Paul injured, but Clippers still beat Spurs
|LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS||SAN ANTONIO SPURS|
Despite losing Chris Paul to a hamstring injury, the Los Angeles Clippers beat the San Antonio Spurs 106-101 at Staples Center yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Paul suffered a strained left hamstring early in the third quarter and did not return.
He finished with a team-high 19 points, six assists and seven rebounds in 23 minutes.
Without Paul, the Clippers received a boost from their bench. Marreese Speights had 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Raymond Felton added 13 points.
Jamal Crawford chipped in 11 points as the Clippers' reserves outscored the Spurs' bench 58-31.
Centre DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and nine rebounds, and J.J. Redick also scored 11 for the Clippers (22-8), who beat the Spurs for the second time this season.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs (23-6) with 27 points and nine rebounds. Pau Gasol contributed 21 points and eight rebounds.
Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 10 apiece.
The Spurs lost for only the second time on the road and are 15-2 away from home.
The Spurs cut the Clippers' double-digit half-time lead several times in the second half, but were unable to overcome it.
San Antonio closed to within five early in the fourth quarter, but again, the Clippers increased the deficit back to double figures again.
The Clippers dominated the first half, taking a 57-45 lead at the break. They held the Spurs to 38.5 per cent shooting, while hitting 50 per cent of their shots in the first half.
Los Angeles converted six-of-13 (46.2 per cent) from behind the arc compared to two-of-six (33.3 per cent) for San Antonio.
The Spurs played without reserve Manu Ginobili after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest the 39-year-old before the trip.
Before leaving, Paul passed Kevin Garnett (16th) for career steals with 1,860. Paul is one theft shy of moving pass Isiah Thomas for 15th place at 1,861.
Paul's problem added to the Clippers' injury woes.
Forward Blake Griffin underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday and could be out for up to six weeks. - REUTERS
Miami 115 LA Lakers 107, Brooklyn 101 Golden State 117, NY Knicks 106 Orlando 95, Indiana 102 Boston 109.