Some would call it a tense situation. Chris Paul calls it "winning time."
Paul had 19 points and eight assists and the Clippers beat San Antonio 92-87 on Monday night for their second victory against the Spurs this season.
Paul's 10-foot jumper in the lane with 24.6 seconds left gave the Clippers a 91-87 lead.
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"Yeah, I wanted to shoot; I didn't know how, I just needed a little space," Paul said. "I love those situations -- when it's winning time. We're up two with 24 seconds left, I want it."
Spurs guard Gary Neal missed a 3-point attempt on the subsequent possession, which Eric Bledsoe gathered for his fifth rebound. Bledsoe, who had nine points, made one of two free throws for the final margin.
The Spurs rallied when Matt Bonner made a pair of 3s sandwiched around one from Parker to pull to 88-85 with two minutes remaining.
Bonner, who did not play in the first three periods, finished with 10 points.
San Antonio needed the late rally after losing a lead and Stephen Jackson after the first quarter. Jackson, who suffered a non-displaced fracture to his right pinkie finger late in the first quarter, is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Jackson finished with two points and two rebounds, but the team missed his toughness most.
"Of all our games, this game was in the soft category," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We never had five guys that competed hard enough to win the basketball games. The Clippers took it with their aggressiveness and their toughness, both mentally and physically. For a portion of that game, we were an embarrassment."
The Spurs were outscored 29-14 in the second quarter while shooting 3 for 18 from the field. It was a season low for points in a quarter by San Antonio.
Neal, returning to the lineup after missing two games with a cut on his right index finger, made a runner on his first attempt to give San Antonio a 30-20 lead. That runner with 11:19 left in the half was the last basket for eight minutes for the Spurs, who missed 11 shots and had six turnovers in the drought.
"We know we're a handful on the offensive end," Barnes said. "If we can start controlling the defensive end, that's when we're really going to start winning games and making an imprint in this league. We have the talent to do it. We have the athleticism to do it. It's just the heart and hunger to do it."
Jackson's injury didn't muster any sympathy from Paul during or after the game.
"Injuries happen," he said. "We're without Chauncey (Billups, left Achilles rehab) and Grant (Hill, right knee bone bruise)."
Paul's jumper gave the Clippers a 34-33 lead with 5:31 left in the first half that they extended to 45-36 on Paul's 22-foot jumper.
Danny Green's 3-pointer pulled the Spurs to 67-63 with 1:29 remaining in the third, but Paul responded again with another jumper on the ensuing possession.
|Tony Parker looks to pass after being stopped by DeAndre Jordan during the second half. (US Presswire)|
|L.A. Clippers (8-2) «||18||29||24||21||92|
|San Antonio (8-3)||28||14||21||24||87|
|LAC:C. Paul 19 Pts
LAC:B. Griffin 12 Reb
LAC:C. Paul 8 Ast
|SA:T. Duncan 20 Pts
SA:T. Duncan 14 Reb
SA:T. Parker 6 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles||San Antonio|
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|C. Paul, PG||36||9-16||1-1||4||8||2||19|
|B. Griffin, PF||34||8-18||0-4||12||0||1||16|
|D. Jordan, C||24||5-8||3-6||5||0||3||13|
|W. Green, SG||17||1-4||0-0||3||0||1||2|
|C. Butler, SF||9||0-2||0-0||1||0||1||0|
|M. Barnes, SF||35||5-8||4-4||9||1||2||14|
|J. Crawford, SG||29||4-14||2-2||3||0||2||11|
|E. Bledsoe, PG||23||4-9||1-2||5||3||1||9|
|L. Odom, PF||14||1-3||0-0||4||1||0||2|
|R. Hollins, C||14||1-1||0-0||3||0||6||2|
|R. Turiaf, C||5||2-2||0-0||3||0||1||4|
|C. Billups, PG||Did Not Play|
|G. Hill, SF||Did Not Play|
|T. Thompkins, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|D. Green, SF||35||2-11||0-0||4||2||1||6|
|T. Duncan, PF||34||6-16||8-10||14||1||2||20|
|T. Parker, PG||33||5-11||0-0||2||6||1||11|
|D. Blair, PF||18||3-7||0-0||6||1||1||6|
|S. Jackson, SF||11||1-3||0-0||2||0||1||2|
|M. Ginobili, SG||28||3-11||8-10||5||5||3||15|
|G. Neal, PG||23||3-11||1-1||1||0||4||7|
|T. Splitter, PF||17||2-2||5-5||5||0||1||9|
|B. Diaw, PF||16||0-1||1-2||3||0||1||1|
|M. Bonner, PF||11||4-6||0-0||0||1||2||10|
|P. Mills, PG||10||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|N. De Colo, PG||5||0-1||0-0||0||0||2||0|
|K. Leonard, SF||Did Not Play|
|C. Joseph, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|