Saturday night's game didn't need to be a struggle for the Clippers, but they made it one anyway.
They couldn't pull away from the lowly Washington Wizards at Staples Center. Every time they extended a lead, they gave it back. So their 94-87 win in the final game of the season's first half was more of a relief than a rout.
The Clippers shot a season-worst 36.6 percent (34 of 93), despite double-doubles from Chris Paul (22 points, 11 assists) and Blake Griffin (17 points, 11 rebounds). But their shooting was horrendous.
Paul was 6 for 16, Griffin 4 for 18, Jamal Crawford 3 for 13 and Caron Butler 3 for 9. The fact the Clippers were able to overcome their own offensive inefficiency was a testament to their late-game resolve.
"We didn't shoot the basketball very well," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We had to rely on our defense. Our rebounding did a good job. We missed a lot of easy shots we should be making."
Paul's return after a three-game absence to rest a bruised right...