LOS ANGELES (CBS / AP) — Blake Griffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Danny Granger added 18 points off the bench, and the Los Angeles Clippers surged past the Golden State Warriors 111-98 Wednesday night for their ninth straight victory.
Chris Paul had 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who split their four-game season series against their Pacific Division rivals with an impressive finish to a tight game.
Los Angeles has the third-longest winning streak in club history and the team’s best record after 66 games (46-20).
Klay Thompson scored 26 points and David Lee had 20 for the Warriors, whose five-game winning streak ended with their fourth straight loss to the Clippers at Staples Center. Stephen Curry had just 13 points and 11 assists before sitting out the final minutes.
Paul missed eight of his first nine shots and struggled all night under tight defense from Thompson, but kept the Clippers’ offense purring along with Darren Collison, who had 11 points. Willie Green added 13 for the Clippers, who had seven players scoring in double figures.
Griffin was in top form on both ends of the court, punctuating his latest monster performance with a mind-blowing, one-handed rebound slam with 8:18 to play. The four-time All-Star has scored 20 points in 24 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in the NBA this season.
Los Angeles also won with defense, holding Golden State to just one field goal in a 9:40 stretch spanning the final two quarters. The Warriors stayed in it with defense and free throws, but Collison scored six quick points down the stretch in the fourth quarter, pushing Los Angeles’ lead to a game-high 10 points on a leaning jumper with 3:55 left.
Matt Barnes’ 3-pointer with 1:25 to play essentially sealed the win.
The California clubs completed their series with another demonstration of the reasons they might have the West Coast’s best current rivalry, although both teams agree they need playoff stakes to develop true enmity.
Golden State led 56-54 after a tight first half with 20 lead changes. Curry managed just seven points along with his eight assists, while Paul had only five points on 1-for-6 shooting with his seven assists.
Granger kept the Clippers in it during a rocky first-half stretch, making his first six shots without a miss in about 11 minutes. He finished 7 for 11 in his fifth game since Los Angeles signed the longtime Indiana star on Feb. 28.
Los Angeles rolled off a 15-3 run to close the third quarter with an 84-79 lead, scoring nine straight points capped by Paul’s 3-pointer on a crosscourt assist from Griffin with 0.1 seconds left.
NOTES: Clippers G Jamal Crawford sat out for the fifth time in six games with a strained left calf. Los Angeles also is without J.J. Redick, but Jared Dudley returned from a three-game absence with back spasms, playing just one minute. … Griffin grabbed his 3,000th career rebound late in the first half. He is the third player in NBA history to have 6,000 points, 3,000 boards and 1,000 assists in his first four full NBA seasons while also making 50 percent of his shots, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley.
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