Trailing by seven points with just a little more than two minutes left to play, the Clippers pulled out a much-needed victory Thursday night when J.J. Redick hit a jumper at the buzzer to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, 96-94, at Staples Center.
"It was great to get a victory," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "We had been struggling. I was happy with our execution."
Jamal Crawford had made two three-pointers late in the fourth quarter, his last tying the score at 94-94 right after Damian Lillard had given the Trail Blazers a three-point lead with his three-pointer with 23.9 seconds left.
But the Clippers refused to lose, breaking a three-game losing streak in the process, gutting out a victory when Chris Paul was forced to gut out the game while dealing with an injured knee.
Paul had clutched his right knee in the second quarter, grimacing in pain, his status for the rest of the game looking questionable after he yelled for his teammates to call a timeout.
But Paul continued to play, finishing with 25 points and seven assists.
Paul took the ball out with 1.1 seconds left and Portland center Mason Plumlee jumping up and down trying to block his view.
But Paul threw the ball between Plumlee's legs to Redick, who did the rest.
Redick scored only 11 points, but the last two were his biggest for a Clippers team that had entered the game having lost five of their last six games.
"I don't how he got it to him," Rivers said. "That just tells you who Chris is."
Earlier, Crawford drilled a three-pointer for an 89-88 Clippers lead after DeAndre Jordan (12 points, 13 rebounds) got a rebound and passed to Paul, who passed to Crawford.
Crawford finished with 25 points.
Lillard (18 points) gave the Trail Blazers the lead back with a three-point play, putting the Clippers in a 91-89 hole with 46.8 seconds left.
Paul tied the score at 91-91 on two free throws.
Lillard, who was having a difficult night shooting the ball, came through in the clutch again for the Trail Blazers, drilling a three-pointer over Paul for a 94-91 lead with 23.9 seconds left.
Crawford, having another big night off the bench, hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 94-94 with 11 seconds left.
"He really was the difference," Rivers said.
Paul had made a layup late in the second when he bumped knees with Portland guard Brian Roberts.
As the Trail Blazers rushed up court, Paul begged for his teammates to call a timeout.
Paul went to the bench with 4:43 left in the second and was examined by Clippers athletic trainer Jasen Powell.
After the timeout, Paul returned to the game.
He finished the first half with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists in pushing the Clippers to a 46-39 half-time lead.