Sacramento, CA – Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Paul split a pair of go-ahead free throws with 2.5 seconds left to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 103-102 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Paul, who had 22 points, nailed a high-arching fadeaway 3-pointer from the right corner with the shot clock winding down to tie the game at 98-98 with 1:29 left and then put the Clips in front with a layup on their next touch. He was fouled on the play, but missed the ensuing free throw.
Isaiah Thomas sunk two foul shots at the other end to knot the tilt before Paul split two defenders with a bounce pass from the right elbow and hit a cutting Blake Griffin for a thunderous one-handed dunk with 44.4 ticks to go.
Thomas again made two foul shots to tie it at 102-102 with 24.2 seconds on the clock. Paul then took the clock down before he was fouled.
DeMarcus Cousins' shot at the buzzer from the left elbow came up well short.
Paul added nine assists and six rebounds, while Jordan tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who have won six of their last eight tilts.
Cousins had 23 points, 19 boards and seven assists for Sacramento, which had its brief two-game winning streak snapped. Thomas finished with 22 points in defeat.
"Proud of the effort we gave forth, it's disappointing we didn't pull it out, it shouldn't have come down to the last second," Kings head coach Michael Malone said.
Los Angeles built a 29-13 advantage after quarter of play and led 40-20 early in the second after Ryan Hollins threw down Darren Collison's alley-oop pass.
"The first quarter that's the way we're supposed to play defense. If we can play like that for the whole game we'll be ok," Jordan said.
The Kings countered with a 14-4 run and trailed, 57-48, heading into the break.
Patrick Patterson capped a 10-2 Sacramento swing with a reverse layup to whittle the gap to 66-64 midway through the third before he netted six points during a 10-0 flurry to put the Kings in front, 79-78, with 8:40 left in the final frame.
Griffin had 16 points and 10 boards ... The Clippers shot just 57.8 percent (26-of-45) from the foul line ... Patterson registered 21 points and seven rebounds ... Thomas was 11-of-13 from the foul line.