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Lou Williams catches fire for Clippers in his favorite quarter

When Lou Williams started rolling against his old team in the fourth quarter Sunday, the Clippers just rode his hot hand to a 117-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Williams dropped 18 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth. He had one stretch in which he scored 12 consecutive points, each basket more impressive than the last.

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And just for goodness' sake, Williams also had seven assists.

"Lou is always good," center DeAndre Jordan said. "Lou is sixth man for a reason. He won that [award] back in December. We're lucky to have him."

Williams was 10 for 24 from the field, one for four from three-point range.

In the fourth quarter — in which Williams leads the NBA in scoring at almost eight points a game — he was seven for 11 from the field and made his only three.

When asked what got him going in the fourth, Williams had a simple answer.

"I made one, man," Williams said. "I made one going left, which is my go-to shot. Anytime you see your bread and butter is going, I made two of those in a row. I think everything else opened up after that."

It was the 34th game Williams has scored at least 20 points off the bench, which tied Jason Terry (2008-09) for the most in a season among active players.

"It makes it a lot easier to run the offense. Give it to Lou, basically," coach Doc Rivers said. "No, it was execution. But Lou was phenomenal."

Clippers, referees talk

The Clippers were one of the latest teams to meet with referees, Saturday at their hotel, to discuss how to improve the relationship between the two sides.

"I was thinking, '10 games left [in the season]'" Rivers said. "I guess late is better than never. But it was actually very good.

"I don't know what it'll do this year. But I think it'll help in the long run."

Rivers said his players were engaged in the talks.

"Guys asked a lot of questions," Rivers said. "Lou, they took his three-point play away. He's still very bitter over that. But, listen, I thought it was very good."

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The week ahead

With nine games left, less than three games separate the Clippers from Minnesota, Utah and Denver in the hunt for the final two playoff spots in the West.

The Clippers sit outside the playoff picture in 10th, a game behind Denver and 2½ games behind Utah and Minnesota. After completing a four-game trip with a big win at Toronto, they come home to face Milwaukee on Tuesday, then travel to Phoenix on Wednesday and Portland on Friday.

The Nuggets have a tough week, with games at Philadelphia, Toronto and Oklahoma City — all likely playoff teams.

The Timberwolves have an easier week, with games against Memphis, Atlanta and Dallas — all lottery teams.

The Jazz, who throttled a short-handed Golden State team Sunday, host Boston and Memphis.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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