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Clippers defeat Hornets, 93-77, to tie franchise mark

Chris Paul gets his 5,000th assist as Clippers win their 11th game in a row.

December 19, 2012|By Broderick Turner

This game was about more than the Clippers extending their 10-game winning streak and making franchise history in the process.

This game also was about the Clippers looking for some revenge against a New Orleans Hornets team that had defeated L.A. earlier this season and did a little too much celebrating for the Clippers' liking.

The Clippers were able to do both, blasting the Hornets, 93-77, pushing their winning streak to 11 games and seeing Chris Paul reach an NBA milestone Wednesday night at Staples center.

The Clippers tied the franchise record held by the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves. A win Friday night against the Sacramento Kings would give the Clippers the franchise record for the most wins in a row.

After the game, Clippers owner Donald Sterling celebrated with his team in the locker room.

"Hip-hip hooray," Sterling said. "Eleven in a row. Not bad, is it?"

Paul certainly wasn't bad. The point guard had 12 assists to go over the 5,000 mark for his career. He also had 10 points in just under 28 minutes.

"It's pretty cool," Paul said, "especially to do it here in front of our home crowd."

Blake Griffin, who had 18 points, got fouled after getting the milestone assist from Paul. The two of them then stood at the free-throw line.

"Well, when he came to me and told me he needed one more and he told me, 'You got to get fouled so the crowd can acknowledge me,'" Griffin joked. "No, I'm just playing. It's really cool to a part of that."

The last time the Clippers lost a game was against the Hornets and it was here three weeks ago.

Greivis Vasquez had a career-high-tying 25 points and 10 assists in the victory, and he did a little trash-talking in the process. Vasquez had just five points this time, missing six of his seven shots.

The Hornets also torched the Clippers from three-point range in that win, making 15 of 25 for an amazing 60.0%. This time, the Hornets made only two of 19 (10.5%) three-point attempts.

"It wasn't one of those things where we thought they overdid it," Griffin said about the Hornets' celebration. "We just don't want to see teams come in and actually feel like they should celebrate."

In the middle of all this, Paul picked up his 5,000th assists on a nice pass to Griffin with 1:32 left in the second quarter.

Paul became the 54th player in NBA history to accomplish the feat and the fifth-fastest to reach 5,000 in terms of games played (510).

But it wasn't only that assist that got the crowd excited about Paul.

Paul's two-handed dunk late in the third quarter brought cheers from the fans and Paul's teammates off the bench.

"Oh, did I dunk it?" Paul joked. "I did that one because Blake wouldn't throw me the lob in Detroit on the break. But it is what it is."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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