The Minnesota Timberwolves found a way to take DeAndre Jordan out of the game. There was nothing they could do about Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford. With Crawford hitting shots from all over the court and Paul making a defiant defensive play on his way to another double-double, the Clippers held on for a 109-107 victory over the Timberwolves on Monday night at Staples Center. First they had to endure a hold-your-breath finish. The Timberwolves had three chances to tie the score in the game's final moments, but Kevin Martin missed a forced 16-foot jumper and Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love couldn't convert put-backs. Love smiled in disbelief after his shot hung on the rim for a second before falling away. "We got fortunate at the end," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "I mean, that was a point-blank tip." Crawford banked in a 51-foot heave to end the third quarter, the prelude to his 10-point fourth quarter that included a three-pointer and a driving layup. He finished with 18 points and six assists. "You think it has a chance as soon as you let it go, and it went in," Crawford said of his shot from beyond midcourt. "So I'm excited." Paul provided an emotional lift with 1 minute 39 seconds left by wrestling the ball away from Minnesota's Corey Brewer underneath the basket. Paul was then fouled and made two free throws to give the Clippers a 107-101 lead. The Timberwolves eventually pulled to within 109-107 thanks to a couple of Pekovic layups and a pair of Martin free throws. The Clippers had a chance to extend their advantage but Blake Griffin missed a driving layup with 7.9 seconds left, setting up the Timberwolves' final shots. Paul continued a double-double binge, his 21 points and 11 assists putting him in double figures in each category in all eight games this season. "We play a lot faster this year, and obviously that gives the other team an opportunity to score a little bit more," Paul said. "We've got to get stops." Griffin finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds and Jordan, who returned to the court in the final moments for defensive purposes, had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Chris Paul and Clippers leave Minnesota hanging in 109-107 victory
Los Angeles Times | Nov 12