Clippers beat Wolves 120-116 in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2013 at 1:28 am •  Published: December 23, 2013
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The situation looked bleak at best for the coach Doc Rivers' Clippers — down by four points with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Then a couple of defensive stops, a huge turnover by Minnesota's Kevin Martin, and two clutch baskets by Jamal Crawford forced overtime.

That's where Jared Dudley and Chris Paul took over. Dudley made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining in OT and Paul added five free throws in the final 19 seconds, leading Los Angeles to a 120-116 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

"The biggest thing we learned as a team from Doc is, even in practice, he talks about 'The game is not over," Paul said. "When we got down three or four there with seconds left, we could've said we lost this one. But we fought hard."

Blake Griffin had 32 points and 10 rebounds and was 10 for 11 from the free throw line before fouling out with 4:08 left in OT. The defending Pacific Division champions extended their winning streak to a season-best five games while beating the Timberwolves for the eighth straight time, their longest current streak against any opponent.

Jamal Crawford had 22 points for Los Angeles, 7-4 since losing starting forward J.J. Redick with a broken right hand and a torn ligament in his wrist but 5-0 since Crawford was moved into the starting lineup. Paul finished with 19 points and 13 assists.

Kevin Love had a season-high 45 points and tied a season best with 19 rebounds for the Timberwolves, back at Staples Center after their 104-91 loss to the Lakers on Friday night. It was Minnesota's first overtime game since beating Orlando at home on opening night.

"We just blew it. Blew the game. I don't know how else to say it. We blew the game," Love said.

Nikola Pekovic had a career-high 34 points and 14 boards. Martin scored 16 points after averaging 29 in the Timberwolves' other two meetings against the Clippers — also narrow losses. Point guard Ricky Rubio played 38 scoreless minutes with 12 assists.

"It was a tough loss for a lot of reasons. That's all I have to say," coach Rick Adelman said. "I don't want to say anything. I don't want to get fined."

"We need to know how to win and play hard all the way to the end," Pekovic said. "Winning is a habit, like everything else. We still need to get over the hump to learn how to close out these games."

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