LOS ANGELES — Fifteen and counting.
That’s how the Los Angeles Clippers are rolling.
The Clippers won their NBA-best 15th consecutive game by running over the Boston Celtics, 106-77, on Thursday night at Staples Center. That is the largest margin of victory for a Los Angeles Clippers team over Boston.
The Clippers won a game with just one of their starters (Willie Green) playing in the fourth quarter and without Chris Paul having one of his better games.
The two leading scorers were reserves Matt Barnes (21 points) and Jamal Crawford (18), and that was a big reason why the Clippers still have the best record in the NBA at 23-6, a half-game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As for the Clippers’ starters, Paul had just eight points, missing eight of his 11 shots. But he did have 11 assists and two steals.
Blake Griffin had 15 points and eight rebounds and Caron Butler was solid with 14 points for a game the Clippers basically put away in the third quarter when they extended their lead to 21 points.
The last team to win 15 consecutive games or more was the Celtics during the 2008-09 season, when they won 19 straight.
This winning streak started in late November, so the Clippers haven’t lost a game in December, winning 14 consecutive games.
They last lost a game on Nov. 26, at home against the New Orleans Hornets.
The Celtics had said before the game that they didn’t want the Clippers to get a lot of dunks.
So when Griffin went up for one of his emphatic dunk attempts with 4 minutes 48 seconds left in the third, Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger fouled Griffin hard, drawing a flagrant foul one.
That little dust-up seemed to get the Clippers rolling again.
Griffin made just one of two free throws, but then he forced Paul Pierce into a tie-up for a jump ball.
Griffin won the tip, which led to a three-pointer by Paul for a 76-57 Clippers lead.
Then Lamar Odom blocked Pierce’s shot, leading to another tie-up.
Odom won that jump ball, which led to a Butler basket over Kevin Garnett and a 78-57 Clippers lead late in the third quarter.
The Celtics are one of the NBA’s historic franchises, but Boston (14-14) is struggling now, and the Clippers are playing some of the best basketball in the NBA.
“This is now and this is a new time for the organization and team," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We expect to win, but in order to do that, we have to go out there and perform at a high level and play the right way and play the way we’re capable of. If we do that, good opportunities will present themselves."
The Clippers put themselves in good position from the very beginning.
They ran out to a 24-9 lead in the first quarter, dropping 30 points on the Celtics in that quarter.
The Clippers shot 52.2 percent from the field in the first, 50 percent (four for eight) from three-point range.
Boston made a quick run early in the second quarter, cutting the Clippers’ lead to four points.
But the Clippers hit the Celtics with another spurt, opening a 15-point lead again before settling into a 60-47 halftime lead.
Also on Thursday:
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 40 points while Russell Westbrook added eight of his 16 points in overtime to help the Thunder beat the Mavericks for their 11th straight win at home. Serge Ibaka added 19 points and matched his season-high with 17 rebounds as Oklahoma City charged back from 10 points down in the final 7:17 of regulation and found a way to win after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season. Darren Collison scored a season-best 32 points for Dallas.