Paul, Griffin carry Clippers past T'Wolves
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Paul and Blake Griffin each extended their double-double streaks to lead the way in the Los Angeles Clippers' 102-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Paul compiled 20 points and 11 assists to notch his 12th double-double in as many games this season. Griffin has now posted one in five straight after amassing 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Jamal Crawford added 16 points and J.J. Redick contributed 15 to the Clippers' fifth win in six games and second in nine days against Minnesota, which dropped a 109-107 decision to Los Angeles at the Staples Center on Nov. 11.
Kevin Martin had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves and Nikola Pekovic recorded 20 points in the loss. Kevin Love pulled down 12 boards and dished out eight assists, but was held to a season-low 10 points on a dreadful 2-of-14 shooting night.
"He's going to have games like that," Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman said of Love.
Martin gave Minnesota a 55-52 lead by burying a 3-pointer 3:25 into the second half, but Jared Dudley countered with a triple of his own to ignite a 7-0 run that sent the Clippers back in front. Los Angeles put together a 10-2 surge later in the period, with Griffin accounting for six of those points, to extend the margin to 71-61 less than two minutes before the start of the fourth quarter.
The Clippers remained in control, owning an 81-70 advantage with 7 1/2 minutes to go. The Timberwolves continued to battle, however, as Pekovic made three baskets to lead an 8-0 spurt over the next two minutes that cut the deficit to just three points.
Paul delivered a clutch three on the other end, though, then had two more critical baskets down the stretch. The All-Star point guard followed up another successful shot from beyond the arc with a fadeaway dagger that put Los Angeles up by a 94-87 count with 2:33 left to play.
"He's one of the best players in the league," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said of his point guard. "He was our answer."
The Timberwolves got as close as three points down in the final minute, but Redick sank 3-of-4 free throws in the waning seconds to seal the win.
Redick began the game on fire, pouring in eight points and knocking down a pair of threes as the Clippers roared out to a quick 12-0 lead. Minnesota responded with a 10-0 run shortly afterward, however, to cut the margin to 16-14 with under four minutes to go in the first quarter.
The teams wound up playing to a 24-24 deadlock after one period, but Los Angeles started the second with 11 straight points to restore a double-digit advantage. Minnesota once again had an answer, though, with its reserves doing much of the damage during a 12-0 sequence that put the Timberwolves up 36-35 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half.
Minnesota continued to own the momentum, with the lead stretching to 46-39 after Corey Brewer drained a 3-pointer just over two minutes prior to the intermission. The Clippers ended the frame with a 7-0 spurt, however, and forged a 46-46 tie at the break on a late triple by Crawford.
Paul's string of 12 double-doubles is the most in NBA history to begin a season, breaking the mark he shared with Magic Johnson from 1990-91 ... The Clippers have now won seven straight matchups between the teams, four of which have taken place in Minneapolis ... Clippers forward Matt Barnes sat out the contest after being poked in the eye during Monday's loss to Memphis ... With Crawford leading the charge, Los Angeles' bench outscored the T-Wolves' reserves by a 32-18 margin.
11/21 00:56:51 ET