Paul's Big 4th Lifts Clippers Past Wolves, 102-98

Paul's Big 4th Lifts Clippers Past Wolves, 102-98

When Chris Paul gets it going, he’s hard to stop.

The Wolves learned that the hard way as the All-Star scored 16 points in the final quarter, willing the Clippers to a 102-98 win over Minnesota at the Target Center on Wednesday night.

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“Tough loss,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “(Chris) Paul really took over in the fourth quarter and made a lot of big plays… He kept the ball, kept attacking. It was hard to control him. They put pick after pick on him.”

The fact that it was close after the first 3:29 was a surprise in itself. The Clippers jumped to a 12-0 early lead behind 10 points from J.J. Redick, but the first half was an odd one, that’s for sure. Minnesota followed with a 12-4 run of its own.

The Wolves went on a 24-12 run to tie the game at 24 at the end of the first. Kevin Love finished with seven points, while Ricky Rubio added five. Redick was 4-of-7 in the quarter. Aside from him, though, the LA starters were a combined 4-of-11.

The reserves came in for the Wolves to start the second quarter and it wasn’t pretty early. The Clippers went on an 11-0 run led by a group of Jamal Crawford, Reggie Bullock, Ryan Hollins, Darren Collison and Jared Dudley. And in a game of runs, that same unit for Minnesota answered with a 12-0 run to take a 36-35 lead. The Wolves would ultimately take a 46-39 lead with 1:55 left, the team’s biggest lead of the night. Of course, L.A. went on a 7-0 run to close the half, tying the game.

The third quarter ended up being the difference if you just simply look at the box score. The Clippers outscored the Wolves 25-21 in the third, but it was the fourth quarter that really buried Minnesota.

From 5:07 on, it was the CP3 show. Paul scored 16 points in a span of 4 minutes and 44 seconds, including 12 consecutive points. The Wolves got within two once and three points three times, but it was Paul who responded and did what he had to do to give his squad its eighth win of the season and second win over the Wolves in 10 days.

“That’s who he is,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s one of the best players in the league. He’s capable of doing that.”

Both Paul and Griffin finished with double-doubles. Paul had 20 points to go along with 11 assists, six rebounds and four steals. Griffin had 20 points. New additions Redick and Jared Dudley combined for 26 points, while Jamal Crawford finished with 16 points off the bench. In his last game against Minnesota, Crawford finished with 18 points.

Kevin Martin led all scorers with 28 points to go with 10 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic added 20 points, while shooting an efficient 9-of-13 from the field. Corey Brewer scored 17 points. Love, despite shooting 2-of-14 from the field, managed to finish with a double-double, scoring 10 points to go along with 12 rebounds.

Minnesota shot just 37.8 percent from the field, while LA shot 49.4 percent. The Wolves were only able to make five 3-pointers, three coming from Martin.

The Wolves have now lost two straight games and for the first time this season, find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff hunt. It won’t get any easier for Minnesota as has a back-to-back starting on Friday with Brooklyn and Houston, respectively.

Top Performers: Leader of the Pack: Kevin Martin

Martin had a big fourth quarter and was the main reason why the Wolves were able to stay in the game. Of his 28 points, 15 came in the final quarter. The shooting guard also finished with 10 rebounds, four assists and a steal.

It’s the sixth time this season Martin has scored 27 or more points. His 10 rebounds and four assists both matched season highs.

Highlight of the Night

With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Wolves trailed 86-82. Rubio drove the right side of the lane and threw a pass off the mark to Martin, who was in the right corner. Off balanced, Martin nailed a 3-pointer to pull the Wolves to 86-85.

The Numbers Game

  • After finishing with 28 points and 10 rebounds, Martin had his first double-double of the season and his ninth career double-double. It was his first since Nov. 4, 2009.

  • Paul entered the night with point/assist double-doubles in all 11 Clippers games this season, matching Magic Johnson’s record of 11-straight to open the 1990-91 season. With 20 points and 11 assists, he extended the record to 12 games.

  • The Clippers started the first quarter on a 12-0 run, the second quarter with an 11-0 run and the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run.

  • The Wolves were 25-of-31 from the free-throw line compared to LA’s mark of 10-of-16.

  • Quote of the Night

    Postgame Podcast

    with John Focke

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    “It’s always a reason when you have a back-to-back. Especially coming home and playing one of the better teams in the Western Conference. They are just waiting for you, watching our game at some sports bar somewhere. But what are you going to do? It’s how the league works. These guys played us tonight and they go to Oklahoma City tomorrow. It’s not something unique. I think the tough part is the back-to-backs and getting in late is playing on the road, playing at home then going on the road. We do that a lot and that gets weary after a while. It’s nothing we can use as an excuse. You have to play through it.” — Wolves head coach Rick Adelman on the Wolves playing on Tuesday night in Washington before playing at home on Wednesday.

    Looking Ahead

    The Wolves will stay at home for Friday night’s game as they host Kevin Garnett and the Brooklyn Nets at 7 p.m. There won’t be a lot of rest as Minnesota will head to Houston to play Dwight Howard and the Rockets. That game will also be at 7. Both games will be on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830-AM.

    For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at