Clippers complete rare perfect month
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers became just the third NBA team in history to record a perfect record in a calendar month, notching their 17th straight win by defeating the Utah Jazz 107-96 on Sunday.
The Clippers went 16-0 in December to join the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs and 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers as the only teams to go undefeated in a month. Their franchise-record winning streak is the longest in the NBA since Boston won 19 in a row four years ago.
Elsewhere on Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs inflicted a sixth-straight defeat on Dallas, while Detroit edged Milwaukee in a tight one and Boston’s unimpressive road form continued with a defeat by the Sacramento Kings.
Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to guide the Clippers home while Caron Butler led the team with 29 points, making all six of his 3-pointers.
Al Jefferson scored 30 points — one off his season high — to lead Utah, which lost for the third time during the Clippers’ streak.
San Antonio led from start to finish against Dallas, with Tony Parker having 21 points and nine assists and Manu Ginobili making several key baskets among his 20 points.
Darren Collison scored 18 points for the Mavericks, whose six-game skid is their longest since January of their championship season in 2010-11. Dirk Nowitzki had just eight points as he works back to fitness after knee surgery.
Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince made two free throws with 10.9 seconds left to give the Pistons a 96-94 win over the Bucks, escaping with victory despite having blown a 14-point lead.
Prince scored 20 points, and Greg Monroe added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which had five players in double figures.
Monta Ellis had 30 points and nine assists for Milwaukee.
Sacramento and Boston appear to be two teams headed in separate directions after the Kings’ 118-96 win over the Celtics.
Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points and made one of Sacramento’s two four-point plays in the second half while John Salmons added 23 points off the bench for the Kings, who ended the calendar year by winning their sixth home game out of the last seven.
The Celtics’ trip to California to face the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State and Sacramento saw them get outscored by an aggregate of 69 points in losing all three.
Paul Pierce and Jason Terry both scored 20 points for Boston.