On a night that saw the Heat lose in Detroit and the Knicks in Sacramento despite erasing a 27-point deficit, the lead story was again the Los Angeles Clippers. Coming off a curb-stomping of the Celtics Thursday night in Hollywood, Michael Olawakandi’s former squad evaporated a 19-point Jazz lead in the second half to secure a 116-114 victory in Utah – their 16th straight.
Much like he did in L.A.’s December 3 victory in Salt Lake City, Chris Paul led the charge in the fourth quarter which included nine points, most of which resulted from the three throw line. CP3 ended the game with 29 points and six assists – including going 13-14 from the charity stripe – with his duo of big men, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, carrying their weight with 22-13 and 16-10, respectively.
Also, don’t look now, maybe it’s because Chris doesn’t have to hide his twin brother Cliff to the masses anymore, but CP3 is a bonafide MVP candidate. In some shape, form or fashion, he, Durant, Carmelo and LeBron have to be the top four candidates for MVP heading into 2013 (James Harden, fifth).* A lot can change between now and the end of the regular season, but as 2012 comes to a close and 2013 prepares to open its curtains, Paul’s unquestionably the leader of what is now the best team in all of basketball.
Speaking of Cliff Paul, feel free to give buddy a follow on Twitter. He’s been tweeted by the likes of Drew Brees, Erin Andrews and LaLa since becoming an overnight celebrity on Christmas. He’s kind of a big deal now, you know.
* – No, Lakers fan, this isn’t shading Kobe either, who is having an individual season for the ages.