Clippers outlast Hawks for 7th straight win
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Blake Griffin had 27 points and eight rebounds, Chris Paul added 19 points, including a go-ahead layup in the final minute, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Atlanta Hawks 109-108 on Saturday night for their season-high seventh straight victory.
The Pacific Division-leading Clippers got 13 points and 12 rebounds from DeAndre Jordan, and 17 points from Matt Barnes on the eve of his 34th birthday. Los Angeles shot 53.2 percent from the field, improving to 22-1 when shooting 50 percent or better.
Griffin made 11 of 19 shots while extending his career-best streak of games with 20 or more points to 22. Jamal Crawford had three points in 10 minutes off the bench after missing three games with a left calf strain.
DeMarre Carroll scored 19 points in Atlanta's 14th loss in 15 games and sixth in a row. The Hawks have gone from four games over .500 to 26-35 during this sudden freefall but are still eighth in the Eastern Conference, 2 1/2 games ahead of Detroit for the final playoff berth.
The Hawks have dropped their last 10 on the road, their longest drought since losing their final 13 in 2006-07. They have made the postseason in each of the previous six years - and if they do it again, they'll have the longest such streak by an Eastern Conference club with Boston floundering at 21-41.
The Hawks were 12 for 28 from 3-point range. It was the 27th time they made at least 10 from behind the arc, tying the club record they set last season.
All-Star forward Paul Millsap scored 14 points in his second game back, after missing the previous five with a bruised right knee. Kyle Korver was 3 for 3 behind the arc, two games after his NBA-record streak of 127 games with a 3-point basket ended at Portland.
Paul began the final quarter on the bench with the Clippers holding an 88-78 advantage. Danny Granger, playing his third game for the club since signing as a free agent, hit a 16-footer and a 20-footer 33 seconds apart and Willie Green added a 3-pointer for a 98-87 lead with 8:41 to play.
The Hawks closed to 102-100 with an 11-2 run capped by Korver, who recorded his seventh four-point play of the season and 12th of his career. Jeff Teague's driving layup tied it at 107 with 1:35 remaining, but Paul responded with a driving layup with 54 seconds to go.
The Hawks, whose 19 turnovers were converted into 25 points by the Clippers made a costly one under their own basket with 33 seconds left. But Griffin missed two free throws, giving Atlanta another life. Teague was fouled by Jordan with 1.2 seconds left and after missing the first free throw made the second when he was trying to miss.
Already playing without injured forwards J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley, the Clippers had to go the final 9:50 of the second quarter without newly acquired forward Glen Davis after Big Baby picked up his first three fouls in a 3:53 span. Davis finished with four points in 13 minutes.
The Clippers had lost seven of the previous nine meetings, including 107-97 defeat in Atlanta on Dec. 4. Barnes missed that game because of a torn retina in his left eye.
NOTES: Clippers coach Doc Rivers played eight seasons with Atlanta and is still the Hawks' career assist leader with 3,866. "It's shocking, especially because of the fact that I didn't know I still had it," said Rivers, whose final regular-season game with them was on April 21, 1991. "Mookie Blaylock didn't break that? Then it's going to stand forever. I'm going to talk to Danny Ferry (the Hawks' GM and president of basketball operations) and every time a guy gets close, I'm going to request that he get traded." ... Korver also had a four-point play in the previous meeting. ... Elton Brand, who spent seven seasons with the Clippers, is one of 10 players in NBA history with at least 1,500 points, 8,000 rebounds, 2000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots.