Clippers beat Suns to run win streak to 13 games
LA CLIPPERS 103, PHOENIX 77
By JONATHAN DALTON
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers are starting to make
easy victories look routine.
Blake Griffin scored 23 points, Chris Paul had 17 points and 13
assists and the Clippers extended a franchise record with their
13th consecutive victory, 103-77 over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday
Reserve Jamal Crawford added 22 points for the Clippers, who won
in Phoenix for the first time since April 17, 2007. Los Angeles'
overall win streak is an NBA season best and its six straight
road victories are also a franchise best.
"We're just taking care of business right now," Griffin said.
"To be honest, we're not really concerned with `You haven't won
here since then' or `You haven't won this many games in a row.'
"We hear it all but we're about just getting these wins and if
they come within a streak or when we haven't won somewhere,
The Clippers have won by an average of 13 points and boast four
victories of 20 or more points during their streak.
"I thought our starters did a good job in the first quarter and
then our second quarter, we jumped on them," said Clippers coach
Vinny Del Negro.
Jared Dudley scored 19 points, Luis Scola had 11 and Markieff
Morris added 10 for the Suns, who have dropped two straight
after winning four in a row.
Phoenix shot 52.2 percent in the first quarter but only 29.8
percent the rest of the way and tied a season low for points.
"Chris Paul was a one-man wrecking crew on defense," Dudley
said. "He took us completely out of our offense. Our turnovers
and bad offense led to points. They're a team you really can't
afford to do that to."
Suns coach Alvin Gentry was ejected with 2:33 left in the first
half when he received a pair of technical fouls seconds apart.
The teams combined for six technical in the game's first three
"I've got to do a better job of keeping my cool in that
situation," Gentry said. "He (Rodney Mott) thought I deserved
two technical fouls so that's the way it is."
Phoenix kept it close for the first quarter and the first half
of the second. Shannon Brown sank an 11-foot pull-up jumper on a
fast break as the Suns trimmed an eight-point deficit to 43-40
with 5:36 left in the first half.
That would be the Suns' next-to-last field goal of the half.
Crawford, meanwhile, hit a long 3-pointer and a pair of free
throws to key a 15-3 run that helped give the Clippers a 58-43
lead at halftime.
"It was our defense right there towards the end of the half,"
Paul said. "I think we were up like six and then you look and
we're up 15. We got some very timely steals."
Los Angeles continued to extend its lead in the third, aided by
five Phoenix turnovers in the first three minutes of the period,
and used a 16-3 run to end the quarter for a 91-60 lead.
The Suns had 16 turnovers against the Clippers, who lead the NBA
by forcing an average of 17.5 per game. Los Angeles was a bit
sloppy with the ball, too, turning it over 16 times.
"They're playing show basketball with the alley-oops and the
fancy passes," said Suns center Marcin Gortat, who had eight
points and 12 rebounds but also four turnovers. "They can afford
to turn the ball over a few times. Our team can't fall for that.
We have to run what the coach is telling us to run and to
NOTES: Paul either scored or assisted on all but one basket over
the final five minutes of the first quarter. ... The Clippers
matched a franchise record by holding their eighth straight
opponent below 43 percent shooting. ... The Clippers' prior best
road winning streak was set in 1974-75 by the then-Buffalo
Braves. ... Suns C Jermaine O'Neal and Clippers C Ronny Turiaf
also received technical for an altercation in the second. Gortat
and DeAndre Jordan also were handed technicals. ... Suns F
Michael Beasley was inactive with the flu.
San Francisco Giants
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