Chris Paul continues to prove he belongs among game’s elite players

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Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

No one can blame Chris Paul for his team’s 107-91 loss at Memphis on Sunday. He scored 22 points on 7 of 13 shooting, doled out five assists and made four steals. It was Paul’s 45th career game with at least 20 points, 50 percent shooting, five assists and four steals.

Paul ranks first in such games among active players and fifth all-time behind Michael Jordan (83), John Stockton (65), Alvin Robertson (50) and Clyde Drexler (48).

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Chris Paul is quite the helper, but has a long way to go to catch all-time leaders

Point guard Chris Paul is averaging a league-high 10.9 assists this season. That is absolutely terrific, and there is no question he is headed toward an eventual date with the Hall of Fame.

But the 28-year-old out of Wake Forest has a long way to go to catch those in front of him on the all-time leader board. He has 5,996 assists overall, which puts him in 27th place. The leader is John Stockton, who had 15,806 over 19 seasons. He is well ahead of second-place Jason Kidd’s 12,091. Paul will climb much higher on that ladder before he’s done, but it will be all but impossible to catch Stockton.

Average-wise, Paul is in much better position. He is averaging 9.9. That is third all-time behind Magic Johnson (11.1) and Stockton (10.5). Johnson, by the way, is fifth in total assists with 10,141 in 13 seasons.

Paul is currently in his ninth season.

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