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NBA -- Pacers deal Clippers another tough loss


PhilBoxing.com




SAN FRANCISCO -- After squandering a 24-point third quarter lead, the Indiana Pacers toughened down the stretch and managed to hold off the rallying L.A. Clippers - 109-106 -- Monday night at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

It was another devastating loss for the Clippers, who lost three straight and four of their last five. With a 49-26 slate, the Clips are still ranked fourth in the Western Conference because they are Pacific Division leaders, but if the playoffs were to begin today they won't have homecourt advantage against the 5th-ranked Memphis Grizzlies (50-24).

"Winning is contagious. I think we need to get that feeling back. Once you lose, you forget quickly what it's like to win," Clippers guard Chris Paul, who was held to 10 points on 2-for-12 shooting, told NBA.com.

After nearly blowing away a 79-55 lead with 3:27 left in the third quarter, the Pacers salvaged the victory when David West sank a jumper that gave Indiana a 101-97 cushion in the final 48.5 seconds. The Clippers got two good chances to send the game into overtime but they missed two three-point attempts as time expired.

Center Roy Hibbert paced the Pacers with 26 points and 10 rebounds while point guard Paul George had 23 points and 10 assists. West added 16 while George Hill and Lance Stephenson had 13 apiece. After jumping to a 10-0 start, Indiana led 51-43 at the half and 81-65 entering the fourth quarter.

Jamal Crawford finished with 25 points off the bench for Los Angeles and Blake Griffin added 17 and five rebounds. (JSM)

Photo: Clippers forward Blake Griffin (L) battles with Pacers' David West in Monday night's action at Staples Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joan Secuya-Medida.


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