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Clippers get eighth straight win, 100-94 over Charlotte

Matt Barnes comes off the bench to score 19 points, 11 of them in the fourth quarter.

December 12, 2012|By Broderick Turner
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just go to work like you have, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro told his team Wednesday night, and you just might like the results.

So, as they had done while winning their seven previous games over the last two weeks, the Clippers went to work and got No. 8, defeating the Charlotte Bobcats, 100-94, Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Afterward, Del Negro talked not only about getting 19 points each from Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and reserve Matt Barnes, but he also pointed to Jamal Crawford's eight assists, Eric Bledsoe's 13 points and eight rebounds, and Lamar Odom's nine rebounds.

With that, the Clippers got their second win in two nights, following their win at Chicago on Tuesday to open their four-game trip.

"We did what we were supposed to do," Del Negro said. "We came in and we felt like if we played at a high level, if we played our style, we'd have a great opportunity — like we do almost every night. We feel that way going into every game, but you have to perform."

That's something the Clippers have been doing with regularity.

The eight-game winning streak is their longest since they won eight straight in the 1991-92 season.

"It's cool. It just means we're playing all right right now," said Paul, who also had 10 assists and five rebounds. "But we're not satisfied. We've got to keep playing the right way and keep this thing going."

This time, it was Barnes who came off the bench with a big contribution.

Not only did he tie his season high in points, but Barnes had 11 points in the fourth quarter, when he made four of six shots, including three of four three-point attempts.

And it seemed every time Barnes made a shot it stopped Charlotte's momentum.

His last three-pointer gave the Clippers a nine-point lead late in the fourth quarter.

"Matt Barnes made shot after shot every time they made a run," Paul said. "We need him to shoot it with that confidence and that's what he did tonight."

The Clippers don't play again until Saturday at Milwaukee.

Before the Clippers could begin to think about time off, though, they reminded one another before playing Charlotte of their last four-game trip, in which they won the first game and lost the last three. They reminded each other to not take the now 7-14 Bobcats lightly.

After all, the Clippers have lost to struggling teams such as the New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

"This is one of those games that will fool you if you come out real lackadaisical," Paul said. "And those [Bobcats] guys play hard. We knew we were going to be here for three nights. So you could start thinking after this game, 'Man, we get to chill a little bit.' But I think we stayed focused and did what we had to do."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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