Even more short-handed, the Clippers just continued to roll.
They lost Darren Collison to an illness Sunday night, but that didn't stop the Clippers from extending their winning streak to 11 games with a 102-80 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center.
Chris Paul made sure the Clippers stayed the course when they wobbled some in the final quarter, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the fourth.
Paul had been struggling before the fourth, missing seven of nine shots, including both of his three-point attempts.
But when he was needed most, Paul delivered, making five of six shots and his only three-pointer.
“I said the last game [at Utah], ‘I keep just trying to go to the next play, next play,'” said Paul, who also had 15 assists against the Cavaliers. “And my teammates stayed on me.”
The Clippers matched the longest winning streak in the NBA this season and they tied the Buffalo Braves for the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. The longest is 17 consecutive victories, accomplished last season.
And because of all of that, the third-seeded Clippers are just one game behind the second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference.
The Clippers did it with Blake Griffin scoring 21 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and handing out eight assists on the day he turned 25.
“Right now, it's the right time of the year to be playing pretty well,” Paul said. “We have so many guys on our team that try to make sure we stay focused. It's not about the streak. It's not about winning and losing. It's about us playing the right way.”
Collison had been starting at guard because J.J. Redick is out with a bulging disk in his back. Jamal Crawford, who had been the starter for Redick, is out with a strained left calf.
Collison missed his first game of the season with a stomach virus.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Collison was traveling with the team to Denver for the game Monday night and was expected to play.
Willie Green stepped in for Collison and scored 10 points.
Reggie Bullock, who had not played in the last four games, was called on to be the next man up for the Clippers.
Bullock scored a career-high 14 points on five-for-nine shooting, including two-for-three shooting on three-pointers.
“I just tried to be confident and just try to go out and play my game,” said Bullock, who turned 23 on Sunday.
The Clippers' 21-point, third-quarter lead was cut to seven points in the fourth by the Cavaliers, who lost All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in the first quarter because of a left biceps injury.
Paul took over from there.
He assisted Griffin on a jumper and then scored seven of the Clippers' next nine points to restore order.
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