This time, the Clippers got it right.

No sweat. No reason to believe they couldn't do this every night without point guard Chris Paul.

Leaving nothing to chance, the Clippers played it safe and sane during a 96-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in front of a sellout crowd of 19,060 at Staples Center on Sunday night. The Clippers flexed their muscles close to the basket and ended a four-game losing streak.

The turning point came late in the second quarter, when power forward Blake Griffin scored the Clippers' final 11 points of the half and they built a 55-50 lead by halftime. Griffin scored on a hook shot, a dunk, a free throw, two layups and a fast-break dunk to cap an electric run.

Sensing a good thing, the Clippers kept going inside and kept getting rewarded for their persistence around the basket. They began the third quarter with a 19-9 run that turned a close game into a runaway only 24 hours after the Trail Blazers caught them at the finish line in Portland.

The Clippers (33-13) scored 56 points in the paint; Portland (22-22) had 24 points in the paint.

"Chris is a huge part of our team," Griffin said of Paul. "He directs the game from the point guard spot. He has the ball in his hands, I would say, 85 percent of the time. It's everybody's job on this team to step up, and that's what I've tried to do."