Los Angeles, CA – Chris Paul scored 20 points and dished out eight assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 93-80 win over the shorthanded New York Knicks on Sunday.
Caron Butler scored 14 points and Blake Griffin scored 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Clippers, winners in seven of their last 10 games.
J.R. Smith scored a team-high 17 points but was a dismal 4-for-20 from field goal range and Raymond Felton added 16 points and nine assists for the Knicks, who were without All-Stars Carmelo Anthony (knee) and Tyson Chandler (knee).
Chris Copeland added 13 points for the Knicks, who have dropped four straight.
"Our shot selection wasn't good," New York head coach Mike Woodson said. "When we had looks, we couldn't make shots."
The Knicks jumped out to a 15-9 lead in the first quarter, but the Clippers scored seven straight to take a 16-15 lead with just over four minutes left in the frame. Matt Barnes nailed a triple with just over a minute left to give Los Angeles a 21-17 edge and the hosts held a 21-18 lead after the first 12 minutes.
The Knicks stayed within striking distance throughout the second quarter, trailing by no more than five until Paul's jumper with nine-tenths of a second left in the half made it 44-37.
The Clippers' lead swelled to 19 points in the third, but the Knicks closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to pull within 72-60 entering the final stanza.
Los Angeles pushed its lead to 19 points several times throughout the fourth quarter, but the Knicks used a 12-3 run to pull within 84-74 with 4:25 left.
A pair of Smith free throws made it 89-80 with just under two minutes to go, but New York failed to score the rest of the way.
"Coach (Vinny Del Negro) got on us at halftime. We needed to get out and run so we pushed the tempo and picked up the intensity in the second half," Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said.
Chauncey Billups and Crawford finished with 12 points apiece ... The Clippers outscored the Knicks by a 40-20 margin in the paint ... The Knicks went 29- for-81 from the field.