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Paul pushes Clippers past Wizards
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul returned from a three-game absence and tallied 22 points and 11 assists in the Los Angeles Clippers' 94-87 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Paul, who was dealing with a bruised right knee cap, was 6-of-16 from the floor for the Clippers, who won all three games during Paul's absence. Los Angeles moved to 19-4 at home.
Blake Griffin tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds in the triumph.
"It was cool to be back on the court," Paul said. "Blake and I didn't shoot well tonight, but offensive rebounds was how we won."
John Wall netted 24 points to go with six assists for Washington, which had won four of five coming in after beginning the season 4-28.
"Everyone is starting to come together as a team, but the turnovers and offensive rebounds killed us tonight," Washington forward Trevor Booker remarked.
The Wizards trailed by 12 points early in the fourth after Eric Bledsoe opened the stanza with a 3-pointer, but an 11-5 run later in the frame got them within a point. Bradley Beal hit a pair of 3-pointers during the surge, which was capped when Wall split a pair of free throws to pull Washington within 85-84 with 2:00 left.
After Griffin sank two free throws, Nene made a layup to keep it a one-point contest, but Los Angeles scored seven of the last eight points of the game.
Griffin made a layup and Paul nailed a right elbow jumper on back-to-back Clipper possessions to make it 91-86 with 32.4 to play, essentially sealing the outcome.
Earlier, Los Angeles led 24-22 after a quarter of play before heading into the locker room with a 47-40 cushion.
The Clippers took a 73-64 margin into the final frame.
Los Angeles turned the ball over just 11 times ... The Clippers had a 40-28 points in the paint advantage ... Los Angeles shot just 36.6 percent (34- of-93) from the floor.
01/20 01:51:43 ET