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Clippers, Lakers battle for LA bragging rights

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers didn't need much help from their bench to keep a winning streak intact and look to make it six in a row Thursday against the local Lakers.

The Clippers handed the Phoenix Suns a 104-96 loss on Tuesday, as all five starters scored in double digits. Matt Barnes led the bunch with 28 points, Blake Griffin followed with 22 and Darren Collison ended with 18 points.

"Matt Barnes kept us in the game the way he was shooting the ball and we got stops and that's when we really got back in the game. It was intense." said Griffin.

DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while Chris Paul had 14 points and nine assists for the Clippers, who have won five in a row and eight of their last 10 contests. The Clippers have won five straight on three separate occasions this season.

The Clippers' bench had just 12 points and was without top reserve Jamal Crawford (calf), who has missed back-to-back games and is questionable against the Lakers. Crawford is averaging 19.0 points this season

Clippers forward Jared Dudley is questionable Thursday because of back spasms.

Meanwhile, Griffin needs 30 rebounds for 3,000 in his career and has scored 20 or more points in his last 20 games. He passed Dominique Wilkins for the most consecutive games with 20-plus points since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984-85. Bob McAdoo holds the franchise record with 57 such games.

Griffin is averaging 27.8 points during his 20-game streak for the Clippers, who have won three in a row on the road and are 17-15 as the guest. They are 25-11 against Western Conference opponents and have scored 107.2 ppg this season.

Griffin was named Western Conference Player of the Month for February.

Los Angeles will start a three-game homestand Saturday versus Atlanta, Phoenix and Golden State.

The Lakers had a two-game win streak stopped their last time out with a 132-125 decision versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

Pau Gasol had 29 points and 12 rebounds, Kent Bazemore scored 23 and Jordan Farmar added 20 points and eight assists for the Lakers, losers in four of six and eight of their last 11 games.

The Lakers trailed 35-23 after the first quarter and 67-51 at halftime. A second-half surge (74-65) wasn't enough and the Lakers shot 54.1 percent.

"We kind of had an emotional hangover to start. Took us at least two quarters to get into anybody. You've got to every night bring it," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "It's our fault. We can defend a whole heck of a lot better than that."

D'Antoni's squad is 10-19 at home and will visit Denver on Friday.

The Lakers have allowed 100 or more points in four straight and eight of nine games, while the Clippers have posted that many in five in a row and 12 of 13.

The Clippers and Lakers have split two meetings this season and will meet again April 6. The Clippers have lost 10 of their last 12 at the Lakers.