It must have been sweet for Chris Paul to finally get a win against his old team, and sweet for Vinny Del Negro, who had started to hear media rumblings about his dismissal about a week ago.
The Clippers started the game on an 18-2 tear, and never looked back. This game had “Lob City” written all over it, even though there was an alley-oop Blake Griffin missed because he was too close to the rim.
Jason Smith was not playing in this game, because a body-check he delivered to Blake Griffin in the last match resulted in a two-game suspension. It was probably better he didn’t suit for this game, because he likely would have been booed(the opposite reaction of Hornets’ fans) as retaliation for the flagrant-2 foul.
Chris Paul had 25 points and 10 assists in this one, controlling the game from the tip to the buzzer. Blake Griffin also had his usual solid game(20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals), and Nick Young is starting to show promise as a bench microwave scorer; he shot 4 of 8 from 3-point range and made all his free throws.
This was a much needed performance from the Clippers who needed to show that they could maintain focus for all 4th quarters, and not lose their cool in the 4th quarter especially. They did that in this one; there were no lead changes in the game, and the Clippers will look to keep their momentum going through the end of this 5 game home stand.