NCAA

Clippers beat Suns 117-99 for 5th straight win

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Clippers beat Suns 117-99 for 5th straight win

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jamal Crawford led a fourth-quarter rally with 13 of his 21 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Phoenix 117-99 on Saturday, winning their fifth in a row while sending the Suns to their season-worst sixth straight loss.

Blake Griffin added 24 points, and Chris Paul had 16 points and 11 assists. Crawford made all four of his free throws to extend his streak to 55 in a row since Nov. 3.

Michael Beasley scored 21 points off the bench, and Shannon Brown added 19 for Phoenix, which hadn't lost six in a row since March 3-12, 2009.

The Clippers broke out in the final quarter after not leading by more than seven points through the first three periods. And they did it with their reserves, who scored every point. They opened with a 17-4 run in which Crawford scored 11 points on a variety of shots, including a 3-pointer and two free throws.

Los Angeles fans were rewarded with a couple of big dunks by Eric Bledsoe and another by Matt Barnes that pushed the Clippers' lead to 110-93 with 4:04 to play. Their reserves outscored Phoenix's bench, 56-45.

Luis Scola scored 10 in a row for the Suns and finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Neither team managed to pull away in the third, when the Clippers led 85-83 before their starters went to the bench for good to start the fourth.

Los Angeles got a boost from its second unit early in the second, with Crawford scoring five in a row and Lamar Odom and Barnes chipping in as the Clippers played catch-up. Griffin and Paul took over the final 2:50, combining to score 11 of their team's final 14 points to send the Clippers into halftime leading 63-57.

The game began shortly after noon, and the Clippers' defense sleepwalked through the first quarter when the Suns led by seven.

Notes: Suns C Jermaine O'Neal was ejected in fourth quarter. ... Clippers G Chauncey Billups missed his second straight game because of tendinitis in his left ankle. ... The Clippers have scored 100 or more points in each of their last five victories. ... The Suns played their seventh road game in 14 days. They fell to 2-10 away from home. ... Beasley didn't start after totaling 24 points on 10 of 35 shooting in his three previous games.

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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