LOS ANGELES (AP) -Eric Gordon scored 27 points, including a pair of clinching free throws with 4.7 seconds left, and Blake Griffin added 24 points and 13 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the New Orleans Hornets 99-95 on Monday night.
Griffin, who had a breakout game on Saturday night with 44 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in a 124-115 loss to the New York Knicks, recorded his eighth double-double.
The Clippers (2-13) ended a nine-game losing streak with their first victory in their last 15 meetings with New Orleans since Jan. 8, 2007 at Oklahoma City, where the Hornets relocated temporarily after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Center Chris Kaman missed his seventh straight game because of a sprained left ankle. Point guard Baron Davis, who began his NBA career with the Hornets, sat out for the 11th time in 12 games because of a swollen left knee.
Griffin's Achilles heel this season has been his free throw shooting. The first overall pick in the 2009 draft missed eight of 14, lowering his percentage to 54.9.
David West had 30 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, but missed an out-of-control layup in the final seconds before the Hornets lost possession out of bounds. Gordon then made his critical free throws to seal it. Hornets point guard Chris Paul finished with 14 points and six assists.
For the first time this season, the Hornets trailed after three quarters - albeit only 77-73. The Clippers maintained the lead until West hit a fadeaway 18-footer to put New Orleans ahead 86-85 with 5:18 to play. Griffin sank two free throws and converted an offensive rebound into a layup while getting fouled, but missed the ensuing free throw to leave the score tied at 93.
The Clippers regained possession on a shot clock violation, and Ryan Gomes got an offensive rebound and putback after a missed layup by Gordon to give Los Angeles a 95-93 edge with 37.7 seconds to go.
Marco Belinelli missed a 3-point attempt at the other end with 28 seconds left, and teammate Trevor Ariza committed a foul away from the ball on an inbounds play before missing two free throws with 21.8 seconds remaining.
Clippers rookie Al-Farouq Aminu, who picked up three fouls in his first 2 minutes on the floor against the Knicks and played 5 scoreless minutes after coming off the bench, bounced back from that game with a fury. He started for the fifth time in six games and scored all of his 16 points before halftime, ending the first quarter with a 3-point buzzer-beater and sparking a 9-0 spurt in the final 1:25 of the second quarter with two dunks to help slice an 11-point deficit to 57-55.
Sixth-year guard Jarrett Jack joined his new Hornets teammates following Friday's trade in which they also acquired Marcus Banks and David Anderson from Toronto and sent Peja Stojakovic and Jarryd Bayless to the Raptors. Jack had 12 points and four assists in 16 minutes off the bench in his Hornets debut, after starting all 13 games with Toronto.
NOTES: After learning of the tragic accident Sunday night at Staples Center in which a 2-year-old boy fell about 30 feet from a third-tier luxury suite after the Lakers-Warriors game and later died at a hospital, Hornets rookie coach Monty Williams altered his usual pregame speech to his players and put everything into proper perspective. ``I thought about it all day today,' a subdued Williams said. ``This is real life, and basketball is a small section of it. So we're going to enjoy the game and try to win, but not forget how blessed and privileged we are to play this game. We have a lot of new dads on this team, and I may have more kids than all of them put together. So to have a child die at an event where you're planning on having a good time, it's got to be a tough tough thing to go through. Somebody's family has changed in an instant, and then we go right back in here playing - almost like business as usual - while the family is still grieving.'
The Associated Press News Service
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