Paul, Redick carry Clippers to win over Bucks

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[December 17, 2015]  LOS ANGELES -- Despite losing center DeAndre Jordan to an ejection midway through the third quarter, the Los Angeles Clippers had little trouble handling the road-challenged Milwaukee Bucks.

Point guard Chris Paul had 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds and guard J.J. Redick contributed 19 points, and the Clippers coasted to a 103-90 victory over the Bucks at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

"Our guys made some big shots," said Paul, who hit seven of his 12 attempts from the floor and three of four 3-pointers. "J.J. got it going early, and our defense was the key as it is every night."

Forward Blake Griffin added 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Clippers (16-10), who have won nine of their last 11 contests. Forward Josh Smith came off the bench to score 13 points for Los Angeles.

Guards Michael Carter-Williams and O.J. Mayo each scored 17 points to pace the Bucks (10-17), who lost their 11th consecutive road game. Forwards Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker had 15 and 14 points, respectively.

"In the third quarter, they made a lot of plays," said Mayo, who scored 12 of his points in the second half and also had six assists. "Josh Smith made some shots that gave a little separation going into the fourth. I think they made a lot more winning plays than we did down the stretch."

Milwaukee played again without center/forward Greg Monroe, who sat out his second straight game after an MRI revealed a medial collateral sprain in his left knee. Monroe is expected to miss at least a week.

Meanwhile, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was tossed by referee Marc Davis at 6:49 of the third quarter after Jordan pursued Davis from one end of the court to the other to protest a call, earning a pair of technicals. Jordan had nine points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes before departing. The Clippers, though, didn't miss him much, as Smith picked up the slack.

They led by double digits for much of the second half before the Bucks made a run in the final quarter. Milwaukee pulled within seven on three occasions in the fourth but failed to get any closer.

"The guys played hard, they tried and the ball did not fall for us," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said.

Shooting boosted Los Angeles to a 54-43 cushion at the break. The Clippers outshot the Bucks 51.4 percent to 41.3 in the first half and converted four of eight 3-pointers to two of eight for Milwaukee. Overall, the Clippers made 48 percent of their shots compared to 43.2 for the Bucks. They hit 11 of 21 (52.4 percent) from behind the 3-point stripe compared to five of 16 (31.3 percent) for Milwaukee.

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"We just tried to shrink the court on their scorers," Paul said. "Michael Carter-Williams is a good player; he's a driver. They have a lot of slashers as well. We tried to not let O.J. get going and to stop Middleton. We just tried to slow those guys down as much as we could."

The Bucks won the battle in points in the paint 54-38. However, they managed just 11 free-throw attempts, making nine (81.8 percent), to 20 of 24 (83.3 percent) for the Clippers.

"I thought we played in spurts at times, but overall I liked our strategy," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "It was one of those games that you felt we could pull away but we never did. They played extremely hard. They were very competitive."

Clippers forward Paul Pierce topped 26,000 points for his career. Pierce hit a step-back jumper at the end of the first quarter to reach the mark. The 16th all-time leading scorer, Pierce trailed Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, his former teammate with the Boston Celtics, by 23 points entering Wednesday's game. Pierce finished with six points against Milwaukee.

NOTES: Bucks coach Jason Kidd altered his starting lineup with C/F Greg Monroe (left knee MCL sprain) out for the second game in a row. Kidd used C Miles Plumlee, who started for Monroe, and G Michael Carter-Williams, who replaced F Giannis Antetokounmpo, with G O.J. Mayo, F Khris Middleton and F Jabari Parker. ... F Luc Mbah a Moute continues to receive praise from Clippers coach Doc Rivers despite his limited offensive production as a starter. "Luc is just good. He's a great defensive player," Rivers said. Mbah a Moute was averaging 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game before Wednesday. ... Milwaukee visits the Golden State Warriors on Friday. ... Los Angeles hits the road for back-to-back contests against the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets on Friday and Saturday.

[ 2015 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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