All-Star point guard Chris Paul played for the first time since off-season thumb surgery, and the Clippers used a dominant inside attack to dispatch reigning NBA champion Miami Heat 99-89 in an exhibition match today (late Saturday PDT) in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,000 in Shanghai.
With Paul guiding the offense, Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin thrilled the crowd with dunks and alley-oop baskets as the Clippers took advantage of a height advantage and jumped to a first quarter double-digit lead and maintained it for much of the game.
Jordan was 7 for 7 in the first half, as the Clippers ran out to a 57-43 lead on a 26-13 rebounding advantage. The Clippers' center all nine of his rebounds before intermission and added two blocked shots.
Jordan, who was a perfect 8 for 8 from the floor, scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first quarter, while power forward Griffin scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Clippers avenged a 94-80 loss to Miami in Beijing on Thursday. Paul finished with four points, six assists and five rebounds in 22 minutes. Caron Butler, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes also scored in double figures.
With the Clippers leading 84-67 at the end of the third quarter, both coaches chose to sit their top players and the Heat's bench made a run against the Clippers' backups.
A 12-0 run by Miami midway through the fourth quarter cut the lead to 93-87, but was too little too late.
Chris Paul returns in exhibition victory over Heat in Shanghai
L.A. Daily News | Oct 14