No Chris Paul? No problem.
With their newly-acquired star point guard sidelined with a left hamstring injury, the L.A. Clippers improved to 7-3 on the young season behind 20 points from Chauncey Billups by downing the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center 101-91 Monday afternoon.
Billups started in Paul’s place, and scored nine of his 20 in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter to put the game on ice.
Second year All-Star Blake Griffin chipped-in with 23 points and 14 rebounds, notching his fifth consecutive double-double, and already his seventh of the season. Randy Foye started for the second time this season and scored 10 points in 41 minutes. The Clippers were searching for some additional depth in the backcourt, as Mo Williams also missed the game with a sore right foot. The club signed tiny Courtney Fortson earlier in the day, who played nine minutes and did not score.
Reserve forward Brian Cook also sat out for the Clippers with a sprained ankle.
Griffin’s free throw shooting continues to be a concern, as he made just 5-of-13 from the stripe, and is shooting just 56 percent for the season.
New Jersey (3-11) showed some fight, surging from 18 points down to tie it at 81 midway through the fourth. Billups took over from there, all-but clinching the W for the Clips with a three-pointer with just over a minute remaining.
Former Providence star MarShon Brooks, a rookie, led the Nets with 19 points. He’s now averaging nearly 15 points per game this season. The Nets looked sluggish for most of the game, coming off of a 107-94 loss last night against the Utah Jazz.
Los Angeles has now won three-straight games, and improved to 6-1 at home. They’ve also won six of their last seven games, and will host the defending world champion Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night.
Paul is hopeful to be back in the lineup.
From here, the Nets will travel home to take on the Golden State Warriors Wednesday.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.