Clippers' Chris Paul bounces back for great Game 4

Clippers' Chris Paul bounces back for great Game 4
Clippers point guard Chris Paul drives around Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the Clippers' win in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals in San Antonion on April 26. (Darren Abate / Associated Press)

Shaquille O'Neal said it best.

"It's an unwritten rule for any superstar -- never have two bad performances in a row."


He was referring to Tim Duncan's terrible Game 1, followed by Spurs star's strong Game 2 performance against the Clippers in their first-round playoff series, which is currently tied at 2-2.

Well, the same thing apparently applies to Chris Paul.

Paul faltered in the Clippers' 100-73 Game 3 loss to the Spurs on Friday, having more turnovers (six) than assists (four) for the first time this season, and making only three of his 11 field goal attempts.

In Game 4 on Sunday, he turned it around, finishing with a game-high 34 points on 11-for-19 shooting, seven assists and only two turnovers in the Clippers' 114-105 win -- while playing most of the fourth quarter with five fouls. He also made each of his 10 free-throw attempts.

"I just try to play the right way," Paul said. "When the shot is there, I try to take it. I try not to force things. I try to make the right pass."

Paul said that after the Game 3 collapse, he realized while watching film that he sometimes didn't shoot when he should have. He said he made sure he would come out more aggressive in Sunday's contest.

"[Sunday] it was just the ball movement," Paul said. "We just played at the right pace and the right tempo, and that is how we got shots. "

The Clippers had 24 assists in Game 4, while only having 14 in Game 3.

Paul wasn't the only Clippers player who had a big turnaround from Game 3 to Game 4. Jamal Crawford, who made only one of his 11 field goal attempts in Game 3, had 15 points in Game 4. Blake Griffin, who had only 14 points and 10 assists in Game 3, had 20 points and 19 rebounds in Game 4. J.J. Redick, who had only seven points on two-for-seven shooting in Game 3, had 17 points in Game 4. And Austin Rivers, who had only 11 points on four-for-11 shooting in Game 3, had 16 points on seven-for-eight shooting in Game 4.

Paul, who has never made it past the second round of the playoffs in his 10-year NBA career, said the Clippers need to find a way to come out gunning from the start of every game, and not just be inspired by bad performances.

"The great teams could out like that regardless, and hopefully we learned something [Sunday]," Paul said.

Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. PDT in Los Angeles.