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Griffin leads Clips past Cavs to 11th straight win

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2014 at 12:14 am •  Published: March 17, 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin entered the back half of his 20s with a birthday serenade from the crowd and another dynamic demonstration of why he's only getting better with age.

The Los Angeles Clippers' winning streak also gets a whole lot more impressive with every passing week.

Griffin had 21 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists on his 25th birthday, and the Clippers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-80 Sunday night for their 11th consecutive victory.

The Clippers' high-flying forward threw himself a nice little party: Griffin has scored at least 20 points in 26 consecutive games, a mark exceeded only by Kevin Durant this season.

"This stretch of games that we've played and we've been successful has been a huge team effort," Griffin said. "Guys have stepped up and really done their part. With our team, I don't think it's one guy that's making us go. I genuinely believe it's been a total team effort."

Yet Griffin is a clear driving force with his rapidly evolving all-around game. So is Chris Paul: The point guard had 15 assists and scored 11 of his 16 points in the final 6:04 for the Clippers, who haven't lost since Feb. 21.

The fans sang "Happy Birthday" to Griffin during a dead ball in the second quarter, and he gave a sheepish grin and a wave while waiting to inbound the ball.

He had already received a pregame song from rookie Reggie Bullock, who scored a career-high 14 points on his own 23rd birthday.

"It's probably like the 10th time he's had to do it this year, and he seems like he's getting worse," Griffin said dryly. "No enthusiasm. It's really bad. ... He's got a great personality. He just can't sing at all."

Luol Deng scored 23 points and Dion Waiters had 15 for the Cavaliers, who lost Kyrie Irving in the first quarter to a left biceps injury. Cleveland had won on its first two stops of a three-game West Coast road trip, but never led while Los Angeles matched the longest streak in the NBA this season, equaling 11-game runs in November by Portland and San Antonio.

"They're a great team," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "They've got a chance to win it all. I mean, you look how deep their roster is. They have playoff experience, they've got NBA All-Stars coming off the bench, and Doc is a great coach."

Irving, Cleveland's leader in scoring and assists, went to the Cavs' locker room late in the first quarter and didn't return. The All-Star Game MVP missed all five of his shots against the Clippers and was injured shortly before he left the game.

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