FINAL SCORES: LA CLIPPERS 98, SPURS 87
SAN ANTONIO — Chris Paul had 19 points and the Los Angeles Clippers shot 50-percent from the field when beating the San Antonio Spurs 98-87 on Saturday night.
Paul, who shot 9-of-16 from the floor, flirted with a triple-double after grabbing eight assists and eight rebounds to go with three steals for the Clippers, who won its fifth straight game.
“I think we’re playing with the right spirit right now, the right intensity,” Paul said.
“The right intensity. It’s a good win for us, but with us it’s all about consistency. We’ve been so up and down over the season.”
Blake Griffin finished with 18 points and eight rebounds on a night when he shot just 7-of-19, while DeAndre Jordan added 17 points on 8-of-10 with a few dunks and grabbed 17 rebounds for Los Angeles (49-31).
“I thought defensively at the beginning of the season is really what set us apart,” said Griffin. “We’ve been better this stretch, but we can still be better.”
Also scoring in double-digit for the LA Clippers in the win were Jamal Crawford, who scored 12 points off the bench, JJ Redick had scored 11 and Luc Mbah a Moute with 10.
Kawhi Leonard hit five 3-pointers and was 10-of-19 from the floor to lead San Antonio with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and Pau Gasol finished with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs (61-19), who shot 42.5 percent in the defeat.
“Our execution at both ends, defensively and offensively, was really poor,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
“So, I’m very disappointed in that, and I’m looking forward to the next two games.”
Meanwhile, with the victory, the Los Angeles Clippers remain in contention for the No. 4 seed and hosting a first-round playoff series in the Western Conference.
The Utah Jazz, who are battling with the LA Clippers for the fourth seed, lost at Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
“If we win our games and they win their games, then (games) 1 and 2 are going to be in Utah and we’re fine with that,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
“We’d love to have it at home, but if we don’t have it at home, we don’t have it at home. This team is not a young team, they are mature enough to go on the road and win basketball games.”
San Antonio, in the meantime, has already secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and will meet the seventh-seeded Memphis in the first-round of the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Clippers will next host the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
The San Antonio Spurs are at the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.