Final: Blake Griffin's triple-double not enough in Clippers' loss to Raptors

TORONTO – DeMar DeRozan had 31 points and the Toronto Raptors overcame a triple-double from Blake Griffin to beat the Clippers, 118-109, on Monday night.Griffin, who had his fifth career triple-double and first of the season in three quarters, finished...

Final: Blake Griffin's triple-double not enough in Clippers' loss to Raptors

TORONTO – DeMar DeRozan had 31 points and the Toronto Raptors overcame a triple-double from Blake Griffin to beat the Clippers, 118-109, on Monday night.

Griffin, who had his fifth career triple-double and first of the season in three quarters, finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. It wasn’t enough to prevent the Clippers from a third straight defeat against the Raptors and their seventh in eight games in Toronto.

DeRozan, who had missed seven of Toronto’s last eight games with a sprained ankle, was 11 for 22 from the floor, while Kyle Lowry scored 24 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 12 rebounds for his 20th double-double of the season. The Raptors were 3-4 in DeRozan’s absence and won for just the fourth time in their last 12 games.

Austin Rivers had 22 points and Marreese Speights added 15 off the bench for the Clippers, who lost for the seventh time in their last nine games since Chris Paul was sidelined by thumb surgery.

Entering the fourth quarter ahead by 15 points, the Raptors pushed the advantage to 20 on a pair of free throws from Valanciunas with 6:41 to play.

The Clippers jumped to a 17-6 lead in the first four minutes, but the Raptors clawed back and led 35-31 after one quarter behind 13 points from DeRozan and 10 from Lowry.

ELITE COMPANY

With a 3-pointer at the 2:06 mark of the second quarter, Crawford became the sixth NBA player to reach 2,000 made 3-pointers. He finished with two on the night and joins Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Jason Terry, Vince Carter and teammate Paul Pierce in the 2000 club.

SUPER SUNDAY

Coach Doc Rivers had a unique vantage point after watching his Clippers lose to his former team on Sunday in Boston. “I have to say, if you were a Boston fan yesterday, you had one hell of a day. The Celtics won, Paul Pierce makes the last shot and then New England wins (the Super Bowl),” he said.

TIP-INS

Clippers: F Wesley Johnson (back) sat out. … The Clippers fell to 0-8 when trailing at halftime on the road.

Raptors: F Patrick Patterson (left knee) did not play. Patterson has missed 12 of the team’s last 21 games with knee ailments.

TOP SHOT

Lowry became the Raptors’ franchise leader in 3-pointers when he buried one from beyond the arc with 5:27 to play in the first half. His third 3-pointer of the night gave him 802 in a Toronto uniform, surpassing Morris Peterson’s mark. The crowd gave him a standing ovation when the milestone was announced during a timeout.

ALTERING EXPECTATIONS

After missing stars Chris Paul and Griffin to injury for extended periods this season, Rivers said he has adjusted his regular-season goals.

“Seeding was important, you know, until we got injured and now seeding’s not important anymore and that’s really true,” he said before the game. “We started out, we wanted one or two, that was one of our goals and right when the injuries happened, to Blake and then to Chris, I threw that out. Now it’s about being ready for the playoffs.”

UP NEXT

Clippers: Visit New York on Wednesday night looking for a ninth straight win over the Knicks.

Raptors: Visit Minnesota on Wednesday night to play a Timberwolves team Toronto has beaten in 22 out of the last 24 meetings.

More to come on this story.

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