Apr 28, 2016 12:50 AM

Trail Blazers beat outmanned Clippers 108-98, take 3-2 lead

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) CJ McCollum scored 27 points, Damian Lillard added 16 of his 22 in the fourth quarter when Portland pulled away, and the Trail Blazers capitalized on the absence of injured Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 108-98 on Wednesday night in Game 5 their first-round series.

The Blazers are up 3-2 and could close it out Friday in Portland. If Game 7 is needed, it would be Saturday back at Staples Center.

Maurice Harkless added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Mason Plumlee had 10 points and 15 boards for Portland. The Blazers made six 3-pointers in the fourth, with Lillard hitting five of his six as they outscored the Clippers 37-27.

J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 19 points. Jamal Crawford, the Sixth Man of the Year, added 17 points starting in Paul's place. Jeff Green also had 17 off the bench and DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 17 rebounds.

Try as they might, the Clippers could not overcome the double-whammy of losing their two biggest stars. Paul is out indefinitely after breaking his right hand on a freakish play in Game 4, when Griffin aggravated a left quadriceps injury that had kept him out three months during the season. He won't be back in the postseason.

Lillard, who had six points through the first three quarters, sparked the Blazers in the fourth. He opened with a 3-pointer, hit another one and then dunked off his steal of Pablo Prigioni. The Blazers ran off seven straight points, capped by Allen Crabbe's 3-pointer, to go up 90-77 for their first double-digit lead of the game.

They weren't done.

Lillard and McCollum, the league's Most Improved Player, combined for an 8-0 run, with both hitting 3-pointers that extended Portland's lead to 102-86.

McCollum scored 10 points in the third, when the Blazers led 71-62. The Clippers answered with a 9-0 run, getting a dunk and 3-pointer from Green, to tie it 71-all going into the fourth.

The Clippers controlled the second, leading 50-45 with six players scoring. Without Paul to control the offense, they kept the ball in motion. They rallied for an 18-all tie to end the first on Austin Rivers' dunk.


Trail Blazers: They had six players in double figures. ... They outrebounded the Clippers 53-45 and improved to 3-0 when outrebounding the Clippers in the series. ... Al-Farouq Aminu followed up his career-high 30 points in Game 4 with seven points, eight rebounds and five fouls.

Clippers: Paul winced when he bumped his right hand while sitting on the bench. He had surgery on Tuesday. ... The Clippers fell to 2-5 when neither Paul nor Griffin play since Paul joined the team before the 2011-12 season. ... Paul Pierce started in place of Griffin and was scoreless in nine minutes, missing all three of his shots. ... They are 2-10 all-time in Game 5 of a best-of-seven series.


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