LA Clippers show how much they miss Chris Paul vs. Timberwolves


The LA Clippers dropped their first game of 2017 against a strong showing from the Minnesota Timberwolves, despite DeAndre Jordan’s career night. The absence of Chris Paul hurt immediately.

Karl-Anthony Towns went off in the fourth quarter for 15 of his 37 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves (15-28) over the LA Clippers (29-15) 104-101.

Andrew Wiggins had 27 points, four rebounds and four assists. Gorgui Dieng had 13 points and seven rebounds to help Minnesota come back from being down by 12. Zach Lavine had eight points and six rebounds on a quiet night from the field.

DeAndre Jordan completely led the way for the Clippers, scoring a career-high 29 points to go along with 16 rebounds and two blocks. Austin Rivers added 20 points before fouling out late in the fourth. J.J. Redick scored only nine points, going 4-of-11 and 1-of-3 from deep. Brandon Bass tallied 10 points (5-of-5) in just 19 minutes off the bench for the Clippers, who were without their superstar point guard Chris Paul for the first full game.

The Clippers started off well trailing by three at the end of the first quarter. Their offense kept pace with the Timberwolves and the Clippers played better defense, taking the lead in the second to help take the lead by halftime 51-44.

Jordan kept his rule of the paint in tact but it was Towns from the outside that began to get the Timberwolves back into the game. Jordan scored six points in the 3rd, but Towns had 12 points to begin the come back.

In the fourth, the Clippers slowly but surely let the Timberwolves back into the game led by Towns and instituting the Hack-a-DJ strategy, with Jordan shooting 4-of-10 from the free throw line for the quarter. Everyone on the Clippers went cold except for Jordan, shooting 3-of-4, but he could not get any easy points when Minnesota decided to foul him.

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First game without CP3

So, the first game without CP3. It was a struggle offensively. Shots weren’t coming as easy for the Clippers without their “Point God” due to a thumb injury suffered in the previous game on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

They are a different team without Paul and that’s even tougher until Blake Griffin can come back. Raymond Felton had eight assists for the Clippers which helps, but Felton does not affect the game the same way Chris does.

The leadership on the floor is missing. Paul might be one of the shorter players on the court, but he plays like he is eight feet tall, surveying over all his opponents and finding the right passes. Felton did his best impression in the box score, but the team feels and looks different when watching the team play. Of course, with time they can change things, but the adjustments or lack thereof in the second half did not look promising.

The team is without their superstars and they will play like that until they come back injury. Griffin will give the team another playmaker and will see plenty of time to shine as their point forward. It will help for spacing and offensive flow of the game.


The Clippers have yet to have a player score 30 points or more for the season.

Minnesota snapped the Clippers’ league-leading seven-game winning streak.

The Clippers open up a five-game road trip against Denver on Friday.

Wesley Johnson was out with injury as well.

Next: How far have Clippers come from recent years?

Up next

The LA Clippers leave for 10 of the next 11 games on the road, starting against Denver. Both teams have injuries at key positions.