Chris Paul, left, gets up a shot over San Antonio’s David West during the Clippers’ 105-86 victory over San Antonio on Thursday/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill
– The Clippers (36-18) entered this game without a victory over a truly elite team. They were a collective 0-4 against the top three teams in the West – Golden State, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. So to beat the Spurs by 19 – even if it was the first game right out of the All-Star break – was a big deal. Yes, the Spurs (45-9) were without Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili. But the Clippers were minus Blake Griffin, Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni. That’s not to mention that Lance Stephenson was on his way to Memphis after being traded there for Jeff Green, who also was not available to the Clippers for this one.
– Chris Paul has been a beast, and was again. He scored a game-high 28 points, doled out 12 assists, grabbed five rebounds, made a steal and blocked a shot in 37 hard minutes. He had just two of the team’s 18 turnovers. Paul shot 9 of 18 and made all seven of his free throws.
– With Rivers and Prigioni both out, Jamal Crawford played some backup point guard. The results were a mixed bag. He came through with six assists to go along with his 19 points on 7 of 15 shooting. But he committed seven turnovers in 30 minutes.
– When LaMarcus Aldridge (3 of 12) and Tim Duncan (1 of 6) shoot a combined 4 of 18, it’s going to be difficult for the Spurs to beat a good team. Part of that was Clippers defense, part of it was just poor shooting.
– Cole Aldrich played 20 tough and successful minutes for the Clippers. The backup post scored eight points on 4 of 5 shooting, pulled down eight rebounds, doled out two assists and blocked three shots. Seriously, this young man plays hard. He doesn’t back down.
BONUS TAKE: How do you not acknowledge DeAndre Jordan? He scored just nine points. But he also grabbed 17 rebounds, made three steals and blocked two shots in 37 minutes.