Clippers trail Lakers by one game

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 14, 2012
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Chris Paul had 28 points and 13 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors 112-104 on Saturday to close within a game of the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead. Blake Griffin added 20 points, DeAndre Jordan 18 and Mo Williams 14 in the Clippers' third straight win and 11th in their last 13 games. They are also chasing the idle Lakers for the third seed in the Western Conference with six games remaining. The Clippers' 36 wins are their most since they won 40 games in 2006-07. Reserve Nate Robinson led injury-riddled Golden State with 28 points, including four 3-pointers. Klay Thompson added 24 points, Dorell Wright scored 23 and Brandon Rush 22 in the Warriors' third consecutive loss and 11th in their last 13 games. David Lee and Richard Jefferson have been sidelined since Friday with injuries, joining Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry. Golden State, the NBA's leading 3-point shooting team, made 15 from long range - one off its season high. Wright and Thompson had four 3s each. The Warriors were 15 of 21 from the free-throw line, compared to 14 for 30 for the Clippers. Without Lee down low to guard Griffin, the Clippers dominated the paint. But Golden State stayed in the game with its strong outside shooting. Nick Young hit a timely 3-pointer that gave Los Angeles its only double-digit lead of the fourth. From there, the Warriors got within six several times, but the Clippers made a series of defensive stops in the closing minute. Paul hit a 3 with 9 seconds left to preserve the win, although Thompson ended the game with Golden State's last 3. The Warriors tied it twice in the third quarter but never managed to take the lead despite the Clippers' missed free throws. They were 10 of 19 from the line in the period. Kenyon Martin finally made a pair to send the Clippers into the fourth ahead 86-82. The Clippers raced to a 24-5 lead to start the game, shooting 59 percent in the opening quarter when Paul and Jordan scored 12 points each. The Warriors hit seven 3-pointers in the second quarter to trail 59-58 at the break. Rush and Robinson made three apiece in the period as Golden State shot 61 percent from long range in the half. NOTES: The Clippers split the season series with the Warriors. ... Golden State remains stuck at 10 road wins, equaling last season's total. ... Jefferson, who has a swollen right knee, wasn't with the Warriors. ... The Clippers improved to 9-1 on Saturdays.
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