Paul, Griffin lead the way as Clippers pound Pelicans


Chris Paul had 21 points and eight assists, Blake Griffin added 20 points before both All-Stars sat out the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers breezed to a 108-76 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.

Danny Granger could not play because of a technicality on the team’s active list, which is signed by coach Doc Rivers before every game and relayed to the officials.

Granger’s name was printed by hand by a member of the public relations staff under the heading: “Updated Roster Additions,” but the number on the sheet was not circled along with the other active players by the required deadline of 6:30 p.m. local time.

As a result, referee Bill Spooner ruled Granger ineligible and instructed the nine-year veteran to change back into street clothes. The Clippers didn’t need their newest small forward in the wire-to-wire victory.

Heat 112, Magic 98

In Miami, LeBron James had 20 points to help the Heat earn their seventh consecutive victory by beating Orlando.

At the NBA’s request, James dispensed with the black mask he wore Thursday when playing for the first time since he broke his nose. He missed only four shots, grabbed nine rebounds and had seven assists.

Tobias Harris led the Magic with 20 points and Nikola Vucevic added 18.

Rockets 118, Pistons 110

In Houston, Terrence Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Rockets opened a big early lead and beat Detroit for their third win in four games.

Rodney Stuckey had 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting off the bench, and Josh Smith added 21 points for the Pistons.

Pacers 102, Celtics 97

In Boston, Paul George scored 10 of Indiana’s last 12 points and the Pacers beat the Celtics two days after beating another of the NBA’s worst teams.

George led Indiana with 25 points.

Jeff Green had 27 points for Boston.

Nets 107, Bucks 98

In Milwaukee, Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead Brooklyn over the Bucks and within a game of .500.

Khris Middleton and Ramon Sessions scored 16 points apiece for Milwaukee.

Grizzlies 110, Cavaliers 96

In Memphis, Zach Randolph had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and the Grizzlies used a big second half to defeat Cleveland.

Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting.

Trail Blazers 102, Nuggets 96

In Portland, Robin Lopez scored 18 points, LaMarcus Aldridge returned from an injury to add 16, and the Blazers beat Denver to sweep the series for the first time in 15 years.

Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and Evan Fournier scored 16 points apiece, but the Nuggets lost their fifth straight.

Timberwolves 108, Kings 97

In Sacramento, Kevin Martin scored 26 points, Kevin Love had 22 and Minnesota reached .500 with its win over the Kings.

DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 17 rebounds for Sacramento in his return from a one-game suspension.

Wizards 122, 76ers 103

In Philadelphia, Trevor Ariza made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points to help Washington win its sixth straight game.

The 76ers lost their 13th straight game on the night they retired Allen Iverson’s No. 3. Iverson had his number sent to the rafters, fit between Maurice Cheeks’ No. 10 and Charles Barkley’s No. 34.