Notebook: Clippers 99, Pacers 91



Posted Feb 28, 2013 10:51 PM

Conrad Brunner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: When things started to get a little out of control, Chris Paul took matters into his own hands. The Clippers' star point guard responded to a 13-0 Indiana run by scoring his team's final eight points down the stretch to quell a Pacers comeback and deliver a 99-91 victory Thursday in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Paul finished with 29 points and eight assists, game-highs in both categories, while Jamal Crawford scored 23 off the bench for the Clippers (42-18). Blake Griffin scored 18 points with 14 rebounds. David West scored 22 and Paul George 20 for Indiana (36-22), which had a five-game win streak snapped.

QUOTABLE: "We tried to open up the court for him and he's either going to hit shots or make the right basketball play. That's what star players do."
-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro on Paul.

THE STAT: The Clippers had a modest four dunks, two from Griffin, who raised his league-leading total to 147.

TURNING POINT: The Clippers tried to pull away twice but Indiana reeled them back. Griffin scored eight in a 13-0 run in the third quarter that pushed the visitors' lead to 72-63, but the Pacers trimmed it to 78-71 early in the fourth. Five different Clippers then scored in an 11-1 run as Indiana missed nine shots in a row to fall behind 89-72. Trailing by 17 with 5:38 remaining, however, Paul George got hot, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in a 13-0 Indiana run that cut the lead to 91-87 with 2:45 left. That's when Paul stepped in, hitting an off-balance jumper, then converting two drives that made it 97-91 with 31.3 seconds remaining. Indiana didn't make a basket in the final 2:14.

QUOTABLE II: "I watch the Pacers play a lot. D-West is like my brother. And they have been beating teams real bad lately, especially here at home. So I think this is a good win for us. I think every night we are going into different arenas and the other team knows that they are in for a dogfight that night. I think we're becoming like a San Antonio or a Miami or any of the other top teams."
-- Paul.

HOT: Paul shot 11-for-18, while Griffin went 7-for-10 and Crawford shot 9-for-16 for the Clippers, who shot .488 as a team despite uncharacteristically poor 3-point shooting (4-for-23). ... Lance Stephenson shot 7-for-8 for the Pacers and Danny Granger had an encouraging 5-for-10 shooting performance after going 2-for-17 in his first two games back from a knee injury. ... The Clippers' bench combined to shoot 17-for-34 and rack up 43 points.

NOT: Indiana shot just 7-for-26 (.269) in the fourth quarter and 14-for-41 (.341) in the second half. ... The Pacers' bench shot 7-for-20 and produced just 16 points. ... Indiana's two leading scorers, West and George, combined to shoot 12-for-32 (.375).

QUOTABLE III: "Roy Hibbert makes a big difference in our team. Everybody says he's having a bad year, but he's having a good year. We have the number one defense in the league and he's a big part of it. "
-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel.

NOTABLE: Without 7-2 Indiana center Roy Hibbert, who was serving a one-game NBA suspension, the Clippers attacked the rim at will and racked up 50 points in the paint. ... This was L.A.'s first win in Indianapolis since 2008. ... Indiana committed 20 turnovers, the third time it has reached or exceeded that total in the last five games. ... West made 11 free throws, a Pacers season-high. ... Griffin has averaged 25.0 points and 15.3 rebounds in four career games against Indiana. ... The Clippers have won seven of eight. .... In his first start at center this season, Ian Mahinmi produced five points and five rebounds for Indiana. ... After sitting out most of the first half with foul trouble, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan took a shot to the nose early in the third period and wound up playing less than 10 minutes, totaling four points and one rebound. ... Granger will continue to play 15-20 minutes off the bench as he returns from patellar tendinosis in his left knee. Vogel said Granger would be available to play Friday in Toronto on the second night of a back-to-back. ... Clippers backup point guard Eric Bledsoe was active after missing the last game with a sore left calf. ... Sixth man Crawford rejoined the team after missing Tuesday's 106-84 victory over Charlotte to attend the birth of his child.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Friday @ Toronto, Sunday vs. Chicago, Wednesday vs. Boston. For the Clippers, Friday @ Cleveland, Sunday vs. Oklahoma City, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee.