NBA: Clippers beat Warriors to stay hot on Lakers’ heels

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LOS ANGELES – Chris Paul scored 28 points and Blake Griffin added 20 to power the Los Angeles Clippers past Golden State 112-104 on Saturday, the winners holding their own in the NBA’s tightest divisional fight.

The Clippers won their third game in a row and improved to 37-23, just off the Pacific division pace of the Los Angeles Lakers, who are 38-22. Each team has six games remaining in the lockout-shortened regular season.

The Clippers have the best record outside the division leaders in the Western Conference, which would be enough for the fourth seed in the West playoffs and a first-round home-court edge if they keep the spot.

Not since 2006 have the Clippers appeared in the NBA playoffs. That year they won their only playoff series, ousting Denver in round one. Before 2006, the Clippers had not reached the playoffs since 1997.

Paul had a game-high 13 assists while Griffin grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

The Warriors, who fell to 22-37 and were already out of playoff contention, were led by Nate Robinson’s 28 points plus 24 from Klay Thompson and 23 from Dorell Wright.

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