Los Angeles: J.J. Redick gave Orlando its first lead on a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left, Arron Afflalo tied his season high with 30 points, and the Magic beat the Los Angeles Clippers 104-101 to snap a 10-game skid, in Saturday’s basketball action.
The loss ended the Clippers’ franchise-record 13-game, home-winning streak and provided them with a scare when All-Star guard Chris Paul went down holding his right knee with 54 seconds to go. Paul returned after a timeout and hit a 15-footer (4.5m) to draw his team within one with 33 seconds left.
But the Clippers turned the ball over on Jamal Crawford’s offensive foul. 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.
Redick added 21 points, and Vucevic had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the injury-riddled Magic, who ended the franchise’s longest skid since 2003-04 while also stopping a four-game road losing streak.
Blake Griffin tied his season-high with 30 points, Crawford added 13 points, and Paul had 10 points and 16 assists for the Clippers.
Crawford’s 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 95-87 lead in the fourth. But the Magic rallied to tie the game at 95-all with eight straight points. The run was capped by Vucevic’s jumper after Afflalo made a 3-pointer while being fouled by Matt Barnes, who picked up his fifth.
The Magic had earlier fourth-quarter leads against Miami, the Knicks, Portland and Denver, but were unable to finish. Not this time against a sluggish Clippers team that was coming off two days’ rest, as was the Magic.
Orlando opened the third with a 17-9 run, including 12 by Afflalo to make it 66-66.
Powered by Griffin, the Clippers ended the period on an identical 17-9 spurt to lead 83-75. Griffin scored their final 10 points, highlighted by an alley-oop dunk and back-to-back hook shots, the latter banking in on a turnaround move.
Grant Hill made his season debut for the Clippers, entering the game to a standing ovation in the fourth. The seven-time All-Star had missed 36 games with a bone bruise in his right knee. He made two free throws and had two rebounds in six minutes.
The Magic had been struggling since big man Glen Davis hurt his left shoulder on December 19. They finally won their first game without him, improving to 6-11 on the road and 13-23 overall since he got injured.
The Clippers led by 13 points twice in the first half. The Magic tied the game three times in the second quarter before the Clippers restored their lead to double digits on a 3-pointer by Paul that capped a 13-0 run.