Reusse: Paul gets hot, leads Clippers past Wolves

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 21, 2013 - 12:20 PM

The Timberwolves had spent the night throwing up bricks against the Los Angeles Clippers’ energetic defense. The home team was trailing 81-70 with 7 minutes, 18 seconds left, when L.A. coach Doc Rivers went back to star point guard Chris Paul to take it home for his club.

The Wolves promptly scored eight points in a row and Rivers called a timeout. And then he looked at Paul and said: “What are you waiting for?”

Paul was 2-for-9 for the night. Add that to 13-for-41 in his previous three games and Paul was in a 15-for-50 ice box since he had last seen the Timberwolves in Los Angeles on Nov. 11.

“Chris was struggling; he needed to see shots go in,” Rivers said. “I told him, ‘The only time you’re going to see shots go in is when you take them.’ ”

The Clippers came out of the timeout. Paul gave up the ball and then got it back. “I saw [Ricky] Rubio on the ground — I don’t know how he got there — but I was open,” Paul said. “I made the three. It was just cool to see the ball finally go through the net.”

It wasn’t that cool for the Timberwolves. That three was the start of a blitz by Paul that gave the Clippers a 102-98 victory. The Wolves have now dropped to a middling 7-6 and face a grueling schedule in the 2½ weeks ahead.

Paul followed the three with an assist on Blake Griffin’s jumper. And then, after Kevin Martin’s three cut the lead to 86-85, seeing the ball go in the basket lost its novelty completely for Paul.

He made a runner, was fouled by Rubio and converted the three-point play. He made a three-pointer. He made an 18-footer, a 16-footer and then a 19-footer. Finally, he made a free throw to put the lead at 99-95 with 23 seconds left.

That made it 13 consecutive points — and 16 in just over seven minutes — for the NBA’s best point guard.

There also was an issue being made of an alleged record set by Paul: The first player in NBA history with double-digits in points and assists in 12 consecutive games to open a season. Apparently, 11 such games was a distinction Paul shared with another point guard formerly employed in Los Angeles, Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Paul expressed pride in surpassing a mark that he shared with Magic, a friend and mentor. It took his coach, Rivers, to give proper perspective to this exotic record.

“Rajon Rondo had some crazy record for us in Boston last season,” Rivers said. “Who came up with this one?”

An L.A. reporter gave the answer: “Elias,” as in the statistical wizards from Elias Sports Bureau.

“I thought so,” Rivers said. “I think half the records we have now are made-up records from Elias. Who ever knew we had these records?”

Doc gave a puzzled shrug, and added: “At the end of the day, when you’re in the [Magic] neighborhood, any record made up or not … that’s pretty special company.”

There were several failures for the Wolves on Wednesday — including Kevin Love’s 2-for-14 shooting — but coach Rick Adelman pointed at the obvious: “Chris Paul took over in the fourth quarter and made a lot of big plays.”

Jamal Crawford, the wonderful gunner who comes off the bench for the Clippers, was sitting in the cramped visitors locker room. “Ricky Rubio shouldn’t feel too bad,” he said. “When CP gets going like that, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

The Clippers were hustling to get to the airport and take the charter to Oklahoma City for Thursday’s game with the Thunder.

Paul was relieved to see his shot return in time for his match against Russell Westbrook, the scorer who happens to be announced as OKC’s point guard.

“I honestly have never been through a spurt like this, where I can’t make a shot,” Paul said. “My teammates have been the ones to tell me to keep shooting. I’m going to keep shooting, too, because I know I can make those shots.”

As does everyone who was in Target Center on Wednesday night.

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500. • preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close