Defense was the key to Clippers’ fourth consecutive victory

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad, center, tries to get to the basket under pressure from Los Angeles Clippers forward Jeff Green, left, and guard Austin Rivers during the first half. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Jeff Green, left, of the Clippers and teammate Austin Rivers guard Shabazz Muhammad of the Minnesota Timbervolves during Wednesday’s game in Minnesota/AP photo by Ann Heisenfelt


Chris Paul knew only too well his Clippers had a rather mediocre game offensively Wednesday night when they played at Minnesota. But another fine defensive showing helped overcome that in the Clippers’ 99-79 victory, their fourth in a row.

“Yeah, if you think about it, we didn’t even have one of our great offensive nights,” Paul said. “Me and J.J. (Redick) missed a lot of great looks and we still were able to get the separation that we did because our defense was so consistent and just kept us in the game.”

The Clippers blocked nine shots with DeAndre Jordan getting three and Cole Aldrich, Wes Johnson and Jeff Green two apiece.

The Clippers (47-27) held Minnesota to 34.5 percent shooting, 34.8 (8 of 23) from 3-point range. The T’Wolves also failed at the free-throw line, making just 64.7 percent (11 of 17).

The Clippers shot 44 percent overall, just 29 percent (9 of 31) from deep. They shot 88.9 percent from the free-throw line, though, with Jordan (1 of 3) the only one who missed; Paul was 7 of 7.

Paul shot just 6 of 16 from the field, 1 of 4 from distance. Redick was 6 of 15 and 4 of 12.