The most thrilling contest of the playoffs promises more thrill and flow of adrenaline.
Chris Paul staged a timely comeback to shoulder the Los Angeles Clippers to a 114-105 win to level the series 2-2 at home against the San Antonio Spurs. Drowned by defending champions in over time during Game 2, and blown away in Game 3 by Kawhi Leonard’s heroics, the Clippers needed to win desperately at home to redeem themselves. And after having done that, the series is now wide open.
A poor show in Game 3, where he had more turnovers (six) than assists (four) and only seven points, motivated point-guard Chris Paul to take control of the proceedings on Sunday. He returned with seven assists and three rebounds, scoring 34 points. Power forward Blake Griffin not only added 20 to the winner’s tally but made his constant presence on board felt with a career playoff best – 19 rebounds and seven assists.
“All my teammates, my brother, my dad, all them have been telling me how passive I’ve been, so I just tried to be a little aggressive,” Paul said after Game 4.
A key positive point for the Clippers is that their second unit for the first time in the series proved its strength. Third year guard Austin Rivers deserves special mention for his stellar show coming in as a substitute in his first-ever playoff game. The former Duke star chipped in with 16 points in 17 minutes, on 7 for 8 shooting. His total tally on Sunday was 22. Jamal Crawford also had a nice outing with 15 points coming in from the bench.
Paul later hailed Rivers by saying, “The game ball goes to Rivers.”
Leonard once more led the Spurs with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The series now moves on to Game 5 on Tuesday at Los Angeles.