Clippers defeat Spurs 115-92 behind Griffin and Paul

Original: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/clippers-beat-spurs-115-92-behind-griffin-and-paul/2013/12/17/480ec678-66e2-11e3-997b-9213b17dac97_story.html



Blake Griffin scored 27 points, hitting 11 of 15 free throws, in the 115-92 win Monday night, 48 hours after returning to Los Angeles.

“The best part about this game was we knew what we had to do,” Griffin said. “We executed our game plan. Even when they made runs nobody got down. That positive attitude is big.”

Chris Paul added 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Jamal Crawford had 17 points in his second straight start for the Clippers, who repelled several threats in the third quarter to maintain their lead.

“Another good win for us coming off the road trip,” said Paul, who won’t be dwelling on it. “We got to get past it.”

Tim Duncan had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, whose four-game winning streak ended. Tony Parker limped off the court with a right shin contusion with 5:09 left in the third. He finished with eight points and six assists in 26 minutes, and didn’t speak with reporters afterward.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Parker was in pain and having trouble walking on it, so he had to be taken out of the game.

“He has the ball in his hands for a long time, especially when it counts the most,” Manu Ginobili said about Parker. “So we couldn’t adjust to it and it was hard, especially against a team that is aggressive.”

DeAndre Jordan added 11 rebounds and Griffin had nine to help the Clippers control the boards, 43-36. Jared Dudley had 14 points, including four 3-pointers.

Los Angeles went 4-3 on its road trip, closing it out Saturday with a 113-97 victory over the Washington Wizards. The Clippers didn’t practice Sunday before facing off against the Spurs, whose 19-5 record is third-best in the NBA.

“It tells you they’re in it mentally,” Rivers said of his team. “Very proud of them. I think they wanted to win very bad.”

San Antonio made one last run to open the fourth, getting consecutive 3-pointers from Patty Mills and Danny Green that drew the Spurs to 86-82.

The Clippers dominated the rest of the way, stretching their lead to 106-86 during a 20-4 run that ended with three 3-pointers in a row: one by Willie Green and two by Dudley.

Crawford put one last dagger in the Spurs as he dribbled down the final seconds before casually popping a deep 3 for the final basket.



“We turned the ball over way too much (22 times) and went through bad stretches. We just can’t put games together like that and expect to win,” Duncan said. “But it’s early in the season and we’re going to learn every one of these losses and continue to grow as a team. Hopefully at the end of the year, we’re a better ballclub because of it.”

The Clippers stretched their lead to 59-51 early in the third before the Spurs cut it to 59-58 after scoring eight straight points.

Crawford, Griffin and Paul took over the rest of the third, combining to score the Clippers’ last 20 points and stretch their lead to 78-70 going into the fourth. Crawford launched the 20-12 run by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers.

The Spurs got within three points on a layup by Ginobili before Griffin scored six of the Clippers’ next eight points to extend their lead.

“It’s my job to keep feeding him,” Paul said of Griffin. “I love it when he demands the ball. We’re going to keep playing through him every night.”

The Clippers trailed 28-21 after the opening quarter before unleashing a 19-0 run early in the second. Green bookended the spurt with 3-pointers, and in between five different Clippers scored to give them a 40-31 lead. Griffin scored their final eight points to send them into halftime leading 55-49.

NOTES: Crawford started for the second straight game and just the second time in 102 games with the team. … Clippers F Stephen Jackson faced his old team for the first time since the Spurs released him last April. He was signed by the Clippers last week and had six points. … Popovich and some of the players, including Parker, didn’t arrive until about an hour before game time. “The sunset was great over Santa Monica, so we stayed a little longer,” Popovich cracked.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $586 thousand - FOX 10 News

Url: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/24239197/2013/12/17/mega-millions-jackpot-climbs-to-586-million



Two Arizona residents have been arrested and four children placed in protective custody after marijuana was found in the pickup they were traveling in along Interstate 80 in western Nebraska.

A Tempe police officer has resigned and is back in custody after his second arrest within three days.

A Tempe police officer has resigned and is back in custody after his second arrest within three days.

The Mega Millions jackpot inched toward a U.S. lottery record Monday as it soared to $586 million amid a frenzy of ticket purchases, raising the possibility that the prize could pass the…

The Mega Millions jackpot inched toward a U.S. lottery record Monday as it soared to $586 million amid a frenzy of ticket purchases, raising the possibility that the prize could pass the once-unthinkable $1 billion mark by Christmas Eve should nobody win before then.

A new sentencing date has been set for two lower-level managers of a Phoenix car-wash chain that’s accused of immigration fraud in its hiring practices.

A new sentencing date has been set for two lower-level managers of a Phoenix car-wash chain that’s accused of immigration fraud in its hiring practices.

Bomber to be cut up at Ariz. base under arms pact

Bomber to be cut up at Ariz. base under arms pact

The final B-52G bomber being eliminated under a weapons treaty will meet its end at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson on Thursday.

The final B-52G bomber being eliminated under a weapons treaty will meet its end at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson on Thursday.

Federal prosecutors want an appeals court to reconsider a decision that significantly reduces an Arizona man’s sentence on assault and firearms charges.

Federal prosecutors want an appeals court to reconsider a decision that significantly reduces an Arizona man’s sentence on assault and firearms charges.

The Arizona Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal of a ruling that blocked a new law raising campaign contribution limits as much as ten-fold.



The Arizona Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal of a ruling that blocked a new law raising campaign contribution limits as much as ten-fold.

The FBI is offering a reward for information on a cold case on the Navajo Nation.

The FBI is offering a reward for information on a cold case on the Navajo Nation.

Ten tons of marijuana were found in a semi truck passing through the Mariposa Port of Entry earlier this month. It was the largest seizure of its kind, but numbers show most illegal pot is found in the desert.

Ten tons of marijuana were found in a semi truck passing through the Mariposa Port of Entry earlier this month. It was the largest seizure of its kind, but numbers show most illegal pot is found in the desert.

Last week, we reported on a family who inspired a community by refusing to let their disabilities stop them. A valley woman saw our story and called FOX 10 in tears — she had been searching for the family for a year.

Last week, we reported on a family who inspired a community by refusing to let their disabilities stop them. A valley woman saw our story and called FOX 10 in tears — she had been searching for the family for a year. FOX 10’s Jill Monier reports.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions jackpot inched toward a U.S. lottery record Monday as it soared to $586 million amid a frenzy of ticket purchases, raising the possibility that the prize could pass the once-unthinkable $1 billion mark by Christmas Eve should nobody win before then.

Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and lead director for Mega Millions, said ticket sales are ahead of projections for Tuesday’s drawing, increasing the likelihood it could shatter the current record of $656 million, set in a March 2012 Mega Millions drawing.

That was enough for Drew Gentsch to buy one ticket Monday morning. The attorney from Des Moines never plays, but the ballooning jackpot was too good to pass up.

“I think it’s ridiculous but you have to dream big,” he said. “The odds of winning are so low, there’s no real reason to play. But it’s fun to do so once in a while.”

The large Mega Millions prize is the product of a major game revamp in October that dramatically lowered the odds of winning the jackpot. If a winner isn’t selected Tuesday night and it rolls over past the next drawing scheduled Friday night, Otto predicts the jackpot will reach $1 billion - an unheard of amount for Mega Millions or Powerball, the nation’s two main lottery games.

“We had predicted last week that if we are still on the same roll on Christmas Eve, we’ll definitely be over a billion,” she said.

Scott Norris, a mathematician from Southern Methodist University, said he estimates around 700 million more tickets must be sold without producing a winner for the jackpot to reach $1 billion on this run. He puts the odds of that around 6 percent.

Norris emphasized his calculation does not take into account the extra $1 that players can throw in for the Megaplier option, which allows them to increase their non-jackpot prize by up to five times.

John Hagerty, a spokesman for the Virginia Lottery, said officials can’t confirm Norris’ calculation. He said there’s no clear number for sales if the jackpot rolls past Tuesday, so they can’t accurately calculate what percentage of the possible combinations will be covered.

The current jackpot, which is the fourth largest in U.S. history and closely trails the $587.5 million and $590.5 million set by Powerball, has had heavy sales over the last several days. Otto noted that the higher the jackpot, the higher the sales. For example, when the jackpot was $99 million on Nov. 5, lottery officials sold just over $20 million worth of tickets. For Friday’s then-$425 million jackpot, $168 million worth of tickets were sold.

Otto said it’s likely the jackpot will be increased again after lottery officials meet Tuesday morning to discuss sales. Between 65 and 70 percent of the roughly 259 million possible number combinations will be in play when the numbers are drawn, Otto estimated.

“Lotto players are procrastinators. They tend to buy on the day of the draw,” she said.

Some players were taken aback by the growing jackpot and the possibility that it could keep getting bigger if it rolls for a 22nd consecutive time.

Natali Justiniano Pahl, 47, bought five tickets Monday morning from a convenience store in downtown. She said the growing jackpot made her excited, albeit somewhat weary.

“It gets the excitement up, but there’s a point when it’s too much,” said Justiniano Pahl, who works in human resources. “$5 million would be good; $550 million would be good. Either one would change your life.”

Otto said officials have never had such a huge jackpot around this time of year, and it’s unclear how holiday shoppers are driving sales.

“To have that kind of money on the line the week before Christmas, we’ve never had that happen before,” she said, “What fun.”

Associated Press writers David Pitt in Des Moines and John Mone in Dallas contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.