Griffin, Paul push Clippers past Timberwolves
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin and Chris Paul paced seven teammates in double figures with 19 points apiece as the Los Angeles Clippers downed the Minnesota Timberwolves, 111-95, at Staples Center.
Paul also dished out 11 assists for the Clippers, who have already clinched their first-ever Pacific Division crown and remain two games back of Denver for the third seed in the Western Conference. Willie Green connected on all three of his 3-point attempts for 15 points, while Matt Barnes (14 points), Jamal Crawford (11 points) and Lamar Odom (13 rebounds) were impressive off the bench.
DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler each netted 10 points for the hosts.
"Our tempo was good tonight," Paul said. "We played fast. We made them miss and then we pushed the ball up the court. We try to tire teams out."
Nikola Pekovic led all scorers with 20 points for Minnesota, which has lost back-to-back games. Derrick Williams tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea poured in 12 points apiece, and Luke Ridnour chipped in 11 points in the losing effort.
The Clippers outscored the Timberwolves by six points in both the first and second quarters, as they carried a 58-46 lead into intermission. Los Angeles shot just shy of 55 percent from the field in the first half while holding Minnesota to only 32.6 percent shooting.
Griffin scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, doing so on 8-of-11 from the field.
Minnesota came out of the locker room firing with a 20-11 run to make its deficit just three midway through the third quarter, but Los Angeles recovered and finished the frame holding a comfortable 88-72 advantage.
The Clippers' lead never dipped below 13 in the fourth quarter.
"We just didn't have enough tonight," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said. "They made a lot of shots in the third quarter and we ran out of gas. They were the aggressors."
The Clippers earned their franchise-record 31st home win this season ... Chauncey Billups (groin) missed his sixth consecutive game ... Los Angeles completed the season sweep of Minnesota and has beaten the Timberwolves in five straight overall ... Griffin added eight rebounds and seven assists in the triumph ... The Clippers won despite losing the turnover battle, 20-9.
04/11 02:59:37 ET