Clippers beat Knicks in battle of division leaders
Reserves Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe led a fourth-quarter surge that carried the visiting Los Angeles Clippers to a 102-88 victory over the New York Knicks in a battle of NBA division leaders.
Crawford and Bledsoe combined for 13 of the Clippers' first 15 points in the final quarter as Los Angeles extended their narrow 71-70 third-quarter lead to an 86-77 bulge midway through the fourth.
New York, led by a 42-point effort by Carmelo Anthony, closed within six at 92-86 with 2:45 left, but Los Angeles streaked to a 10-2 finish to clinch their win in a game that saw both teams take time to get untracked.
The victory improved the Pacific-leading Clippers to 36-17, healthy again after losing eight of their last 11 games while dealing with injuries.
The Atlantic Division-leading New York dropped to 32-17.
Los Angeles, coming off a 22-point loss on Friday to the reigning champion Miami Heat, played with their full complement of players for the first time this season and made full use of their offensive options.
Crawford, a contender for the league's Sixth Man award, finished with 27 points, and Chris Paul, who led the way for the Clippers in the first half, scored 25. Blake Griffin added 17 points and Bledsoe contributed 13.
While the Clippers benefited from balance on their scoresheet, Anthony was the primary provider for the Knicks, with only point guard Raymond Felton joining him in double-digit scoring with 20 points.