Clippers stay hot with upending of Spurs
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Chris Paul scored 19 points and hit a clutch bucket in the closing seconds, helping the Los Angeles Clippers upended the San Antonio Spurs for the second time this season with a 92-87 win on Monday.
The Clippers never trailed in the second half, but a late rally by the Spurs cut the difference to 89-87 with under 90 seconds to play. After misses at both ends, Paul took Tony Parker to the hole and hit a turnaround jumper in the lane with 24.9 seconds remaining.
Gary Neal's missed 3-pointer ended San Antonio's comeback bid and extended the Clippers' winning streak to six, which began with a 106-84 rout of the Spurs on Nov. 7.
Paul also had eight assists, while Blake Griffin added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Matt Barnes chipped in 14 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which at 8-2 is off to its best start since the 2005-06 campaign.
"It's a great win for us," said Los Angeles head coach Vinny Del Negro. "San Antonio is going to keep playing hard. We didn't do a good job at the end. We gave a couple of three's up but our guys battled and we made some big shots."
Tim Duncan recorded a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili totaled 15 points, five boards and five helpers for the Spurs, who shot 35 percent from the field in their second loss in three games. Parker was limited to 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
The Clippers led by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter before Matt Bonner led one final Spurs charge with a jumper and a straightaway 3-pointer to pull San Antonio within 83-79 with 4:37 remaining.
A Bonner triple cut the deficit to 87-85 two minutes later, but the Clippers' Eric Bledsoe came away with two big offensive rebounds on the ensuing possession. Bledsoe first followed up his own errant 3-pointer, then snuck in and put back Paul's missed jumper for a four-point advantage.
Ginobili went left for a basket, and Parker later pulled down a defensive rebound to give the Spurs a chance to tie or take the lead. But Neal missed a runner, and Paul made the decisive shot to give the Clippers a second win at AT&T Center in as many seasons.
The Spurs shot 44 percent from the field in the opening quarter, and a Neal layup in the opening minute of the second gave the hosts a 30-20 lead. But they missed their next 11 shots, and LA's subsequent 21-3 run -- led by Barnes' 10 points -- swung the momentum.
"We had a very disappointing second quarter," said Duncan. "I thought we came out strong and had a very good first quarter and built some momentum but we really lost it all in the second quarter. We did fight the rest of the way and had a much better second half. We got to a striking distance and just could not close it out."
It was a 47-42 game in favor of the Clippers at the break, and after San Antonio again struggled shooting in the third quarter (33 percent), the visitors were on top by a 71-63 score.
The 2005-06 Clippers opened the season 9-2 ... Duncan tied Hal Greer (Nationals/76ers) for fifth place all-time in most games played with one team for an entire career ... The Clippers shot 1-of-12 from behind the arc, but outscored the Spurs in the paint by 20 (56-36) and had 12 more second-chance points (20-8) ... DeAndre Jordan netted 13 points for Los Angeles ... Bonner scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.
11/20 00:58:30 ET