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Monday, Jan. 16, 2012

Clippers win despite Kobe's 40-point night


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers showed they could beat the Lakers even with Kobe Bryant going over the 40-point mark for the fourth consecutive game.

News photo
Stuck in the middle: Clippers guard Chris Paul passes the ball while being defended by the Lakers' Darius Morris (right) and Josh McRoberts on Saturday in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 102-94. AP

Chris Paul scored 33 points, Blake Griffin had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Clippers led all the way in winning 102-94 on Saturday night, their second victory in four days over one of the NBA's elite teams.

"It's early. We're not going to get too high with these wins," Paul said. "We definitely made strides in the right direction defensively and with rebounding. We got to make that habit and not a one-time thing."

Chauncey Billups added 19 points, former Laker Caron Butler had 13 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who beat Miami 95-89 in overtime on Wednesday and have won five of their last six.

Paul limped off after hitting a jumper in the final minutes and said after the game that he hurt his left leg and would see a doctor.

Griffin said he wasn't concerned with the doubters who wonder if the Clippers may finally shed their reputation as perennial losers.

"It's definitely going to take time if we're going to remove that label," he said. "We don't care. We're worried about this year."

Paul, Billups and Butler — all added before the season began — are paying early dividends. Paul, who had 27 points against the Heat, was originally headed to the Lakers from New Orleans until Commissioner David Stern nixed the deal.

"They couldn't guard him," Billups said of Paul. "Coming off the pick-and-rolls, he was unstoppable. His shot was on point and he really caused them a lot of problems."

The Clippers controlled the boards 50-42, including a 17-11 edge on the offensive glass, despite being the league's worst rebounding team playing against the league's best.

"We talked about how they focused on the glass and they just did a terrific job on the boards," Bryant said. "Seventeen offensive rebounds is a lot of offensive rebounds. That's the area that really killed us. We did a pretty good job defensively in holding them to a low shooting percentage, but 17 offensive rebounds and 25 second-chance points, that's tough to deal with."

Hawks 93, Timberwolves 91

In Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 25 points, and Ivan Johnson hit the clinching free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining.

Pacers 97, Celtics 83

In Boston, Danny Granger scored 21 points and Indiana handed the Celtics their fourth straight loss.

Bulls 77, Raptors 64

In Chicago, Derrick Rose had 18 points and 11 assists, leading the Bulls over Toronto.

Thunder 104, Knicks 92

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 28 points, and James Harden added 24 off the bench.

Bobcats 112, Warriors 100

In Charlotte, rookie Kemba Walker made the most of his first NBA start, scoring a career-high 23 points.

Grizzlies 108, Hornets 99

In Memphis, Rudy Gay scored 23 points, and Marc Gasol added 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Rockets 107, Blazers 105 (OT)

In Houston, Kyle Lowry scored a season-high 33 points, Kevin Martin hit four free throws in the final seconds of overtime and the Rockets beat Portland.

Jazz 107, Nets 94

In Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson scored 20 points and reserve C.J. Miles added 17 as Utah spoiled the return of former Jazz All-Star guard Deron Williams.

Mavericks 99, Kings 60

In Dallas, Jason Terry scored 21 points, Vince Carter added 16, and the Mavericks stretched their winning streak to five games.

76ers 103, Wizards 90

In Washington, Lou Williams scored 24 points and Andre Iguodala added a season-high 23.

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