The Clippers shared the ball well on Saturday night, and the result was a 107-102 victory over the reeling Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center.
The Clippers had assists on 26 of their 40 field goals, and that was the most-encouraging part of the performance to coach Doc Rivers.
"The ball movement was beautiful," Rivers said. "On most nights, if you have ball movement like that, you're going to win. We just didn't make all the shots, but if we move the ball like that, we're going to be really good."
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 22 points and Blake Griffin narrowly missed his second triple-double of the week, finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. The Clippers also got 18 points from Austin Rivers, 10 points from J.J. Redick, and 16 rebounds from DeAndre Jordan.
The Clippers (33-21) won their second straight, after a rough patch where they lost five of six.
Griffin was also pleased with the Clippers' defense, which held the Hornets to 43.0 percent shooting from the field and forced Kemba Walker into a 4-of-18 night from the field. Walker was just 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
"I thought our help defense was much better tonight," Griffin said. "We pulled over, being there for each other. They still hit some tough shots, but I thought we limited guys somewhat well, especially Kemba. He's kind of the head of the snake for them. I thought we were just on a string and moving with each other a little bit better."
Charlotte led by as many as 11 in the early going, but the Clippers led 29-27 after one quarter, 53-51 at halftime, and 77-70 after three quarters. The Clippers pushed the lead to 82-71 early in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets never went away.
Charlotte got as close as three on several occasions down the stretch, but ultimately Redick's two free throws with 5.9 seconds left pushed the final margin to five. Griffin had a rebound dunk with 44.7 seconds left that was huge, and Crawford hit three free throws in the final minute.
The Clippers wound up shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range on 14 of 34.
"We shot the ball well in the second half," Rivers said. "In the first half, I thought we got great shots but couldn't make shots. But we still scored. The second half, I thought we started making 3s and that opened the floor for us. I just wanted us to stay aggressive, because that's who we are."
The Hornets (24-30) lost for the ninth time in their last 10 games.
They are now 9-29 this season when allowing more than 100 points.
Nicolas Batum led the Hornets with 25 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Frank Kaminsky finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, Marco Belinelli scored 17, Jeremy Lamb scored 13, and Walker finished with 10.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford has been upset with the Hornets' defense lately, but he accepted the blame on Saturday.
"This is on the coaches," Clifford said. "We're just not as disciplined as we have been the other years. We're just not. Too many coverage mistakes. Like in that fourth quarter, without even watching film, I gave them six right off the top of my head that the other years we didn't make. That is a coaching thing and it's something that's got to change. A lot of it is basic stuff."
Said Batum: "I feel like it's the same story every night. We get good leads sometimes, but we can't close it. I don't know why. We were pretty good last year. We were pretty good to start, the first 25 games, we never lost those games. We're right there every time, but we've got to figure it out and make plays."
NOTES: This was the first of two meetings between the teams this season. They'll meet again in Los Angeles on Feb. 26. The Clippers swept the Hornets in both 2015-16 and 2014-15. ... The Clippers were without PG Chris Paul (thumb) and F Brice Johnson (back). ... The Hornets were without G Ramon Sessions (knee) and C Cody Zeller (quad). Zeller returned Thursday night against Houston after missing the previous seven games, and he promptly re-injured himself. ... With five 3-pointers, Clippers SG Jamal Crawford moved into fifth place on the NBA's career 3-pointers list. He now has 2,009 for his career. ... Hornets PG Kemba Walker received his All-Star jersey in a ceremony before the game. ... The Clippers were playing the fourth game on a five-game road trip. They will close out the trip on Monday at Utah. ... The Hornets will close out a four-game home stand on Monday against Philadelphia. Then comes a seven-game road trip.