LOS ANGELES — Despite having the NBA's best record, the Indiana Pacers realize there's always room for improvement.
David West scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter and grabbed 12 rebounds, Paul George had 27 points, and the Pacers improved their best start in franchise history to 16-1 on Sunday with a 105-100 victory that snapped the Los Angeles Clippers' four-game winning streak.
"We can become a lot better. We're still nowhere close to where we want to be offensively, and that's the next step for us," George said. "The defense is clicking well, the transition defense is clicking well, and we're playing like a team. This was a great win for us. We knew coming in that it was going to be a hard-fought game."
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 20 points — the 10th time this season that a Pacers opponent didn't have anyone with more than 20. Chris Paul had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Blake Griffin scored 16 and pulled down 12 rebounds, equaling teammate DeAndre Jordan's total.
"We're always up for a challenge, and we had a good one today," said center Roy Hibbert, who helped fuel the Pacers' seventh straight win with 19 points. "The Clippers are going to be a contender for the Western Conference finals, so we just had to get in there and grind it out today and finish it off. But we have a lot more work to do. We don't worry about swagger. We're just five individuals out there on the court playing together."
The defending Pacific Division champion Clippers played their first game since finding out that J.J. Redick will be sidelined six to eight weeks because of a broken bone in his shooting hand and a ligament tear in his right elbow.