With Griffin around, who needs Paul?

LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin (left) celebrating after his game-winning three-point basket against the Portland Trail Blazers just before time expired on Thursday. The Clippers improved to 4-0.
LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin (left) celebrating after his game-winning three-point basket against the Portland Trail Blazers just before time expired on Thursday. The Clippers improved to 4-0.PHOTO: REUTERS

PORTLAND (Oregon) • The Los Angeles Clippers are doing quite nicely without guard Chris Paul. Especially with Blake Griffin playing at a high level and looking at times like Paul, who was traded to the Houston Rockets in the off-season.

Griffin had 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists and sank the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer on Thursday as the Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-103 to remain unbeaten in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The power forward helped the Clippers improve to 4-0 by taking the three-pointer off a dribble just before time expired.

"Honestly, I was just trying to get two (points)," he said.

Austin Rivers and forward Danilo Gallinari (16), guard Patrick Beverley and reserve guard Lou Williams (13) were the Clippers' other double-digit scorers.

Guard Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 25 points and CJ McCollum added 23.

While the Clippers are not missing Paul, the Sacramento Kings were given a reminder of DeMarcus Cousins' talent.

The New Orleans Pelicans big man, in his first game back in Sacramento where he spent the first 61/2 seasons, scored 41 points, grabbed 23 rebounds to lift the Pelicans to a 114-106 win.

"He was dominant in every phase of the game," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.

"I mean, these people love him here. You saw the ovation he got."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2017, with the headline 'With Griffin around, who needs Paul?'. Print Edition | Subscribe