Chris Paul seems back to his old form since returning from injury and the Los Angeles Clippers hope so, too.
Paul and the Clippers will finally put the finishing touches on an eight-game Grammy road trip Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
Los Angeles bounced back from a rough outing at Miami on Friday by handing the New York Knicks a 102-88 setback two days later. Even though Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 42 points, the Clippers were able to hold the hosts down the stretch. L.A. had a 31-18 advantage in the fourth quarter and was led by reserve Jamal Crawford's 27 points.
Paul added 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Blake Griffin posted 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who won for the second time in three games after losing three in a row and seven of nine. Crawford highlighted a Clippers' bench that had a 48-15 advantage.
"Their bench has been good for them this year," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I thought that was the difference in the game."
Paul, who was playing his second game in a row since missing nine straight and 12 of 14 contests, agreed with Woodson.
"We did well. I think it was our second unit that really got us going," Paul said afterward. "I think it was a great team win for us."
The Clippers are 3-4 on the road trip and 16-12 as the guest. The Clips will head home Monday night for a matchup with Houston on Wednesday, followed by a road bout with their Staples Center co-tenants, the Lakers. In injury news, Clips forward Caron Butler left Sunday's game with a balky back and could be ready for Monday's game.
Philadelphia has played its best basketball at home this season, but will conclude an eight-game stand versus the Clippers.
The Sixers rebounded from a lopsided loss to the Indiana Pacers by handing the Charlotte Bobcats an 87-76 setback Saturday night. Sixers young center Lavoy Allen pulled down a career-high 22 rebounds to go along with 14 points, while All-Star guard Jrue Holiday netted 20 points in the win.
"I was a monster on the boards at Temple," Allen told NBA.com confidently. "It really was my game. All-time leading rebounder at Temple, by the way. Just want to throw that out there."
Spencer Hawes netted 17 points and Evan Turner finished with 16 and 10 boards for Philadelphia, which is 5-2 on the homestand and 16-12 in south Philly overall. 76ers newcomer Jeremy Pargo scored 12 points in his debut.
The Sixers, who led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, played tough defense on the Bobcats and held the opposition below 90 points for the fifth straight time. Over the past nine games, opponents are averaging 85.8 ppg against Philadelphia. The Sixers are 11-2 when allowing 90 points or less.
After hosting the Clippers, Philly will head to Milwaukee right before the All-Star break and won't play again until a road tilt in Minnesota on Feb. 20.
Philadelphia and Los Angeles are meeting for the first time since the Clippers ended a two-game slide in this series with a 78-77 win last Feb. 10 at Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers have won six of the last nine meetings with L.A.