Blake Griffin had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as the Los Angeles Clippers stormed out to a 31-point lead in the first quarter with Chris Paul back in the lineup before downing the Philadelphia 76ers 123-78 Sunday.
Jamal Crawford scored 21 for the defending Pacific Division champions, who won 12 of their 18 games while Paul was sidelined with a separated right shoulder that occurred on Jan. 3 at Dallas. The seven-time All-Star point guard had seven points and eight assists in 23 minutes. DeAndre Jordan had 20 rebounds and 10 points, helping Los Angeles increase its division lead over idle Phoenix to four games.
Reserve Tony Wroten scored 21 points for the 76ers, losers of six straight and 13 of 16. Center Spencer Hawes missed all eight shots in 23 scoreless minutes and had just two rebounds.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant made 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to help the Thunder beat the New York Knicks 112-100.
Reggie Jackson added 19 points and six assists, and Serge Ibaka had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who were coming off a 103-102 loss to struggling Orlando on Friday.
Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer, got the best of his duel with New York’s Carmelo Anthony, the league’s No. 2 scorer. Anthony had with 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting for the Knicks, who have lost four of five.
At Orlando, Florida, Victor Oladipo had 23 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, as the Magic rallied to surprise the Indiana Pacers 93-92.
Indiana stole Orlando’s inbounds pass with 9 seconds left and Paul George was able to get off a 20-foot jumper. But it was deflected and rebounded by the Magic, who ran out the clock.
George led the Pacers with 27 points. Lance Stephenson added 16. The loss ended Indiana’s win streak at four games.
The Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 92-86 after Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points, and Joakim Noah had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Taj Gibson added 18 points for the Bulls, who never trailed against an injury-ravaged Lakers squad missing Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry.
Center Chris Kaman scored a season-high 27 points off the bench for the Lakers.
In other games, Rookie Mason Plumlee scored a season-high 22 points and matched his best with 13 rebounds as the Brooklyn Nets edged the New Orleans Pelicans 93-91, the Washington Wizards downed the Sacramento Kings 93-84, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 91-83 in overtime and the Dallas Mavericks were 102-91 winners over the Boston Celtics.