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Because of the lack of a global naming scheme, routing protocols in sensor networks usually use flooding to select paths and deliver data. This process although simple and effective, is very costly in terms of energy consumption, an important design issue in sensor networks routing protocols. Cluster-based routing is one solution to save energy. In this paper, we propose a combination of an improved clustering algorithm and directed diffusion, a well-known data-centric routing paradigm in sensor networks. Our aim is to prolong the network lifetime by modifying passive clustering rules for building/maintaining the topology so an energy load balancing is achieved among the network nodes. We performed extensive computer simulations and showed that our solution outperforms original directed diffusion as well as when it is combined to passive clustering without energy considerations.