In a matchup of two of the best power forwards in the league between Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, the Los Angeles Clippers squared off against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. The Clippers opened the game on a 12-0 run with Redick scoring eight points and assisting on the other four. But they let the Wolves back into the game almost immediately, and the quarter ended in a 24-24 tie. The Clippers opened the second quarter on an 11-0 run, but the Wolves went on a 22-4 run of their own to open up a seven point lead before the half ended with the teams once again tied at 46.
The third quarter was the Griffin show, with Blake hitting all seven of his shots and scoring 14 of the Clippers 25 points, helping the Clippers take a four point lead going into the fourth quarter. The second unit of Darren Collison, Jamal Crawford, Reggie Bullock and Ryan Hollins, playing with starter Jared Dudley, played much better than they have, and they stretched the lead out to 11 with the first seven points of the fourth quarter.
But as they did repeatedly in the game in L.A. the Wolves would come back, using an 11-3 run to cut the lead down to three. At which point it became the Timberwolves versus Chris Paul, and Paul came out the winner. Although he had missed 21 of his last 24 three pointers, Paul got his personal run going by nailing a three. Over a stretch of five minutes, Paul made six of seven shots, including two three pointers and a conventional three-point play. He scored 16 of the Clippers’ final 21 points in the game, 15 of 17 when the game was really on the line.
Ok, enough with the game. Now on to what really matters…
After dropping 20 points and 11 assists in the Clippers’ four-point victory, CP3 has officially surpassed Magic Johnson for most consecutive double-doubles to start a season. He’s recorded at least 10 points and a dollar’s worth of dimes during each and every one of the first 12 games in 2013-14, giving him the record for consecutive points-assists double-doubles to open a season.
“It’s huge, man. Magic is a mentor of mine, somebody I look up to,” Paul said. “His basketball production was unbelievable, so be mentioned in anything with him is huge and an honor.”
Magic’s record had remained intact for 22 years—no one in the last five seasons has even hit double-digits before CP3 came around—but that didn’t make the greatest point guard of all time any less incredible when Paul took over.
Congrats to my boy @CP3 on my breaking my record of 11 straight double-doubles, scoring 20pts & 11ast tonight for his 12th straight dbl dbl!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 21, 2013
And his teammates were not shy about showing their love and respect either.
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) November 21, 2013
Where does this record put Chris Paul among the great point guards to ever play this game? Well, if anything, it for sure puts CP3 in the MVP discussion and his name has to be mentioned in the top 10-15 point guards ever. His incredible court vision and ability to make his teammates better and find them for easy baskets combined with the ability to score in bunches is something we haven’t seen since, well, Magic Johnson. Even the Timberwolves players had to acknowledge his greatness. “That’s why he’s a superstar and one of the best point guards in this league,” Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin said. “He got hot at the end and he’s capable of doing that. We did everything we could do to try to force him to miss shots, and unfortunately for us he didn’t.”
As of right now, it seems inconceivable that anything could stop Paul’s great run. For how many more games this could continue, no one knows. But we do know this: Paul’s playmaking ability is by far the best in the league. Combined with his ability to make his teammates better and with the plethora of offensive talent the Clippers possess, it feels like nothing will stand in CP3′s way of success this year. The torch has finally been passed.