Chris Paul doesn’t mind 48 minutes, he just hates to lose

Chris Paul is being defended by Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics in Wednesday’s game/AP photo by Charles Krupa

 

Chris Paul played 48 of a possible 53 minutes in the Clippers’ 139-134 overtime loss at Boston on Wednesday. Paul played more than anyone else on either team and he led the  Clippers with 35 points on 13 of 21 shooting, 13 assists, five rebounds, three steals and just two turnovers.

He was tired.

“Yeah, somewhat, but after a while you’re just like, ‘Man, win the game,’ ” he said. “There ain’t no point playing all these minutes if you don’t win. So, it is what it is.”

The Clippers finished the road trip 3-1 and will take a record of 35-17 into the All-Star break. They resume play Feb. 18 when they play host to San Antonio (45-8) at Staples Center. The Clippers are fourth in the Western Conference, the Spurs are second.

 

Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-92 overtime victory over 76ers

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul (3) goes up for the shot with Philadelphia 76ers' Nerlens Noel (4) defending during overtime of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Clippers won 98-92 in overtime.

Chris Paul goes up for a shot while Nerlens Noel of Philadelphia defends/AP photo by Chris Szagola

 

– This is the second consecutive game in which Chris Paul got off to a horrible start shooting the ball. He began 1 of 7 and finished 5 of 18, 0 of 3 from 3-point range. He did make 9 of 10 from the free-throw line, doled out seven assists and made four steals. In Sunday’s win at Miami, Paul started 0 of 9 before finishing 8 of 23 from the field.

DeAndre Jordan had a dominant performance inside, pulling down 21 rebounds to go along with scoring 12 points and blocking three shots. Jordan is now averaging 14.0 rebounds and he’s inching closer to Andre Drummond of Detroit, who is averaging a league-high 14.9.

J.J. Redick showed good recovery skills in this game. He started by making just 1 of 9 from the field, but made six of his final nine shots to finish 7 of 18 with 23 points. Redick hit a 3-point basket with 10 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

– The Clippers shot a very poor 36.8 percent from the field, a woeful 22.7 percent (5 of 22) from 3-point range. Wesley Johnson was the worst offender, shooting just 3 of 13, 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. Although the Clippers did well to come back from 19 points down in the second quarter, if they had played anyone other than the 76ers (8-44) – the team with the league’s worst record – they don’t win.

– With Austin Rivers (fractured hand) on the shelf, the bench was not at full strength. Jamal Crawford picked up the slack by scoring 23 points on 9 of 21 shooting in 39 minutes. He also had three assists and two steals.

BONUS TAKE: The Clippers (35-17) are now 18-4 without Blake Griffin (fractured hand).

Doc Rivers liked execution on Redick’s 3-ball at end of regulation

Philadelphia 76ers' Nerlens Noel (4) tries to shoot with Los Angeles Clippers' J.J. Redick (4) and Lance Stephenson (1) defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, in Philadelphia.

Lance Stephenson (1) and J.J. Redick (4) play defense against the 76ers’ Nerlens Noel during Monday’s game at :Philadelphia/AP photo by Chris Szagola

 

The Clippers defeated the lowly Philadelphia 76ers 98-92 in overtime Monday in Philadelphia. Certainly, this is nothing to brag about because Philadelphia is now a league-worst 8-44.

But the Clippers (35-17) were down by as many as 19 points (51-32) in the second quarter. And they needed a 3-pointer by J.J. Redick with 10 seconds left in regulation to send the game into the overtime period.

Coach Doc Rivers like the execution on that one.

“I was honestly thanking the basketball gods,” he said. “We didn’t play the right way all game and when Jamal (Crawford) missed the wide-open 3 (with 50.9 seconds left) … even with J.J. there, I honestly didn’t think that would go in because sometimes that’s the way it works. But the execution was good.”

Austin Rivers has a fractured left hand, he’ll see doctor in LA

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Sunday announced that reserve guard Austin Rivers has a fracture in his left hand sustained during the second quarter of this past Wednesday’s 108-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.

Rivers’ injury happened on a successful drive to the basket, after which Rivers complained he had gotten fouled. Rivers received one and then two technical fouls and an ejection. Rivers missed Friday’s 107-93 victory at Orlando and Sunday’s 100-93 win at Miami.

Rivers underwent an MRI in Miami, and the fracture was revealed.

There is as yet no timetable being given by the team. He will has been sent back to Los Angeles, where he will be re-evaluated Monday.

Rivers is averaging 8.1 points for the Clippers (34-17).

Five things to take from Clippers’ 100-93 victory Sunday at Miami

Los Angeles Clippers forward Lance Stephenson, right, goes to the basket as Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Miami.

Lance Stephenson of the Clippers goes to the basket as Miami’s Hassan Whiteside defends/AP photo by Lynne Sladky

 

Chris Paul began this game 0 of 9 from the floor. He went 2 of 15 in the first half. He finished 8 of 23, meaning he made eight of his final 14 shots. Consecutive 3-pointers by Paul down the stretch helped seal Miami’s fate. The clutch baskets no doubt made it easier for Paul to forget his early shooting woes. Paul made a 5-footer for a 100-88 lead with 53 seconds left, for the final nail in the coffin.

– The Clippers did not shoot particularly well. They made 45.7 percent of their field goals overall, 36 percent (9 of 25) from 3-point range. They were not good at all from the free-throw line, making just 51.5 percent (17 of 33). DeAndre Jordan was 3 of 14. But the Clippers still won because they took care of the ball, committing just six turnovers, and because they helped hold Miami to 39.8 percent shooting; the Heat also had 13 turnovers, with Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic making four apiece.

– The bench had another strong showing, outscoring Miami’s 46-25. Jamal Crawford had 20 points, Wesley Johnson scored 10 and Lance Stephenson nine. Johnson and Stepheson both shot 4 of 5, with Crawford going 7 of 19 from the field, just 2 of 7 from beyond the arc.

– Speaking of the bench, Cole Aldrich pulled down 11 rebounds in just 13 minutes and 18 seconds of action. Too bad he couldn’t make his free throws, going 1 of 5 from the line. He had two baskets and scored five points.

Hassan Whiteside entered this game averaging a league-high 4.0 blocks. But Whiteside played his third consecutive game off the bench after he missed the previous six with a hip injury. He played just under 17 minutes – he averages 28.6 – and did not have a block. When Whiteside is on, he can be a dominant force. It was just Friday when Whiteside had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks for a rare kind of triple double. So for him to have no blocks in this game is kind of a big deal. He did have 10 rebounds to go along with 10 points.

Chris Paul knew if he kept shooting, things would change

Chris Paul drives to the basket during Sunday’s game as Goran Dragic, middle, and Amar’e Stoudemire of Miami look on/AP photo by Lynne Sladkee

 

Statistics show Chris Paul made 8 of 23 shots from the field during the Clippers’ 100-93 victory at Miami in a Sunday matinee. What the box score doesn’t show is that he missed his first nine shots before finally getting one to go in.

Paul ended up scoring 22 points and hit a couple of big 3-pointers down the stretch to help the Clippers (34-17) to their 17th victory in 21 games without Blake Griffin.

Paul intimated afterward he was confident the early struggles wouldn’t continue. He made eight of his final 14 shots.

“Yeah. I was frustrated early because it wouldn’t go in,” Paul said. “Luckily, and unfortunately, that’s not my first time missing a bunch of shots like that early. I just sort of knew if I just kept shooting, that would change.”