The Los Angeles Clippers out-worked, out-rebounded and out-hustled the Phoenix Suns as part of a dominating second-half performance that led to the Suns’ second consecutive defeat.
Six players scored in double figures for the Clippers, who outscored the Suns 65-43 in the final two quarters en route to a 120-100 rout Sunday at US Airways Center.
Phoenix took a 57-55 lead into the half after rallying from a 10-point deficit. But the Clippers quickly jumped back in front with a 21-10 run to open the third quarter. They outscored the Suns 34-20 in the third to take a 12-point lead into the final quarter.
The Suns made a final push with back-to-back 3-pointers by Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green to cut the Clippers’ lead to 96-94 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Clippers responded with a 15-0 run to put the game out of reach.
The Suns missed the services of Markieff Morris for most of the second half. Coach Jeff Hornacek benched Morris for the rest of the game after he picked up a technical foul early in the third quarter.
The usual suspects stepped up the Clippers (30-14): Chris Paul had 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds; Blake Griffin contributed 23 points and seven boards; and DeAndre Jordan added 18 points (on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor) and 14 rebounds.
Thomas had a game-high 25 points off the bench for the Suns (26-20), who have lost back-to-back home games after winning seven straight in Phoenix.
Here’s how the Suns slipped to 4-2 on their current eight-game homestand, by the numbers:
The Suns made just one field goal in the final 7:30 of the game — a jumper by Thomas with 3:08 to play.
Jordan had as many offensive rebounds (five) as the Suns had as a team Sunday. The Clippers grabbed 14 total offensive boards for the game.
Suns guard Goran Dragic scored 10 points Sunday, bringing his two-game point total to just 12. Dragic scored just two points in the Suns’ 113-111 loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday. Like Markieff Morris on Sunday, Dragic was benched Friday after being assessed a technical foul in the third quarter. Dragic is averaging 16.7 points per game.
Suns center Alex Len scored 15 points — his first double-digit scoring performance in five games — but he scored just three points after halftime. Len shot 6-of-8 from the field, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.
The Clippers took advantage of the Suns’ inability to box out for most of the evening, out-rebounding the Suns by a plus-19 margin (50-31) for the game.
Markieff Morris’ technical foul in the third quarter was the Suns’ 50th of the season as a team. The Suns and Clippers came into the game tied for the most technical fouls in the NBA on the season; the Clippers retook the lead via techs assessed to Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes on Sunday.