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Clippers 93, Hornets 77

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers jumped to a huge lead in the second quarter and cruised 93-77 victory over the slumping New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night, their team-record-tying 11th consecutive win.

Los Angeles stretched a one-point lead to 16 late in the second quarter as the team's impressive second unit stepped up. The bench contributed 15 second-quarter points. The Clippers led by at least five and by as much as 24 as they rebounded from a 105-98 loss to the Hornets on Nov. 26 in New Orleans.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, a vast improvement from the teams' first matchup, when he had perhaps the worst night of his young career. Hounded by New Orleans' post players last month, Griffin shot just 1-for-9 from the field for a career-low four points before fouling out.

Jamal Crawford had 17 points and five assists off the bench for the Clippers in the rematch at Staples Center, and Chris Paul added 10 points, 12 assists and five rebounds.

Robin Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, including six offensive boards, to lead the Hornets. Rookie power forward Anthony Davis added 16 points and five rebounds, but no other New Orleans player scored more than eight as the Hornets lost their ninth straight game.

Lopez had 14 of New Orleans' 22 points in the first quarter, but the Clippers limited him to four total points in the second and third quarters.

Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan had all 12 of his points in the first half as the Clippers jumped out quickly after the break. The Clippers thought they had all the momentum heading into halftime after a Jordan rejection led to a Paul-to-Griffin alley-oop with less than five seconds left. However, New Orleans' Greivis Vasquez (five points, 10 assists) chucked up a off-balance, running 3-pointer while being fouled by Paul, and the ball somehow found the bottom of the net to bring the Hornets to within 10 at the break.

NOTES: The Clippers' hot stretch has them among the league's elite, as they are tied with the New York Knicks for the second-best winning percentage in the NBA. ... Chauncey Billups missed his eighth consecutive game with peroneal tendinitis in his left foot; he has played in three games this year after returning Nov. 28 from a ruptured left Achilles. ... Fellow veteran Grant Hill (right knee bone bruise) has yet to play for the Clippers this season. ... Eric Gordon (knee) and Jason Smith (shoulder) were sidelined for the Hornets. ... Griffin's poor night against the Hornets in the teams' first matchup was just the fourth time in his NBA career that he has scored fewer than 10 points. ... Caron Butler set the franchise record for 3-pointers in a game (nine) in the Hornets' win in November. He scored six points and missed all four of his 3-point attempts Wednesday.
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