Clippers 111, Bucks 85

The Los Angeles Clippers have a solid starting five and a deep
bench. On Saturday night, it was Matt Barnes’ turn to lead the way
to another victory.

Barnes scored 21 points, Blake Griffin had 18 points and 11
rebounds and the Clippers routed the cold-shooting Milwaukee Bucks
111-85 for their ninth consecutive victory.

DeAndre Jordan added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles
(17-6), which had lost three in a row in Milwaukee. Griffin had
three spectacular dunks in a brief stretch in the third
quarter.

It’s the longest winning streak for the franchise since the
Buffalo Braves captured 11 in a row during the 1974-75 season.

”It’s not easy to win in this league but I’m pleased,”
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. ”We’re finding different ways
to win.”

Del Negro, like many of the Clippers’ players in the locker room
after the game, stressed the importance of not looking too far
ahead or being absorbed by thoughts of an extended playoff run.

”We are definitely super talented and our bench helps us win a
lot of games,” Jordan said. ”If we can stay healthy and continue
to do what we are doing, we’ll be OK.”

Barnes was 8 for 10 from the field and 5 for 6 at the free throw
line. The reserve also had four assists and two steals.

”Matt keeps moving. He’s a runner,” Del Negro said. ”He does
a really good job defensively. He’s been very consistent for us in
his effort and his energy and he’s really helping out that second
group a lot.”

Barnes acknowledged that many of his points came in transition
and not from set plays.

”If you run hard you’re going to get rewarded,” he said. ”A
lot of it is just hustle.”

The Bucks (12-10), who had won four in a row, shot 36 percent
from the field.

”That’s a very talented team. If you’re going to compete with
them, you need a superior effort and we had an inferior effort
tonight,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. ”We were flat-footed the
whole night and gave up 66 points in the paint. We got caught
ball-watching a couple of times and just generally weren’t very
competitive.”

Many of the Bucks’ missed shots led to easy baskets for the
Clippers, who had 31 fast-break points.

”We took some bad shots in the paint and they bounced out a
ways and then (the Clippers) were off and running,” Skiles said.
”They’re almost unbeatable when that’s the case.”

Slowing down the Clippers on offense goes beyond focusing on
playmaking guard Chris Paul, said Marquis Daniel, who led Milwaukee
with 16 points.

”We have to get back in transition,” Daniels said. ”Their
bigs were the ones getting out in transition, getting dunks and
layups. That’s their game. You have to take that away from
them.”

Monta Ellis had 13 for the Bucks, but went 4 for 14 from the
floor. Brandon Jennings was held to nine points on 3-for-13
shooting.

The Clippers put together a 20-6 surge to build a 28-15 lead
after one. Jordan had eight points in the first.

The Bucks scored the first seven points of the second period,
including back-to-back 3-pointers by Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard
Mbah a Moute. Milwaukee was down six at 32-26 when the Clippers
scored 23 of the final 32 points of the quarter to lead 55-35 at
the break.

The Bucks shot just 26.2 percent from the floor in the over the
first two quarters, compared with 52.5 percent for the
Clippers.

Milwaukee outscored Los Angeles 27-24 in the third but the
Clippers still held a 17 point lead at the end of the period.

Both teams played their reserves throughout most of the final
quarter.

”Our starters got off to a very good start for us and then our
bench came in and extended it,” Del Negro said. ”We took control
of the game in the first half and we weathered the storm in the
third quarter.”

NOTES: A moment of silence was held in memory of the victims in
the elementary school shooting in Connecticut on Friday. … Bucks
forward Mike Dunleavy, still feeling the effects of a bone bruise
to a knee, sat out again. Dunleavy has missed six of Milwaukee’s
last seven games. ”He tried a little bit this morning and just
didn’t feel like it was right yet,” Skiles said. Beno Udrih
(sprained right ankle) and Tobias Harris (lacerated right elbow)
also didn’t suit up. … The shooting struggles for the Bucks
rookie G Doron Lamb continued. Over the past three games, Lamb is 3
for 24 from the field. Lamb missed his first six shots from the
field on Saturday before converting a layup late in the second
quarter.