Updated: December 24, 2012, 2:09 AM ET

1. Clippers Rout Suns, Extend Win Streak To 13

By Michael Schwartz
TrueHoop Network

PHOENIX -- It wasn't long ago that the Suns were the fun contender with the all-world point guard, high-flying power forward and most entertaining style in the league.

We all know how that went come playoff time, but during the regular season the Suns made a habit of ripping off winning streaks like the one the Clippers are currently on after winning their 13th straight in blowout fashion, 103-77 Sunday night in Phoenix.

Now it's the Clippers' turn to toy with the league with alley-oops, fast breaks and 3-pointers as they did Sunday to turn a three-point game midway through the second quarter into a laugher.

"Everything they wanted to do, they did it, and everything we tried to take away, we didn't," said Suns guard Jared Dudley.

This is the kind of thing the Suns used to do to Los Angeles throughout a 10-game home winning streak against the Clippers dating back to April 2007.

Throughout the past season and a half, it seems the Clips have ended a long losing streak on the home floors of every former good team in the league, but after this defeat Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry uttered words that may have never been said about a Clippers team.

"That is the best team we've played," Gentry said. "They're deep, they've got all the ingredients to be a championship team. They've got a great leader in Chris Paul, a tremendous player in Blake Griffin, they're deep off the bench, they're very good defensively, they're very athletic.

"Don't know a weakness that they have, really. They're a tremendous team, and they played like it, 13 in a row. I don't know what else needs to be said. They're a really, really good team."

Championships are not won in December on the home floor of lottery teams, but it's easy to see why Gentry could not find a chink in the Clippers' armor.

They drilled 11-of-21 threes while holding the Suns without a 3-point make in eight attempts through three quarters when this was still a game. They snatched 12 steals to create open court opportunities, and they received superstar performances from Paul (17 points, 13 assists) and Griffin (23 points, 11 rebounds) as well as the super sub Jamal Crawford (22 points on 12 shots).

The Clippers' bench made sure the team did not miss a beat when the starters sat as they have done throughout this winning streak, and the scary thing is it will only get better when Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill return from injury.

"Overall, just a nice team effort," said Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro. "Got a nice performance from Blake and Chris and Jamal, but it was a total team effort as always."

With the victory the Clippers have not only extended their franchise-record streak and surpassed Oklahoma City's recent 12-gamer for the longest win streak this season, they've also now won six straight road games for the first time in franchise annals, passing a five-game road win streak set by the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves.

The way the Clippers are playing, they will continue to challenge Elias to research obscure records they are breaking since the Clippers have not been the talk of the league since, well, ever.

Yet, as the former powerhouse they beat Sunday can tell you, all the regular-season runs in the world don't mean anything in the playoffs when the tempo slows down, rotations shorten and you are guaranteed to run into a savvy veteran team that won't be impressed by your aerial display.

The Suns could also serve as a cautionary tale for these Clippers. It did not take long for the Suns to go from the team that made basketball fun again to a squad with no franchise player and no chance to legitimately compete in the short term. Basketball isn't quite so fun anymore when Goran Dragic is your cornerstone and you rely on Shannon Brown and Dudley to be main scorers.

For now, the Clippers aren't concerned with streaks or what the future might hold.

"We're just taking care of business right now," Griffin said. "To be honest, we're not really concerned with, 'you haven't won here since then' or 'you haven't won this many game in a row.' We hear it all, but we're about just getting these wins, and if they come within a streak or when we haven't won somewhere, that's fine. It's more about the way we play and how we execute."

If the Clippers continue to play and execute like they did Sunday, this 13-game winning streak won't be their last impressive run of the season.

Michael Schwartz's work appears regularly on Valley of the Suns.

Dimes past: Dec. 6 | 7-8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-22

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