Point guard Chris Paul had 25 points as the Los Angeles Clippers recorded a 114-111 overtime victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday at Staples Center to notch their ninth successive win.
Guard Jamal Crawford contributed 21 points for the Clippers (25-13), who had seven players reach double digits in scoring.
Blake Griffin missed his eighth consecutive game with a quadriceps injury, but his absence has not hurt the Clippers.
“I keep saying this … this isn’t our team until (Griffin) gets back,” said Paul of his injured team mate.
“We are happy that we are winning games. We want to continue to try to keep winning games and build our team as much as possible, but this is not our team without (number) 32.”
Guard Jrue Holiday had a game-high 29 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Pelicans (11-25) who slumped to their third successive loss. Guard Tyreke Evans finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Forward Ryan Anderson, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, missed a game-tying three-pointer near the final horn.
“We battled hard today,” said Anderson, who scored 12 of his points in the first half. “It’s frustrating to lose a close one, but you can’t knock the effort.”
Davis, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, missed the game with a back contusion suffered in Friday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers.
In overtime, consecutive three-pointers by Johnson and Paul put Los Angeles up 111-106 with 1:15 remaining. It turned into a free-throw parade from that point on, with Mbah a Moute hitting one of two with 20 seconds left to give the Clippers a 113-109 lead.
Evans made two foul shots to slice the lead to two, but Johnson hit one of two foul shots for a three-point cushion with 10.4 seconds left before Anderson failed to connect on his last-gasp three-point attempt.
“If you can weather the storm and learn lessons and win, then it’s a lot better than trying to learn in losses,” said Crawford, who hit eight of 16 shots from the floor and three of seven three-pointers.
“We went through a stretch where we messed up some plays, missed some shots and couldn’t make plays on defense. Yet, we still found a way to win.”
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan missed a game-winning shot just before the final horn in regulation, forcing overtime.