Clippers beat Suns, 103-77, to extend winning streak to 13 games
PHOENIX — The Clippers’ winning streak took on new meaning.
Not only did the Clippers extend their franchise-best winning streak to 13 games with a 103-77 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night at US Airways Center, but they won in Phoenix for the first time since April 17, 2007, a streak of 10 consecutive losses.
“Ever since I got here last year, we’ve been trying to break down barriers,” said Chris Paul, who had 17 points, 13 rebounds and five steals. “It’s one of those things where it doesn’t mean too much, but it’s something nice to have in the back of your head going into the game.”
For Blake Griffin, who had a stellar game with 23 points on eight-for-12 shooting, 11 rebounds and a career-high-tying four steals, it was his first time winning in Phoenix.
Part of his celebration was making a three-point basket.
“No, I never won a game here, but now I have,” said Griffin, who was drafted in 2009 but sat out that season while recovering from left knee surgery.
The Clippers won their sixth consecutive road game, breaking the franchise record set by the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves.
The Clippers have the longest active winning streak in the NBA, surpassing Oklahoma City’s winning streak that reached 12 games before ending at Minnesota on Thursday.
“We’re just taking care of business right now,” Griffin said. “To be honest, we’re not really concerned with, ‘you haven’t won here since then,’ or, ‘you haven’t won this many games in a row.’ We hear it all. But we’re about just getting these wins and if they come within the streak or when we haven’t won somewhere, that’s fine.”
The teams got testy at times.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and reserve center Ronny Turiaf were given technical fouls.
Suns Coach Alvin Gentry was given two technical fouls and ejected. Suns reserve center Jermaine O’Neal was given a technical foul.
And there was the typical NBA pushing, shoving and trash talking.
“Every time we take the court, we have a chip on our shoulders and we know teams are coming for us,” Griffin said. “So, that’s how it’s going to be. We welcome that.”
It was going so well for the Clippers that Jamal Crawford (22 points) decided to pass up a three-point shot and passed the ball to Matt Barnes (15 points), who decided to pass up a three-point shot as time was winding down in the third quarter.
Barnes passed the ball to Griffin, who made a three-point basket from the corner with 0.1 of a second left in the quarter, giving the Clippers a 91-60 lead, their largest of the season when playing on the road.
Even Griffin had to smile after he made the shot.
After all, it was only his second three-point basket this season in 10 tries.
“My teammates ask me to shoot those,” Griffin said. “They want me to shoot those and I’ll take them.”
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