By Ben Golliver
Paul was unbelievable in leading a Clippers comeback down the stretch, scoring 17 fourth-quarter points, including 11 in the final 3:34. His most spectacular sequence came with L.A. clinging to a 94-92 lead with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.
Using a high screen from Blake Griffin, Paul initially drove to his left before crossing over to his right to beat Reggie Evans into the paint. Once there, he jump stopped and prepared to shoot a 10-foot pull-up jumper, only to lose control of the ball and get bumped by Deron Williams from his left side. Still in mid-air, Paul regained possession of the ball, bringing it back to his body with a full double-clutch to avoid Brook Lopez before flinging it towards the hoop as he fell back to the court. His desperation heave rolled in smoothly and he was granted an and-one call to boot.
"I didn't even try to make it, I just threw it up because I knew I was getting fouled," Paul said in a televised post-game interview. "I felt the guy come under my legs so I could care less if it went in."
Paul finished with a game-high 29 points (on eight-for-16 shooting), 11 assists, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 41 minutes. The Clippers, the West's No. 4 seed, improved to 48-22 on the season.
The Nets, the East's No. 4 seed, dropped to 40-29. Brooklyn was led by Williams, who finished with 18 points (on six-for-16 shooting), nine assists, two rebounds and two steals.