Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford lead Clippers to narrow halftime lead over Timberwolves

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Chris Paul scored 12 points and Jamal Crawford had 10 as the Clippers took a 55-53 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves into the halftime break Wednesday at Staples Center.

DeAndre Jordan contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in the half, during which Clippers reserve guard Austin Rivers was ejected after getting two technical fouls because he barked at officials for not calling a foul after he made a tough layup.

The T’Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins led everyone with 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting.

The Clippers (32-16) shot 52.8 percent in the half, the T’Wolves 53.5. Minnesota is 14-36.

VIDEO: Kevin Garnett, 39, powers down a dunk in Blake Griffin’s face

Kevin Garnett, 39, has always been one of the more passionate – even vicious – players on the court during his long career. If you like vicious, check out this dunk the old man threw down on the Clippers’ 26-year-old Blake Griffin on Monday in the Clippers’ 110-106 victory at Minnesota. It’s not very nice:

Clippers have come through down the stretch in past two games

Blake Griffin is defended by Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio in Monday’s game at Minnesota/AP photo by Jim Mone


The Clippers have the reputation of a team that has difficulty finishing games. They have finished the past two just fine.

They trailed the Orlando Magic by 10 points with 5:27 left in the game Saturday at Staples Center, went on a 13-0 run and defeated the Magic 103-101. The Clippers executed down the stretch.

Monday, the Clippers trailed by three points at Minnesota with a minute to play and won by four (110-106). Again, they came through in crunch-time.

Coach Doc Rivers was stoked about the improvement.

“We just had a resolve again,” he said. “Back-to-back games.”

The Clippers have four more games left on this five-game road trip. The stiffest test figures to be Thursday at Chicago, which is 11-7 as of this writing. The Clippers will first play Wednesday at Milwaukee (9-13).

Five things to take from Clippers’ 107-99 victory over T’Wolves


Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Lance Stephenson’s play in nearly 20 minutes off the bench was noteworthy. He scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds, doled out three assists and made one steal. He also brought with him incredible energy.

It was interesting to see that after starting at small forward the previous three games, not only did Wesley Johnson not start, he saw only four minutes and 12 seconds of action off the bench and did not score. Doc Rivers said Johnson needs to play better on defense.

– Speaking of defense, Luc Mbah a Moute started at small forward because Rivers said the team needed that for this particular game. He ended up scoring seven points, and made a big steal down the stretch during an 8-0 run that all but sealed Minnesota’s fate.

– The Clippers committed 13 turnovers, but just three of those came in the second half. Point guard Chris Paul had four of those turnovers and power forward Blake Griffin had three. They also led the team with a combined 46 points – Griffin scoring 26, Paul 20. Griffin also had eight rebounds, eight assists and two blocks. Paul also had nine assists and went 6-for-6 at the free-throw line. Enough said.

– Don’t sleep on the Timberwolves. They may not make the top eight in the Western Conference this season, and yet they could. But over the next few seasons, they could be very good. With a core of rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns, second-year shooting guard Andrew Wiggins and second-year point guard Zach LaVine, they have a bright future.

Blake Griffin has high praise for T’Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns/Photo courtesy of Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns had just scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his Minnesota Timberwolves’ 107-99 loss to the Clippers on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center, when Clippers forward Blake Griffin was asked to assess the rookie from Kentucky.

“Towns is tough,” Griffiin said of the 7-foot center. “I liked his game at Kentucky just watching him. He seems to be a great kid, great player, obviously. He has so much room to grow. He has such a high ceiling that he is going to be tough (in the future).”

Towns was averaging 14.2 points and 9.4 rebounds through 16 games ahead of Sunday.

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul each score 10 as Clippers lead T’Wolves

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Blake Griffin and Chris Paul scored 10 points apiece as the Clippers took a 48-37 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves into the locker room at halftime Sunday at Staples Center.

Lance Stephenson had seven points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal off the bench for the Clippers.

Andrew Wiggins led the T’Wolves with 11 points and Karl-Anthony Towns scored eight.

The Clippers led by as many as 16 points.

Both teams entered 8-8.