Crawford leads Clippers to 10th straight win
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Jamal Crawford scored 15 points and Chris Paul added 14 to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to their 10th straight win, 88-76 over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.
Blake Griffin had 15 points for Los Angeles, which had five players in double figures. Griffin had two breakaway dunks in the last 30 seconds, one on a pass banked off the backboard by Crawford.
Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 16 points and Tayshaun Prince added 15. Detroit has lost five straight.
Both teams struggled with their shots in the first half. The Clippers took a 42-40 lead into the intermission despite shooting just 39 percent. Detroit hit 42.5 percent of its shots, but managed only one free throw and two offensive rebounds. The Clippers tried for the last shot of the half, but Prince stole the ball and two quick passes gave Greg Monroe a wide-open layup at the buzzer.
Los Angeles got things in gear in the third quarter, quickly taking a 12-point advantage, but Griffin went to the bench with four fouls and Detroit was able to work its way back. The Pistons pulled to 63-60 at quarter's end behind 13 points from Prince, but couldn't keep up the pressure.
Detroit committed three turnovers in four possessions and Jason Maxiell missed a pair of free throws on the fourth, allowing Los Angeles to take an 11-point advantage with 6:45 to play. Brandon Knight also missed a technical foul free throw down the stretch.
The Pistons kept up the pressure, pulling down four offensive rebounds on one possession in the last 90 seconds, but couldn't hit enough shots to make a serious rally.
NOTES: Former Pistons All-Stars Chauncey Billups (foot) and Grant Hill (knee) were both inactive for the Clippers, while Rodney Stuckey (back spasms) missed the game for Detroit. Billups, the MVP of Detroit's championship win in 2004, received a loud "Chaun-Cey!" chant from the crowd during a fourth-quarter timeout. ... Several members of the University of Michigan football team attended the game, including team captains Denard Robinson and Jordan Kovacs. Robinson, who hasn't throw a pass since late October due to an elbow injury, tossed a Nerf football to the Pistons mascot during a timeout.
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