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Sunday, December 9, 2012 - Page updated at 10:00 p.m.
Jamal Crawford helps Los Angeles Clippers win 5th in a row | NBA
By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — The bench bailed out the Clippers again.
Jamal Crawford led a fourth-quarter rally with 13 of his 21 points, and Los Angeles beat Phoenix 117-99 Saturday, winning its fifth in a row while sending the Suns to their season-worst sixth straight loss.
"Thank the bench because the starters were struggling," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "They got us off to a bad start again. Our starters get into this energy on the offense and not on the defense. This game easily could have gone the other way."
Crawford, a graduate of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, made all four of his free throws to extend his streak to 55 in a row since Nov. 3.
Blake Griffin scored 24 points and Chris Paul contributed 16 points and 11 assists, but reserves carried the Pacific Division leaders.
The Clippers broke out in the final quarter and reserves scored every point. They opened with a 17-4 run in which Crawford scored 11 points on a variety of shots.
Reserve Michael Beasley scored 21 points for Phoenix, which hadn't lost six in a row since March 2009.
"In this league, no one's going to help us and no one feels sorry for you," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "It's not a pity league."
Rockets can't hold Mayo
HOUSTON — O.J. Mayo tied a career high with 40 points to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 116-109 victory over the Rockets in coach Kevin McHale's return to the Houston bench.
James Harden of the Rockets had 30 points at halftime and finished with 39.
McHale rejoined the team after almost a month away, and two weeks after the death of his daughter. Alexandra "Sasha" McHale died of complications from Lupus. She was 23.
Many of the Mavericks went over to McHale and hugged or patted him after introductions.
"I don't know if there is a playbook about this, but I'm excited to be back," McHale said.
Houston was 7-6 under interim coach Kelvin Sampson, a former Washington State coach.
• Marco Belinelli and Luol Deng scored 22 points apiece as the host Chicago Bulls beat the Knicks 93-85, snapping New York's five-game winning streak.
• David Lee had 24 points and 17 rebounds, former Washington State standout Klay Thompson added 23 points and the Golden State Warriors beat the Washington Wizards 101-97. Golden State has won the first three games on a trip for the first time since February 2003.
• Josh Smith scored 24 points as Atlanta beat host Memphis 93-83 for its ninth victory in 10 games.
• Defending champion Miami, which lost its previous two games, beat visiting New Orleans 106-90.
• League-leading San Antonio made a franchise-record 19 three-point shots in a 132-102 romp at Charlotte.
• DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds to help Sacramento beat the Trail Blazers 99-80 in Portland.
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