Banged-up Chris Paul puts together strong body of work, scoring 40 as Clippers beat Kings

Banged-up Chris Paul puts together strong body of work, scoring 40 as Clippers beat Kings
Clippers point guardChris Paul gets past Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for a layup during the first half. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

The body has betrayed Chris Paul the last couple of weeks, the injuries piling up by the game.

Yes, Paul is playing in pain, but he is playing nonetheless. And playing well.


All Paul did Friday night was play perhaps his best game of the season, nearly scoring his career high and just missing a triple-double in directing the Clippers to a 117-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.

He had a season-high 40 points, three shy of his career best. He also finished with 13 assists and eight rebounds.

Paul injured his right forearm Wednesday night against Denver. He also hurt his left calf in that loss to the Nuggets. And he'd already been dealing with a bruised left thigh from the Golden State game a week ago.

So he just went out Friday night and shot 13 for 20 from the field and four for nine from three-point range, playing as if he had no issues with his body.

"Man, I just play. Just play," Paul said. "I give a lot of credit to our training staff because they got my arm feeling better before the game. Then, you just play. Once you throw the ball up, everything else goes out the window. You can't think about what happened earlier or nothing like that."

Paul wore black therapeutic tape on his right forearm during the Clippers' shoot-around earlier in the day.

But when the game started, he didn't have his forearm wrapped up at all.

"Try not to bring any attention to it," said Paul, who made all 10 of his free throws. "Game within the game."

Paul was not alone in this for the Clippers, who are fourth in the Western Conference with a 38-20 record, including identical 19-10 marks at home and on the road.

With Paul Pierce away from the team because of a family issue, Jeff Green started at small forward and scored 22 points.

The Clippers took control when they went on a 20-0 run during a third quarter in which they outscored the Kings 34-16 to erase a 67-64 halftime deficit.

That strong offensive and defensive effort helped the Clippers open a 17-point lead in the third and they never looked back.

They held Sacramento to 28.6% shooting in the quarter.

Green was a big contributor in that period, making all three of his three-point attempts.


"It was our defense first," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "And what we're trying to get them to see every night is that your defense is why you score. We got stops. Jeff Green was huge in that stretch as well. So it was just nice to see."

Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter: @BA_Turner