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.