Chris Paul Recovers Quickly From Foot Tweak, Has Triple-Double

Sunday afternoon in the Clippers first loss of the season, Chris Paul missed a few minutes of the game after spending several more limping around, after suffering a sprained left foot, but he came back real strong last night, not just recording his 12th lifetime triple-double, but leading the team in rebounds, on a 13-10-12 night. He got lots of help as the Clippers bounced back after a painful loss to the vastly improved Sacramento Kings, as they defeated the similarly improved Jazz. Besides Paul’s great game, they had another great performance from Blake Griffin, who scored 31, from Jamal Crawford, who had missed Sunday’ game and who was still operating at only 70%, and from last year’s disappointing first-round draft pick, Reggie Bullock, who has now seemingly surpassed the underachieving Chris Douglas-Roberts at the backup small forward spot.

Griffin continues his quest to move up from last season's third spot in the MVP voting, and his 27.5 scoring average is a mere 2.2 points below the league lead. The Clippers could have really used Crawford's shooting in Sunday's fourth quarter, but despite being not yet 100%, he came back last night to hit exactly his season's average, 19 points, and they
needed them all.

During the preseason, where was a battle between Bullock and Douglas-Roberts as to who would be first off the bench when Matt Barnes leaves the court. Neither player did much of anything to warrant actual playing time, but likely due to no more than his greater experience, Douglas-Roberts got the nod, but in the first three games, was more than disappointing, going 0-for-nine and scoring four points in a total of 41 minutes. That apparently was enough for Doc Rivers, and last night it was Bullock, he had never left the bench in the first three games, and he made the most of the opportunity. He scored 12 points on four-of-seven shooting in 18 minutes, and one has to think that if he can keep that up, not too much more of Douglas-Roberts will be seen for awhile. Bullock, who averaged on 2.7 points per game last year had only scored in double figures four times, fell two points short of his career high.

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The Jazz' Gordon Hayward, had another big game in what has stated out to be his best season, and he has increased his scoring total in each of the Jazz' games so far this season, last night hitting five three-pointers and collecting 27 points. Utah's first round pick Dante Exum continues to impress in limited minutes, last night hitting on three-of-six for seven points.

After today off-day, the Clippers go to Oakland
to play Golden State tomorrow night. The 3-0 Warriors, already playing as well as any team in the league and who has the biggest margin of victory per game, 15.3, of any team, figure to be at full strength for the first time this season with the likely return of David Lee. To say the least, this game will not be easy for the Clippers.

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