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Hornets shaved by Clippers

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Updated March 28, 2012

The New Orleans Hornets are just another opponent right now to Chris Paul, whose only incentive stems from the Western Conference standings and how high the long-suffering Los Angeles Clippers can get in the playoff seedings.

Paul had 25 points and 10 assists on Monday night in a 97-85 win against the team that first tried to trade him to the Lakers—a deal that was rejected by the league—before shipping the All-Star point guard to the Clippers shortly after the lockout ended.

“We had a lot of fun, just because we won. I could care less who the opponent was,” Paul said. “We’re playing for a lot right now, so we needed this win. It’s not about who we’re playing against. I’m far past that. I mean, my connection to that city will always be there. But I’m one of those people who, when you throw the ball up and you’re on another team, it is what it is.”

Blake Griffin added 20 points and seven rebounds to help the Clippers climb within two games of the Pacific Division-leading Lakers. Clippers reserve point guard Mo Williams missed his second game because of a sore big toe on his left foot, and is expected to be out at least another two weeks after getting it examined by a specialist Saturday.

Al-Farouq Aminu scored 15 points, and Carl Landry added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who didn’t have a player in double digits until Landry’s two free throws trimmed Los Angeles’ lead to 66-52 with 2:21 left in the third quarter. New Orleans committed a season-high 29 turnovers, leading to 35 points for the Clippers.

“Part of our bad start was not handling the ball correctly and turning it over. You really can’t get into a rhythm when you’re playing like that,” said point guard Jarrett Jack, who had five turnovers, nine points and seven assists.”