Tue, Mar 18, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Griffin leads Clippers to 11th victory


Blake Griffin had 21 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists to celebrate his 25th birthday on Sunday as the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-80 to bag their 11th consecutive victory.

Chris Paul had 15 assists and scored 11 of his 16 points in the final six minutes for the Clippers, who have not lost since Feb. 21.

Los Angeles matched the longest winning streak in the NBA this season, equaling 11-game runs recorded in November last year by Portland and San Antonio.

“This stretch of games that we’ve played and we’ve been successful has been a huge team effort,” Griffin said.

The San Antonio Spurs kept their own win streak alive on Sunday, topping the Utah Jazz 122-104 for their 10th consecutive victory.

Argentine star Manu Ginobili scored 21 points, Tony Parker had 18 and Tim Duncan 16 for the Spurs (50-16), who became the first NBA team to net 50 wins this season.

The Western Conference-leading Spurs shot a season-high 62.8 percent from the field.

In Oklahoma City, the Dallas Mavericks stopped a seven-game, regular-season losing streak against the Thunder with a 109-86 victory.

Shawn Marion scored 19 points, Vince Carter added 18 and Dirk Nowitzki 17 for the Mavericks, who became only the third Western Conference team to win in Oklahoma City this season, along with the Trail Blazers and Clippers.

Kevin Durant scored 30 points for the Thunder in his 26th straight game of 25 points or more, which is the longest such streak since Michael Jordan achieved the feat during 40 consecutive games during the 1986-1987 season.

In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat stopped their worst skid in three years with a 113-104 win over the Houston Rockets.

Ray Allen scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth, while LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each scored 24 for the defending champions, who won for just the second time in their past seven games.

The Heat were down 97-92 following a three-pointer by James Harden midway through the fourth, but finished on a 21-7 run.

Harden finished with 30 points, while Dwight Howard had 21 and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who have dropped three straight.

Also on Sunday, the Golden State Warriors pulled within 1.5 games of Portland for the fifth seed in the crowded Western playoff standings with a 113-112 win over the Trail Blazers.

Stephen Curry scored 28 of his 37 points in the second half and Klay Thompson made the go-ahead three-pointer with 11.1 seconds remaining to lead Golden State.

In other games, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis set career highs with 40 points and 21 rebounds as the Pelicans edged the Boston Celtics 121-120 in overtime. Davis’ performance made him the first player in team history to have at least 40 points and 20 rebounds in one game.

In other action, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Sacramento Kings 104-102, the Phoenix Suns handed the Toronto Raptors their first home loss since Feb. 27 in 121-113 victory and the Charlotte Bobcats defeated the NBA-worst Milwaukee Bucks 101-92 for their fourth win in a row.

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