Chris Paul did not play for the Clippers on Tuesday night in Houston. The Clippers still won.
This bears repeating.
For a second consecutive night, Paul spent the game on the bench because of a bruised right kneecap. But his team didn't miss a beat, pulling away from the Houston Rockets with a big third quarter in a 117-109 win at Toyota Center.
Unbelievable, right? In truth, it doesn't make sense. Paul is the Clippers' engine, a point guard who starts the offense, directs his teammates and often finishes plays. But in his absence, his teammates have stepped up.
They defeated the Memphis Grizzlies by 23 points on Monday night and used a fast second-half start to lead the Rockets by 19 at one point in the third quarter. They put together a 10-0 run to start the period and eventually completed a 36-9 run that gave them an 86-67 lead with 3:39 left in the third.
"We were just a little sharper in the third quarter," Coach Vinny Del Negro said.
"Coach told us we had to play some de...