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

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close