Knicks hand Clippers ninth straight loss, win 107-85
By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Things are going so poorly for the Clippers that they can’t even beat the Knicks anymore.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points and New York extended Los Angeles’ losing streak to nine games with a 107-85 victory Monday night.
Porzingis outplayed a frustrated Blake Griffin and helped the Knicks snap a 10-game skid in the series with their first victory over the Clippers in more than five years.
“Bottom line, we just can’t sustain anything,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Right now we get it going a little bit and one thing happens and it just implodes.”
Doug McDermott added 16 points for the Knicks, including a 3-pointer that swung the momentum for good midway through the third quarter.
“I got in there, had to bring some energy because we got off to a little slow start to start the third quarter,” McDermott said.
Griffin scored 21 points but shot just 6 for 18, picked up a technical foul and fouled out with 4:46 remaining. The Clippers (5-11) still haven’t won since Nov. 1 at Dallas, when they improved to 5-2.
“Tonight was not a good showing,” Griffin said. “We have to put together 48 minutes rather than playing in spurts. We know as a team that this is not going to be the end.”
Patrick Beverley returned after missing five games with a sore right knee and had nine points and six rebounds. But the Clippers are still without fellow guard Milos Teodosic and the rest of their backcourt play was mostly dismal.
The Clippers fell behind by 17 early in the third quarter before running off 15 straight to cut it to 66-64 midway through the period. But McDermott hit a 3-pointer in transition and added another during a 12-0 response by the Knicks that gave them a 78-64 advantage with 4:11 remaining in the period.
“I thought that was disheartening,” Rivers said. “I thought that took the spirit away but it shouldn’t and that’s where we’re at right now. When you lose nine games in a row, you’re in a losing streak, you start feeling sorry for yourself when things don’t go right and you can’t do that.”
New York then led by 26 in the fourth quarter.
The game was tied at 20 after one quarter, but the Knicks opened a double-digit lead late in the half after a 9-2 spurt and were ahead 56-44 at the break.
“In the first half we weren’t moving the ball. One pass or no passes and the guys were shooting it,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Once we got into passing the ball and moving it from side to side, then we ended up with 20 assists in the final 32 minutes and that’s pretty good.”
The Clippers traded Chris Paul in the offseason and the search for reliable guard play remains. Austin Rivers was 1 for 9 for two points, Lou Williams came off the bench to shoot 2 for 8, and rookie Jawun Evans shot 2 for 8.
Clippers: Los Angeles had won five straight at Madison Square Garden. … Clippers assistant Mike Woodson was the Knicks’ coach last time they beat Los Angeles, on April 25, 2012.
Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. played with a sore left foot and scored 13 points. He had been listed as questionable but Hornacek said Hardaway felt better after rest. … Enes Kanter had 12 points and 16 rebounds.
The Clippers’ 10-game winning streak over the Knicks was their longest active streak against any opponent. Now it’s seven in a row against Portland and Orlando.
STARKS WITH THE “STEAL”
Doc Rivers was talking to reporters before the game when former Knicks teammate John Starks walked by.
“Can you bring my wedge back?” Rivers yelled out. “Guy stole my wedge and didn’t give it back.”
Rivers said he had been without his golf club, which Starks contended that Rivers had left in his bag, for about two months.
“You know, when someone allegedly leaves a club in your bag, the right thing to do is mail it back to them,” Rivers said. “That’s all I’m saying. At some point, it’s stolen.”
Clippers: Visit Atlanta on Wednesday.
Knicks: Host Toronto on Wednesday.
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