February 24th, 2017
Chris Paul returned for the first time in five weeks, but it didn’t matter. The Spurs took down the Clippers 105-97 on Friday night at Staples Center.
Kawhi Leonard battled through foul trouble to score 21 points. Pau Gasol had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points and 11 rebonds of his own.
This was the Spurs first game after a nine-day layoff, while it was the Clippers 2nd straight loss after the All-Star break.
Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers with 29 points, and Paul scored 17 but committed 4 of the Clippers 12 turnovers. Austin Rivers poured in 23 off the bench, but it wasn’t enough. The Clippers were up 47-42 at halftime, but they couldn’t hold on. Paul seemed content with an evening that he could build upon though.
“I came out unscathed, which is great,” Paul said. “It was a tough loss, but it felt good to get through an entire game.”
The Clippers were up 68-59 midway through the 3rd quarter. However, for the 2nd night in a row, their opponent erupted at that point. The Spurs went on a 16-5 run, to take a 77-73 lead into the 4th quarter.
At one point, Blake Griffin was hit in the face by Spurs reserve Dewyane Dedmon. Griffin went down on the court bleeding, and went to locker room for a moment. However, he came back out with a band-aid beneath his right eye.
The Spurs now lead the season series with the Clippers 2-1. LA dropped into 5th place in the Western Conference behind Utah. The Clippers host Charlotte on Sunday, where they’ll look to get back in the win column.