The Los Angeles Clippers took another step to come out of the shadows of the storied Los Angeles Lakers franchise by beating their Staples Center co-tenants and rivals 102-94 on Saturday.
Chris Paul exploded for 33 points, six assists and three steals and Blake Griffin finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who are in the midst of playing six of seven games at home.
Griffin also had five assists and Chauncey Billups scored 19 points.
The Clippers have been a different team since adding All-Star guard Paul this season. Heading into the contest, Paul was averaging 16.1 points and 8.8 assists per game.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers, posting his fourth-consecutive game of scoring 40 points or more.
Bryant finished with 42 points for the Lakers, who had their five-game win streak snapped. It was Bryant’s 111th 40-point game in his career.
The 16-time NBA champion Lakers won three of four contests against the Clippers last season and have won 16 of the past 22 meetings.
THUNDER 104, KNICKS 92
In Oklahoma City, the Thunder’s Kevin Durant scored 28 points Oklahoma City raced past the New York Knicks, notching their sixth straight NBA win.
James Harden added 24 off the bench and Russell Westbrook was on his way to his sixth career triple-double with 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists before coach Scott Brooks pulled his All-Stars with the hosts up by 30 points late in the third quarter.
New York played without Carmelo Anthony because of a sprained ankle and injured wrist, but it was the Knicks’ defense that went missing.
Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City scored 70 points in the first half and kept their starters on the bench throughout the fourth quarter for the third straight home game won in a blowout.
BULLS 77, RAPTORS 64
In Chicago, Derrick Rose had 18 points and 11 assists, leading Chicago over Toronto in a low-scoring encounter.
Rose keyed a seven-point burst to open the fourth period, assisting on three straight field goals.
Carlos Boozer added 17 points for Chicago, who won their fifth straight and improved to a league-best 12-2.
The Bulls are 5-0 at home for the first time since opening the 1996-1997 season with seven straight. Chicago has held their opponents to just 66.8 points game on home court.
DeMar DeRozan and Leandro Barbosa scored 15 points each for Toronto, who dropped their fourth straight.
HAWKS 93, TIMBERWOLVES 91
In Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 25 points and Ivan Johnson hit the clinching free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining, completing Atlanta’s comeback from an 18-point deficit to beat Minnesota.
Kevin Love missed a potential game-tying jump shot at the buzzer, but finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota.
Jeff Teague added 20 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, who overcame a season-high 20 turnovers and losing Al Horford to a torn pectoral muscle that will sideline the starting center for three to four months.
ROCKETS 107, TRAIL BLAZERS 105, OT
In Houston, Kyle Lowry scored a season-high 33 points as Houston downed Portland in overtime.
Kevin Martin scored Houston’s final six points in overtime with a layup and four free throws over the final 32 seconds of the extra period. He finished with 28 points.
Nicolas Batum had a season-high 29 points to lead Portland.
In other NBA action, it was:
‧ Mavericks 99, Kings 60