Chris Paul Gets 5,000th Assist As Clippers Get 11th Straight Win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 18 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the New Orleans Hornets 93-77 on Wednesday night for their franchise record-tying 11th consecutive victory.
Jamal Crawford added 17 points, DeAndre Jordan scored 12, and Chris Paul had 10 points and 12 assists, surpassing 5,000 in his career for the Clippers, whose 19-6 record is tied with New York for second-best in the NBA.
They tied the franchise record set by the 1974-75 Buffalo Bills.
Robin Lopez scored 14 of his 22 points in the first quarter and rookie Anthony Davis added 16 for the Hornets. They lost their ninth in a row and 11th in their last 12 games while falling to 2-10 on the road. They were the last team to beat the Clippers on Nov. 26.
Four of the Clippers’ five starters took the fourth quarter off, with only Willie Green coming back in after having helped build a 19-point lead to start the final period. But the Hornets couldn’t get anything going against the second unit that has played a significant role in the Clippers’ current run.
The Hornets staged a brief rally to open the third. Davis scored five in a row in their 12-9 run that drew them within seven. The Clippers took over from there, outscoring New Orleans 18-6 to end the third leading 75-56. They made 8 of 10 free throws, while Paul’s fastbreak dunk highlighted the spurt. Griffin grabbed his teammate as Paul swung wildly from the basket.
Paul fed Griffin for a layup late in the second quarter to notch his 5,000th assist, triggering a standing ovation. Griffin got fouled on the play and made the free throw. It came during an 11-0 run that provided the Clippers’ largest lead to that point, 46-30. Paul’s alley-oop pass to Griffin led to a fastbreak dunk for the Clippers’ final basket of the half, with them leading 48-38.
The Hornets kept it close in the opening quarter, when they trailed 22-16 after Lopez scored 14 points. He was scoreless in the second quarter when he picked up his third foul.
NOTES: At 27 years, 228 days, Paul is the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 5,000 assists, trailing Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. He is the fifth-fastest to reach the milestone, needing 510 games. … New Orleans hasn’t won since Dec. 3 against Milwaukee. … Hornets G Eric Gordon missed the game against his former team because of a sore right knee. He smiled when Clipper fans chanted his name in the final 2 1/2 minutes. … Returning home from a four-game trip, the Clippers had a moment of silence for the 27 victims of last week’s school shootings in Connecticut.