LOS ANGELES (AP) — The
"It felt great just to play. You never know what it's going to be like until you actually get out there and compete," Paul said. "A lot of things go through your mind out there, especially when you come back because you want to make sure you're not too tired and not trying too hard. But at the same time, we've been playing extremely well and I didn't want to break up our rhythm."
"He set the tone," Crawford said. "The energy from when he was introduced, to the level of play that he brings, it makes everybody better."
The 45-point margin of victory was the largest for the Clippers' franchise. The previous record was 39, set in a 121-82 win over Chicago on Nov. 24 at
"That's an intense, defensive-oriented athletic type of team. We ran into a buzz saw and we got jumped early," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "What an incredible opportunity for a young point guard like
Carter-Williams, who leads all rookies in scoring, rebounding and assists per game, finished with 14 points, five assists and seven boards in 34½ minutes. Tony Wroten scored 21 points off the bench for the 76ers, losers of six straight and 13 of 16. Center
Paul's return provided an instant spark, as the Clippers opened the game with a 13-0 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by Crawford off Philadelphia turnovers. They widened the gap to 30-5 while the 76ers missed 17 of their first 19 shots.
Griffin limped to the dressing room with a bruised left shin after Wroten fell into him on a foul by Jordan with less 3 minutes left in the opening period.
But the four-time All-Star returned to the bench before the team's highest-scoring quarter of the season ended, and
Griffin and teammate
"Our defense really set the tone," Crawford said. "When we're covering for each other like that and playing together, it makes it tough on other teams and kind of breaks their rhythm."
Griffin showed no hint of any ankle issues after his mishap — particularly during a Showtime-like sequence in the second quarter. Paul went in alone on a fast break with Griffin trailing the play, then bounced the ball off the glass and Griffin sent the crowd into a frenzy with the first of back-to-back windmill dunks 27 seconds apart. That made it 60-21 with 4:46 left in the first half.
"I think our guys have tried that in a one-point game. That's the problem," coach
Philadelphia never challenged after the Clippers built a 69-30 halftime lead. Crawford's 15-footer gave them their biggest margin, 89-33, with 6:01 left in the third quarter. It was 100-51 going into the fourth.
Before Sunday, the Clippers had never beaten Philadelphia by more than 29 points since the franchises first played in 1970-71.