Chris Paul's big game is wasted in loss to Trail Blazers, 98-93, in OT

Chris Paul's big game is wasted in loss to Trail Blazers, 98-93, in OT
Clippers point guard Chris Paul dives on the ground for a loose ball battling with Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard in the second half. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers' scoreboard flashed "Be Relentless" late in overtime.

However, it was the Portland Trail Blazers who lived up to that message Wednesday, overcoming a 10-point deficit late in the fourth quarter and rallying for a 98-93 overtime victory over a stunned Clippers team behind the play of Nicolas Batum.

Portland scored on three alley-oop lobs in the extra period. After LaMarcus Aldridge (29 points, nine rebounds) scored to give the Trail Blazers a 95-93 lead in the overtime, Batum blocked a shot by J.J. Redick, who scored 26.

Then Batum provided the closer, drilling a three-pointer with 21 seconds left for the final margin.


Batum finished with 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

The loss ended the Clippers' three-game winning streak and dropped them three games in the loss column behind the third-seeded Trail Blazers in the Western Conference and two behind the fourth-seeded Houston Rockets.

The Clippers, who had an 85-75 lead with under three minutes to play in the fourth quarter, watched Portland tie the score at 87-87 on a three-pointer by Batum with 25.1 seconds left.

Chris Paul threw a pass that went off the hand of Batum with 1.7 seconds left on the 24-second clock, 2.8 seconds left in the game.

Paul then threw up a running bank shot that went in and out, sending the game into overtime after DeAndre Jordan got the offensive rebound and did nothing with the ball. The shot clock had sounded, and it appeared Jordan thought he had no time to shoot.

"This loss was a lesson for our team," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "You outplayed them for 48 minutes, you gifted them, and they outplayed you for five minutes in overtime. But part of it was our spirit [getting low], there's no doubt about that."

Paul had 36 points and 12 assists, but it wasn't enough to carry the Clippers to a victory.

Paul was good on defense against Damian Lillard, holding the Portland All-Star guard to five points and forcing him into missing 12 of his 13 shots.

Jordan continued his rebounding prowess, and his defense on Portland All-Star power forward Aldridge was good for the most part.

Jordan grabbed 19 rebounds, the 10th consecutive game he has had at least 15 rebounds. That is the longest active streak in the NBA and the longest by a Clipper since the 1985-86 season.

His defense held Aldridge to 12-for-30 shooting.

Jordan's only flaw was his normal flaw — shooting free throws.

With 4:01 left and the Clippers protecting an eight-point lead, the Trail Blazers began to intentionally foul Jordan. He missed all six of his free throws during that span.

When Paul picked up his fourth foul with 4:16 left in the third and took a seat on the bench, the Clippers led by 11 points.

Paul had held Lillard one point at that point, forcing him into missing his first eight shots. Lillard did have a career-high 18 rebounds.

With Paul out, the Clippers lost most of their third-quarter lead, holding a 68-66 edge entering the fourth.

Paul started the fourth quarter, putting his team in a good position. But the Trail Blazers rallied to win their fourth game in a row.

Twitter: @BA_Turner