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Blake Griffin lifts Clippers in 107-94 win over Jazz

Griffin's big third quarter helps the Clippers pull away from the Jazz.

February 23, 2013|By Broderick Turner

Once Blake Griffin regained his composure and played with poise and determination, only then did the Clippers find their missing energy.

Griffin had 12 of his 18 points in the third quarter, pulling the Clippers with him to a 107-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night at Staples Center.

Griffin, who looked out of sorts in the first half when he picked up a technical foul, seemed to have an influence on all of his teammates in the second half.

Caron Butler had 11 of his 21 points in the third quarter.

Even Lamar Odom came alive, scoring 16 of his season-high 18 in the second half. Odom, who also had six rebounds, made eight of 15 shots from the field.

DeAndre Jordan chipped in seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

“He was just more aggressive, he was in attack mode and he made plays,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said of Griffin's play in the third quarter.

Griffin had problems stopping Paul Millsap in the first half. Millsap had 17 points in the first 24 minutes, but Griffin held the Jazz power forward to two second-half points.

The Clippers rebounded from their thumping by San Antonio, and it all started with Griffin, who went to work in the third quarter, making seven of 12 shots and grabbing seven rebounds.

Griffin was harassed, pushed and shoved by Al Jefferson at one point, but got no call.

After Griffin got around Jefferson, he drove down the lane and was fouled by Millsap while scoring on a floating, double-pump shot.

Griffin made the free throw for the three-point play, then made the hustle play of the night.

Griffin dived on the floor for a loose ball, saving it from going out of bounds and passing to Chauncey Billups, who found Butler for a three-pointer and a 19-point Clippers lead.

Technical difficulties

Del Negro admitted that all the technical fouls his team has been getting this season is a sign of immaturity. The Clippers have 53 individual technicals so far.

“We talk about it,” Del Negro said. “Handling the referees and just kind of growing up a little bit and maturing in those areas is very important. You can't beat yourself.”

Griffin, including his technical foul Saturday night, has 11 technical fouls, tied for the second most in the NBA. Matt Barnes has 10 technicals, tied for the fourth most.

Jordan has eight, Jamal Crawford, who also got a technical on Saturday night, has six. Odom has five, Chris Paul and Ronny Turiaf three, Ryan Hollins two and Eric Bledsoe and Butler one each.

When a player gets his 16th technical, he will be suspended by the NBA for one game and fined $5,000.

With 24 regular-season games left, Del Negro wants to see his team keep its composure.

“We can't give up a point or two, and we have to do a better job here in the last stretch of the season before we get into the playoffs because a point here or there can make the difference,” said Del Negro, who has collected three technical fouls.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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