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Clippers rally past Hornets

Apr 23, 2012 - 5:09 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied past the New Orleans Hornets, 107-98, at Staples Center.

Paul added 13 assists and eight steals, while Randy Foye had 24 points and Blake Griffin contributed 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Clippers, who kept pace with the Lakers for the top spot in the Pacific Division and third seed in the Western Conference after the Lakers defeated the Thunder in double overtime earlier Sunday.

The Lakers hold a half-game lead over their Los Angeles counterparts. The Clippers have two games left, while the Lakers have one game remaining.

"A win is a win, we have to keep fighting. We control our own destiny," said Paul.

Eric Gordon scored 17 points, Al-Farouq Aminu netted 14 and Jason Smith finished with 13 for New Orleans, which lost for the second time in three games.

New Orleans trailed 57-52 at the half, but shot 73.7 percent from the floor in the third quarter to take control.

After Paul's layup put the Clippers on top, 61-58, early in the third, the Hornets reeled off a 12-4 run to take a 70-65 advantage for their first lead since holding a 2-1 edge in the first quarter.

A Griffin layup followed by a Paul technical free throw soon after brought the Clippers within 72-70, but New Orleans responded with an 11-2 push to stretch its lead up to double digits and the Hornets carried an 84-74 advantage into the fourth quarter.

New Orleans' lead reached a game-high 13 points less than a minute into the fourth after a pair of Landry free throws gave the Hornets an 87-74 edge.

But it was all Los Angeles from there as the Clippers ripped off a 26-8 run that was capped by a thunderous alley-oop dunk by Griffin for a 100-95 lead with just under two minutes remaining.

A pair of free throws by Gordon closed the gap to 101-98 a little later, but New Orleans would get no closer than that for the rest of the game as the Clippers pulled away from the foul line as the Hornets turned the ball over in each of their last three possessions.

"It was a tough fourth quarter. We handed the game to them," Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We played hard and we came out short. They played hard and got the win, give them credit."

The Clippers opened the game with a 19-8 run that was capped by Griffin's three-point play to gain the early advantage and they maintained at least a seven-point edge over the next three minutes until New Orleans closed out the first with a 10-4 spurt to trail, 32-27, entering the second quarter.

Los Angeles then kept the Hornets at arm's length for the majority of the second until a 6-0 push by the Clippers regained their double-digit advantage, 53-43.

New Orleans, though, battled back again, using a 9-4 swing over the final three minutes of the half to take a 57-52 deficit into the break.

Game Notes

Clippers starting forward Caron Butler suffered a left hip contusion late in the first quarter and did not return...Los Angeles held a 39-36 edge on the glass but were outscored in the paint, 46-34...New Orleans turned the ball over 19 times, resulting in 23 points for the Clippers...The Hornets scored 11 points off 11 Los Angeles turnovers.