It was not Saturday night's opponent that concerned the
It was more about the Clippers being able to execute their game plan, even if it was against the hapless
Part of that plan seemed to be to have
Paul came ever so close to producing a triple-double, finishing with 24 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in helping the Clippers tie their season high in scoring and earn their biggest margin in a victory this season.
He was seven for 11 from the field, three for five from three-point range and seven for seven from the free-throw line. And he did it all by never playing in the fourth quarter.
"We had practice yesterday and I had a good practice," Paul said. "It helps. I think we felt like we had our legs under us a little bit. And sometimes you've got to miss each other and miss the gym. I think that's what happened. We couldn't wait to get out here and play tonight."
Paul's outstanding play was a major reason why the Clippers sent the 76ers to their fifth consecutive loss and dropped them to 4-28.
Blake Griffin worked his way to 15 points on seven-for-13 shooting and DeAndre Jordan had another double-figure rebounding game with 10 boards.
Jordan has at least 10 rebounds in 30 of the 34 games he has played in this season, the most of any player in the NBA.
The Clippers built a 15-point lead in the first quarter by making 56% of their shots, 45.5% of their three-pointers (five for 11).
They increased their lead to 19 points in the second quarter, but saw it sliced to 62-53 at the half because Philadelphia didn't stop competing when it got down big.
The Clippers were just adequate on defense in the first half, allowing the 76ers to make 50% of their shots, 41.7% (five for 12) of their three-pointers.
Tony Wroten had his way with the Clippers in the first 24 minutes, scoring 17 in that time. Wroten finished with 27 points and
When the 76ers scored the first five points in the third quarter to pull to within four points, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers leaped out of his seat and called a 20-second timeout.
"It's not about them," Rivers said. "It's about us. For us, we just have to keep getting better. Even if you don't get better, you have to win a game."
That woke up the Clippers, who took control of the game again by running their lead back up to 17 points.