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Scoring runs help Clippers beat Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS - They say the NBA is a game of scoring runs and nothing demonstrates that more than the Los Angeles Clippers' 102-98 victory at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Blake Griffin
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin shoots over Minnesota's Kevin Love on Wednesday in Minneapolis. USA Today Sports

MINNEAPOLIS - They say the NBA is a game of scoring runs and nothing demonstrates that more than the Los Angeles Clippers' 102-98 victory at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

And in a game wildly filled with them, the run that mattered most was Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul's fourth-quarter one. That's when he scored 16 of his 20 points, including 12 consecutively for his team down the stretch after nearly four games when it felt to him like he couldn't make a shot.

The Clippers (8-4) scored the game's first 12 points and yet were tied at 24 after one quarter. In the second quarter, every point each team scored was on an unanswered run.

The only sense of normalcy on Wednesday night was Paul's fourth-quarter performance, when once again he willed his team to win after he made just two of nine shots and scored just four points through three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, he made six of seven shots, including two important

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3-pointers.

"I guess it's sad, but we're just kind of used to it now," teammate Blake Griffin said of Paul's fourth-quarter, game-saving play. "It's something we rely on every game. It's like you can always count on him. No matter how he's played through three quarters, he's going to come up and make big plays, whether it's assists, steals, scoring. Whatever it is, he does that for us."

Until Wednesday's fourth quarter, Paul said he wondered if he'd ever make another shot. He went 13-for-41 in his previous game and then started Wednesday 2-for-9 until Clippers coach Doc Rivers asked him what he was waiting for before sending him back into the game for the final seven minutes.

He made a trey soon thereafter and off he went, repelling the Wolves with a jump shot, a 3-pointer and a 3-point play when the Wolves chopped an

11-point, fourth-quarter deficit down to a point or two.

"Finally, I saw the ball go through the net," Paul said. "It's frustrating. I've honestly never been through a spurt like this in my career where I can't make a shot. My teammates, they're the ones encouraging me, telling me to shoot it and I'm going to shoot it, too, because I can make those shots. It's just cool to see the ball go through the net."

L.A. Clippers 24 22 25 31-102

Minnesota 24 22 21 31- 98

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L.A. CLIPPERS (102)

Griffin 10-19 0-0 20, Paul 8-16 2-3 20, Redick 5-14 3-4 15, Dudley 4-8 2-2 11, Jordan 2-3 0-0 4, Ja.Crawford 5-9 2-4 16, Hollins 2-4 1-3 5, D.Collison 2-4 0-0 5, Bullock 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 40-81 10-16 102.

MINNESOTA (98)

C.Brewer 5-12 6-8 17, Love 2-14 6-10 10, Rubio 2-7 0-0 5, Kv.Martin 11-21 3-3 28, Pekovic 9-13 2-2 20, D.Cunningham 4-8 0-0 8, Hummel 1-5 2-2 4, Barea 0-4 2-2 2, Dr.Williams 0-4 4-4 4, Shved 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 34-90 25-31 98.

3-Point Goals: L.A. Clippers 12-24 (Ja.Crawford 4-7, Bullock 2-2, Paul 2-5, Redick 2-5, D.Collison 1-1, Dudley 1-4), Minnesota 5-22 (Kv.Martin 3-4, Rubio 1-2, C.Brewer 1-6, Shved 0-1, Dr.Williams 0-1, Barea 0-2, Hummel 0-3, Love 0-3). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: L.A. Clippers 50 (Jordan 12), Minnesota 59 (Love 12). Assists: L.A. Clippers 24 (Paul 11), Minnesota 24 (Love 8). Total Fouls: L.A. Clippers 25 (Dudley 5), Minnesota 17 (Rubio 3). A--13,101.

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