NBA: Butler, Clippers win 6th straight

2013-04-17T00:00:00Z NBA: Butler, Clippers win 6th straightThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LOS ANGELES - Caron Butler scored 18 of his 22 points in the third quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers routed Portland 93-77 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight victory.

Blake Griffin added 16 points, DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Chris Paul had 11 assists for the Pacific Division champions, who finished their home schedule with a 32-9 record. They end the regular season today at Sacramento, and another win would ensure the Clippers have home-court advantage to start the playoffs.

Will Barton scored 17 points, and Joel Freeland added 13 points for the Blazers, who never led while losing their 12th straight.

The Clippers were dominant in the paint (46-30) and on the boards (51-33) while wrapping up the season series 3-1.

Five of the previous six meetings between the teams in Los Angeles had been decided by 10 points or fewer. It was never that close after the second quarter, when the Clippers pulled away on the strength of their bench.

The reserves scored 15 consecutive points for a 45-29 lead, including five by Ryan Hollins. He and Jamal Crawford combined for the quarter's most spectacular play, with Crawford flipping a no-look pass to a streaking Hollins on the fast break for a driving jam. Hollins got fouled and completed the three-point play.

The starters returned for the final four minutes and sent the Clippers into the half leading 54-36.

Butler had the hot hand in the third, hitting four three-pointers in his first game since sitting out the second half at Memphis last weekend because of a sore right knee. Chauncey Billups returned to the starting lineup after missing eight games with a strained right groin. He had four points - all on free throws - while playing 17 minutes, just under the limit set for him.

• Raptors 113, Hawks 96: In Atlanta, DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Rudy Gay added 22, and Toronto ran all over playoff-bound Atlanta.

The Raptors made two-thirds of their shots in the first half, sprinting to a 68-51 lead as DeRozan scored 19 points and Gay chipped in with 17. Atlanta went mostly with backups, showing no sense of urgency to claim the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta fell into a tie with Chicago for the fifth spot. The teams finish the regular season today, with the Hawks traveling to New York to face the Knicks, while the Bulls are home against Washington. Chicago holds the tiebreaker.

Kyle Korver led the Hawks with 13 points, extending his three-point streak to 73 consecutive games.

Atlanta center Al Horford didn't play, sitting out because of soreness in the left side of his chest.

• Pacers at Celtics, canceled: In Boston, the Tuesday game against Indiana was canceled Monday night because of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The game will not be made up. Both teams have clinched playoff berths and are locked into certain seedings in the Eastern Conference.

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