no free throws. That's not typical for us."
Griffin, a former Oklahoma star, tied his season-high with 30 points.