LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin says it is much too early for the Los Angeles Clippers to panic. Their disappointment, though, was clearly on display after a 91-80 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at Staples Center.
"Pretty frustrating dropping three in a row," said Griffin, who had one of his roughest outings as a professional. "I think that's pretty normal to be frustrated, but we can't let that frustration affect us negatively going forward."
Forward DeMarre Carroll and guard DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points apiece, sparking the Raptors (9-6) and helping them avoid blowing what was a 29-point, first-half lead.
"Every win seems tough for us," said DeRozan, who missed 12 of 16 shots from the floor but converted 13 of 14 free throws. "We have to battle from the start to the end, even if we have a big lead. We've got to understand that teams are going to make a run. They are going to press up on it, and we have to play through all of the aggression."
Toronto forward Luis Scola added 20 points and eight rebounds, and point guard Kyle Lowry contributed 13 points, 10 assists and three steals as Raptors beat the Clippers for the third straight time, all by double-digit margins.
Guard J.J. Redick scored 17 points, and point guard Chris Paul had 13 points and 11 assists as the Clippers (6-7) lost for the seventh time in nine games. Center DeAndre Jordan finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks.
Griffin, one of three Clippers' starters who failed to score in the first quarter, had a forgettable half, missing both of his field-goal attempts and coming up empty in more than nine minutes. Griffin sat out the final 8:29 of the half after picking up his third foul.
Griffin finally scored 30 seconds into the second half and finished with nine points on 4-of-10 shooting in almost 29 minutes. He also had six rebounds.
When asked, Griffin and his teammates were unable to provide a source for their poor play. Worst, they could be heard screaming and shouting at each other in the locker room after Sunday's debacle.
"The players yelling after the game means nothing," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "Yell and show anger during the game."
Los Angeles made a run in the final quarter, pulling within 73-67 after a 3-point jumper by forward Josh Smith with 7:30 remaining. However, DeRozan ended a Toronto drought of more than nine minutes without a field goal, scoring on a layup to halt the Clippers' surge.
Two foul shots by guard Cory Joseph and a jumper by Scola pushed the lead back to 12 points. Los Angeles never got any closer than eight the rest of the way.
"The hardest thing to do in the NBA is to play with a big lead," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "The worst thing you can do is jump out 15-2 at the beginning of the game or whatever we were in the first half. Human nature goes all around ... Officials, the other team get jacked up and you (because of) human nature let down. That's why at halftime I went a little crazy because I knew what was going to happen."
The Raptors led 33-23 after one quarter and dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Clippers 30-11 for a 63-34 advantage at the break. Carroll scored all of his points in the half, nailing all eight of his shots, including two from behind the 3-point arc.
The Raptors limited the Clippers to 23.5 percent shooting in the second quarter while converting 47.1 percent of their shots.
Overall, Los Angeles managed just 39.2 percent shooting compared to 37.2 percent for Toronto. Both teams also struggled from behind the 3-point stripe. The Raptors made just four of 17 attempts (23.5 percent), while the Clippers hit seven of 32 (21.9 percent).
NOTES: Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas, who broke his left hand Friday night against the Lakers, could miss six weeks, coach Dwane Casey said. Valanciunas was averaging 12.7 points and a club-leading 9.3 rebounds. Bismack Biyombo started in Valanciunas' place Sunday, grabbing 14 rebounds and scoring six points. ... The Raptors' backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry creates problems for the Clippers because of their ability to attack the basket. "DeRozan is like hanging a sign, 'I'm getting to the basket tonight,'" Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said. "Then Lowry has been extremely successful against us over the last year and a half, so we have to control that." ... The Raptors play eight of their next 10 games at Air Canada Centre, starting Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. ... The Clippers visit the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.