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LA Clippers continue NBA win streak
08:14 AEST Tue Jan 1 2013

Caron Butler drained six three-point shots and scored 29 points on Sunday as the Los Angeles Clippers wrapped up a perfect December with a 107-96 NBA victory over the Utah Jazz.

The Clippers stretched their club record-winning streak to 17 games. They also joined the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs as the only NBA teams to go 16-0 in a single calendar month.

"We don't talk about it - it just happens," Clippers forward Blake Griffin said of the winning streak. "It's a tribute to everybody. It's unreal how many different ways we've won."

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, who played on that '95-'96 Spurs team, said it was important that the streak does not obscure the ultimate goal of making a title run in the playoffs.

"Obviously, the streak is great. Don't get me wrong," he said. "But we're thinking bigger than the streak.

"We're thinking about the improvement throughout the season, handling the ups and downs."

On Sunday, it was Butler's turn to lead the way. He made all six of his attempts from three-point range and shot 10-of-14 from the floor overall.

Chris Paul contributed 19 points with nine assists and five steals and Jamal Crawford added 19 points off the bench.

Utah's Al Jefferson had 30 points that included 13 in the third quarter, when the Jazz mounted a rally that ultimately failed.

When the two teams met on Friday in Salt Lake City, the Clippers overcame a 19-point third-quarter deficit to win by two points.

On their home floor on Sunday, the Clippers led 71-59 in the third before Jefferson keyed a scoring run in which the Jazz seized a 76-75 lead.

Paul, however, made two free throws to spark a 6-0 run for the Clippers, who did not let the lead get away from them again.

Elsewhere on Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs inflicted a sixth-straight defeat on Dallas 111-86, while Detroit edged Milwaukee in a tight one and Boston's unimpressive road form continued with a defeat by the Sacramento Kings.

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.

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.

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 past seven.

In the Celtics' trip to California to face the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State and Sacramento, they were outscored by an aggregate of 69 points in losing all three.

Paul Pierce and Jason Terry both scored 20 points for Boston.


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