Basketball / NBA / Red-hot Clippers extend record win streak
The Los Angeles Clippers close 2012 but not on a winning streak.
LOS ANGELES - The red-hot Los Angeles Clippers closed the books on 2012 but not on their winning streak.
Caron Butler buried all six of his threes en route to 29 points, Jamal Crawford scored 11 of his 19 in the final quarter and the Clippers extended their franchise-record winning streak to 17 Sunday night, 107-96 over the visiting Utah Jazz.
"You don't want to peak too early but we just feel we're playing a great brand of basketball, Clippers basketball," Butler said. "We're playing at a good pace and we're being led by our NBA candidate Chris Paul.
"We're sharing the ball and doing what's expected of us. We expect to win every night."
The Clippers completed a perfect December to join the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers and 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs as the only teams in NBA history to go 16-0 in a single month.
"We're pleased obviously finishing the month undefeated," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said "It wasn't an easy game tonight but we found a way like we have been this whole streak. I'm just proud of the guys the way they stuck together."
Paul had 19 points with nine assists but fellow All-Star Blake Griffin scored just seven in 25 foul-plagued minutes for the league-best Clippers (25-6 ), who beat the Jazz for the third time in the streak that began on November 28.
"It's been unreal how many different ways we've won and which guys have show up," Griffin said. "This is the most fun I've had playing basketball."
Al Jefferson netted 30 points and Gordon Hayward added 16 for the Jazz (15-17 ), losers of three straight and seven of nine.
The Clippers led 54-45 at halftime behind Butler who scored 17, including five threes in the opening quarter.
"Seventeen in a row is impressive and it's a tough feat," Barnes said. "It's still just December and we're going into a new year. We are playing good basketball and that's a positive note."
San Antonio Spurs 111, Dallas Mavericks 86: Frenchman Tony Parker had 21 points with nine assists, Argentine Manu Ginobili scored 20 and the visiting Spurs dealt the Mavericks their sixth straight setback in the wire-to-wire wipe-out.
Detroit Pistons 96, Milwaukee Bucks 94: Tayshaun Prince scored 20 points, including two free throws with 10.9 seconds left and the Pistons escaped the visiting Bucks after squandering a 14-point cushion.
Sacramento Kings 118, Boston Celtics 96: Isaiah Thomas tossed in 27 points, while DeMarcus Cousins collected his first career triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Kings sent the slumping Celtics to their third straight blowout road loss.