Notebook: Clippers 93, Hornets 77



Posted Dec 20, 2012 1:50 AM

By Dan Arritt, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Clippers had plenty of motivation Wednesday night against the visiting Hornets. Not only was L.A. trying to match its franchise record by winning its 11th straight game, but the Clippers were eager to beat the last team that defeated them. They accomplished both with another one-sided display of fast break and above-the-rim play, allowing them to pull away from New Orleans in the second half and win, 93-77, at Staples Center.

THE STAT: Clippers point guard Chris Paul finished with 10 points and 12 assists, becoming the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 5,000 assists. The players ahead of him on that list are Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, both Hall of Famers.

QUOTABLE: "The food tastes better, the music sounds better. ...everything is a little bit better when you're winning."
-- Chris Paul

TURNING POINT: Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro called timeout after the Hornets scored seven unanswered points early in the third quarter to pull within five. The players apparently got the message as they outscored New Orleans, 13-3, over the next five minutes and the Hornets never climbed back within single digits.

HOT: Clippers forward Matt Barnes has been somewhat overshadowed this season by fellow bench players Jamal Crawford, Eric Bledsoe and even Lamar Odom, but he's quietly stringing together one of the best seasons in his 10-year career. He scored 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting against the Hornets, the fifth straight game he has finished in double figures and the ninth time in the last 11 games he has reached that mark. The Clippers are 13-0 this season when Barnes scores in double digits while coming off the bench.

NOT: New Orleans reserve forward Ryan Anderson entered the game on pace to break the NBA single-season record for 3-pointers, which was set by Ray Allen during the 2005-06 season (269). Anderson hit a speed bump in that pursuit against the Clippers, missing all eight attempts from 3-point range, the first time since last April that he has gone without a 3-pointer.

GOOD MOVE: Paul jokingly gave teammate Blake Griffin a hard time when he didn't throw him a lob pass late in a one-sided victory Monday in Detroit, instead dunking the ball himself. Paul got a rare chance to show what he could do during a third-quarter fast break, rising up for a two-handed dunk and then hanging on the rim for good measure. The dunk capped the decisive 13-3 run.

QUOTABLE II: "You saw how I had to help him down?"
-- Blake Griffin on Paul's dunk.

BAD MOVE: Hornets forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who came to New Orleans as part of the trade for Paul, was the only available player for the Hornets who did not play. Aminu has steadily slid deeper into the doghouse of coach Monty Williams, and the recent acquisition of Dominic McGuire has dropped Aminu further down the depth chart. McGuire didn't do much to maintain that edge, however, missing all three of his field-goal attempts and going scoreless in 19 minutes.

NOTABLE: The last time the Clippers and Hornets played, they combined to make 33-for-62 from 3-point range, the most 3-pointers made in regulation in NBA history. They combined to shoot 6-for-39 on Wednesday. The two by New Orleans were a season low. ... Over the previous 10 games, the Clippers averaged 11 turnovers, second-fewest in the NBA during that span. They committed 12 against the Hornets. ... The Hornets did not have a fast-break point until scoring two in the third quarter. They finished with four.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Friday vs. Sacramento, Sunday @ Phoenix, Tuesday vs. Denver. For the Hornets, Friday @ San Antonio, Saturday vs. Indiana, Wednesday @ Orlando.