Chris Paul hits game-winner as Clippers take 2-0 series lead (video)


Chris Paul puts up an unstoppable game-winner. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

The first round of the NBA playoffs has lost a little of its oomph, what with the expansion to seven games and all.

But every so often, something exciting happens. Like Kobe Bryant tweeting. Or Chris Paul hitting a game-winning bank shot with .01 showing on the clock. That heroic little shot gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 93-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night in Los Angeles.

Here’s how it went down, via SI.com’s Lee Jenkins:

Paul set a screen for [Jamal] Crawford, in hopes Mike Conley would switch onto him, and for a moment he thought the plan worked. But the Grizzlies allow the fewest points of any team in the Western Conference for a reason. [Tony] Allen switched back to Paul. They paired off, 45 feet from the basket, and Paul glanced up at the clock. He wondered if he’d even get a shot off. Paul made three moves to his right, just to reach the three-point line, and Allen was still wearing him like a second jersey. They exchanged hand-checks, and Paul leaned into Allen slightly, gaining a sliver of separation. He lunged toward the right side of the key, and off one leg, lofted a short runner over the outstretched arm of Darrell Arthur, a power forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan. Paul turned his back as the ball brushed off the glass and through the hoop. The crowd at Staples Center, dressed in red, rose like a crimson tide. Blake Griffin wrapped Paul in a suffocating headlock. “There are a lot of reasons we got him,” said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. “But that’s obviously one of them.”

Paul finished with 24 points — and scored all of the Clippers’ last eight points.


Chris Paul is enveloped by Blake Griffin. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)

“Tony played as good a defense as you could have,” Paul said. “I looked up to the clock and thought to myself, ‘I better get a shot off.’ So I just tried to attack. Luckily, I made the shot.”

The series now shifts to Memphis, with the Clippers up 2-0. Now, they’re looking like the team that went 16-0 in December, reeling off 17 straight wins overall. This is a good time to be that team again.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · April 20, 2013