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Depleted Clippers get past Orlando Magic, 86-76

Jamal Crawford becomes latest Clipper sidelined because of an injury, but Eric Bledsoe leads the way with a career-high 27 points.

February 06, 2013|By Broderick Turner

ORLANDO, Fla. — On a night when Jamal Crawford became yet another of the Clippers unable to play because of an injury, L.A. took what was left of its nine-man healthy crew and went to work.

The Clippers defeated the Orlando Magic, 86-76, Wednesday night at the Amway Center and broke a three-game losing streak in the process.

There was a big void for the Clippers to fill with Crawford (sore right shoulder) being the latest to go down, joining Blake Griffin (strained left hamstring), Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap) and Chauncey Billups (tendinitis in left foot) on the injury front.

But there was point guard Eric Bledsoe scoring a career-high 27 points, tying his season high with six steals, collecting six rebounds and tying his career high with three blocked shots.

There was DeAndre Jordan getting a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, Ryan Hollins getting a seasonhigh in points (13), rebounds (eight) and minutes played (24:07) and Lamar Odom producing eight points, five rebounds and a career-high six steals.

"Everybody had to step up," Bledsoe said. "Ryan Hollins came in and played good for us. Lamar played huge. DeAndre is playing great basketball right now."

Crawford, who also has a broken nose, hopes to play on Friday at Miami.

Paul, Billups and Griffin also hope to play against the Heat.

"Hopefully it's Friday, but we'll see," Griffin said. "I'll practice tomorrow and then we'll see."

Bledsoe was as big as any of the Clippers.

He had 10 points and two blocked shots in the fourth quarter, showing that he could become the closer.

He was two for four from the field and five for six from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

"I am the point guard on this team so I've got to lead by example," Bledsoe said. "And that's what I tried to do today."

In many ways, Hollins filled in the role off the bench that Crawford normally provides.

Hollins took an offensive foul in the fourth quarter.

He tipped in a dunk off a Matt Barnes miss for a 78-69 Clippers lead late. Then Hollins blocked a shot by Jameer Nelson with 1:55 left, keeping the Clippers ahead by 10 points.

"The encouragement from my teammates is big," Hollins said. "I can't really do much without them. It's my job to stay ready. So even though I'm not in the game or being seen, I have a job and obligation here not to sit on my butt but to get in there early and work. I try to work just as hard as the guys who play the game."

All the Clippers were missing against the Magic were their top producers.

Griffin leads the team in scoring (18.5) and rebounds (8.6).

Paul is third on the team in scoring 16.6), first in assists (9.7) and steals (2.56) and Crawford is second in scoring (16.9).

"With these guys out, we all had to come out and we all had to step it up," Jordan said. "And that's what we were doing tonight, at least until these guys get healthy."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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