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Chris Paul makes sure the Clippers leave with a win over Pacers

Feb 28, 2013, 10:43 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul looks to get past defending Indiana Pacers' West and Pendergraph during their NBA basketball game in Indianapolis

The Clippers probably thought they had sealed a quality road win over the Pacers much earlier than they had, getting out to a lead of as many as 17 points with 5:38 remaining in regulation.

But as they’ve done all season long, the Pacers refused to quit, and went on a furious 13-0 run in less than three minutes of game time to cut the L.A. lead to just four with 2:45 to play.

Chris Paul took matters into his own hands from there, however, and scored his team’s final eight points to give the Clippers the 99-91 victory over one of the East’s top-tier teams.

It wasn’t as though the Pacers didn’t have their chances. Even without Roy Hibbert, who was forced to miss this one due to serving a one-game suspension for his role in the altercation with the Warriors on Tuesday, Indiana remained close, especially in the first half, by defensively trading the Clippers’ three-point shooting for points in the paint instead.

As L.A. opened 1-14 from three-point distance in the first half, the team managed to do its damage inside, outscoring the Pacers 32-14 in the paint. Indiana stayed close by shooting better than 52 percent from the field as a team and 60 percent from three-point distance, but the 15 first-half turnovers left the Pacers trailing by two at intermission even after a buzzer-beating three-pointer from David West went down as the second quarter game clock expired.

The Pacers’ shooting cooled considerably in the second half, and they fell behind big as a result. Just as they closed the gap to four, however, Paul made sure that was as close as they would get.

Paul hit a 15-foot jumper, before getting to the rim and scoring on driving layups on his team’s next two trips down the floor. His final points of the night came at the free throw line with the game having already been decided.

The Pacers without Hibbert were challenged inside, and the Clippers got the better of the matchup all night long. But really, this game came down to star power when the contest was hanging in the balance — the Clippers have one of the game’s most competitive players in Paul who can score almost at will down the stretch, while the Pacers rely on more of a team dynamic to get the job done.

On this night, the star beat the team concept when things mattered most.

  1. badintent - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Didn’t we see the same thing last month when CP3 went off on the Lakers down the stretch hitting shots over Kobe and Howard ?? Nice to remember the Clippers’ greatness in context..

  2. money2long - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    the knicks were probably hoping the pacers lost too.

  3. jerdogthompson - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Quality road win. The Pacer turnovers offset the Clippers lack of three balls. All and all a sound beating at the hands of the to be WC champs. That’s right, I’m calling it early.

    Sleep tight OKC, we got you squarely in our sights.

    • savvybynature - Feb 28, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      You’re not just calling it early, you’re calling it on the last day of February.

      What is it with LA bball fans and their sense of entitlement? Clips have a chance, but there are other good teams out there who’ve done it before.

  4. dannymac17 - Feb 28, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Hey if you didnt see amazing Griffin dunks or Paul putting youngsters on skates, then it was a bad night.

    i havent seen to many this season. The Griffin haters have been quiet though

    Especially when hes beasting in the paint. Hitting FTs

    holla

  5. jerdogthompson - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    @savvy

    What’choo talkin about Willis? Entitlement? Ur clearly delirious meatball. I only speak truth. Nothing more nothing less

    @dannymac. Keep the faith this is our year. Yes sir.

  6. hoosiercolts - Mar 1, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    If Big Roy was playing… Pacers would have taken that game. No doubt.

    • paleihe - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Good thing he wasn’t and it ends up in the L column.

      Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

    • dannymac17 - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      My my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

      • bigmeechy74 - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:44 PM

        So close to a perfect use of that joke…. But the typo ruined it

  7. aventador12 - Mar 1, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Pacers are no doubt a great team and contender, but the Clippers clashed with them in a athletic fashion. Not to mention the Clippers weren’t getting lucky thanks to the refs all of a sudden decided to keep their whistles down the stretch. Clearly, CP3 and Blake were getting fouled on their way to the basket and no calls were made. Nevertheless, a win is a win and games like these are important moving forward.

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