Paul helps lift Clippers past Bobcats 100-94

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm •  Published: December 12, 2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chris Paul isn't sure when the Los Angeles Clippers will lose again.

For now he's not going to think about and just enjoy the ride.

Paul had 19 points and 10 assists as the Clippers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 100-94 Wednesday night for their eighth straight win, their longest streak in 21 seasons.

"It's cool," Paul said. "It just means we're playing all right now. But we're not satisfied. We have to keep playing the right way and keep this thing going. Sometimes you're going to win and play bad and sometimes you're going to play well and lose. For us it's all about being consistent."

Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes also scored 19 points in a balanced scoring attack for the Clippers, who maintained sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.

It was by no means a thing of beauty as the Clippers struggled to put the Bobcats away one night after a tough win in Chicago.

"It was kind of one of those grind-it-out games," Griffin said. "But those are the type of games you have to win if you're going to be a great team."

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said his team certainly didn't play its best game by any stretch, but left thrilled to extend the win streak — Los Angeles' longest since an eight-game run during the 1991-92 season.

"I think it's a good sign for us that we're finding ways to win," Del Negro said. "Everyone is contributing, locking really hard when we need to and making sure we're consistent on some things. We just got to get a little sharper.

"You know we missed a lot of easy shots tonight, a lot of layups, a lot of floaters, a lot of fast breaks — things we usually convert. But we battled. We got stops at the end and that is what counts."

Byron Mullens had 19 points and eight rebounds and Kemba Walker chipped in with 17 points to lead the Bobcats, who have lost nine straight since starting the season 7-5.

Charlotte trailed 78-71 entering the fourth quarter and got as close as three before Barnes scored on a fast break dunk off an alley-oop pass from Jamal Crawford. Barnes followed up by knocking down a 3-pointer from the corner on the next possession to push the lead back to eight.

Charlotte could never make another serious run at the lead getting no closer than five due in large part to shooting just 32 percent from the field in the final period. The Bobcats also turned it over three times in the fourth, leading to seven points for the Clippers.