Paul notched milestone in win against former team


Los Angeles Clippers (19-6) point guard Chris Paul recorded his 5,000th career assists against his former team the New Orleans Hornets (5-20) last Wednesday night in the Clippers 93-77 win in L.A.

“It’s pretty cool,” Paul said on recording the milestone assist number. “I didn’t know what everyone was cheering for. I’m always so intense in the game trying to figure out what defense we’re in or what we’re running. I was talking to Blake [Griffin] and asked what was going on and he told me. He told the guys in the locker room I had 4,999 and that he needed to shoot it next time I gave it to him. It’s pretty cool, especially doing it here in front of our home crowd.”

The Hornets trailed the entire game against Paul and his Clippers who are on an 11-game win streak. New Orleans did lead in one positive stat line: individual scoring point total. The Hornets’ forward Robin Lopez led the game with 22 points as New Orleans struggled offensively to keep up with the surging Clippers team.

These two teams matched up in November, but the result of that game was a win for the Hornets. New Orleans won 105-98 led by guard Greivis Vasquez who scored 25 points and dished 10 assists. Anderson also got hot and scorched the Clippers with five three-pointers.

“When we played here last time we hit shots and didn’t turn the ball over as much in key situations,” Williams said about the differences in the two match-ups against the Clippers. “It’s easy to try to look for what went wrong or what was different, but we just didn’t make shots. Ryan [Anderson] couldn’t knock down a three tonight. If you’re looking for a difference, that was it.”

Anderson shot 2-13 from the field and went 0-8 behind the three-point line. He finished the night with seven points and five rebounds, but that wasn’t nearly enough help from the team’s leading scoring with 18.5 per game. The Hornets turned the ball over 21 times to the Clippers 12 and allowed Los Angeles to shoot 50 percent from the field goal.

The only other double-digit scorer was rookie big man Anthony Davis, who is a few games out of injury. Davis contributed 16 points, 5 rebounds and a blocked shot.

For the Clippers, Paul finished the game with 10 points and 12 assists. Leading Los Angeles in team scoring was forward Blake Griffin with 18 points.

The Hornets play next against the Toronto Raptors at home Friday Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.