Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 3/15/12
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mo Williams scored 25 points and fellow reserve Eric Bledsoe added 14 on a relatively quiet night by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 96-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. The victory kept the Clippers within two games of the Lakers in the race for the Pacific Division lead. Griffin had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul contributed 13 points and nine assists. The Hawks, coming off Tuesday night's one-point overtime loss at Denver, ended their longest road trip of the season 2-4. Joe Johnson led them with 19 points, and Josh Smith added 18. ZaZa Pachulia had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Caron Butler's only 3-pointer gave the Clippers their biggest lead at 61-48 with 6:32 left in the third quarter. They took a nine-point margin into the fourth before Atlanta closed to 74-69 with a pair of free throws by Smith on a clear-path foul, followed by Smith's 3-pointer with 10:50 to play. But that was as close as the Hawks got. Bledsoe converted a fastbreak layup off his steal of Tracy McGrady, Williams hit a 3-pointer, fan favorite Reggie Evans added a layup off an offensive rebound, and Bledsoe hit a 3 from right in front of the Atlanta bench to cap a 12-5 run and give Los Angeles an 86-74 cushion with 5:25 remaining. Smith got off to a good start, hitting five of his first six shots, but spent the final 7:18 of the first half on the bench with three fouls while Los Angeles capitalized and took a 50-42 halftime lead with 11 points from Williams. The Clippers never trailed, shooting 70.6 percent in the first quarter after connecting on their first seven field-goal attempts. NOTES: Atlanta is 68-57 since Larry Drew replaced Mike Woodson as coach at the start of last season. It is the second-best start by any of the 12 coaches the Hawks have had since the 1965-66 campaign, when the franchise was in St. Louis. The only one with a better record through his first 125 games was Lenny Wilkens (76-49). ... This was the third straight game in which the Clippers faced a team with a head coach that used to play for them. They lost 97-93 to Mark Jackson's Golden State Warriors on Sunday night and lost 94-84 to Doc Rivers' Boston Celtics on Monday. ... The Clippers have won eight of the last 10 games in which Williams attempted more than four free throws, and are 4-0 under those circumstances this season. In one of the two losses, he made all nine. ... The Clippers are 9-10 without injured G Chauncey Billups, who was averaging 15.0 points when he suffered a season-ending left Achilles injury. ... Paul has had at least one steal in 45 consecutive games, the league's longest current streak. ... Griffin became the first Clippers player this season with at least 100 turnovers when he stepped on the baseline with the ball in his hands near the Clippers' basket less than 3 12 minutes into the game. Griffin had a team-high 223 last season, when he was the league's rookie of the year.
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