NBA: LA Clippers beat injury-hit New York Knicks at Staples Center
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 17/03/13 10:34pm
Chris Paul: Led the way for the LA Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers took advantage of the New York Knicks' injury problems to win out 93-80 in a battle between two division leaders at the Staples Center.
The Knicks slipped to a fourth straight defeat as they had to play without All Star duo Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony - who both had to miss the game due to injury.
Pacific leaders the Clippers responded to a mid-week defeat with a victory that puts them back into third place in the overall Western Conference standings - the same place the Knicks now occupy in the Eastern table.
Chris Paul was the architect of the victory for the Clippers, as he recorded 20 points and eight assists, while Caron Butler added a further 14 points.
The hosts gradually cruised ahead of the Knicks by outscoring them in each quarter - with Blake Griffin enjoying a good night with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Without Chandler and Anthony, JR Smith and Raymond Felton led the attack for the Knicks, scoring 17 and 16 points respectively, but they came up just short.
Defeat leaves New York on 38-26 for the season and sees their lead in the Atlantic Division cut down to just half a game, with the Brooklyn Nets able to overhaul that later on Sunday.
A first home win over the Knicks in just over four years moves the Clippers on to 46-21 and moves them nine games ahead of Golden State in the Pacific Division standings.