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Ballin': Chris Paul is Clutch, and the Wizards Definitely Are Not

LA Clippers 92, San Antonio 87: The Paper Clips (8-2) beat the Spurs for the 2nd time in a week, mostly because Chris Paul is such a great closer and also because the Spurs were an “embarrassment” in the 2nd quarter (29-14) according to Pop. San Antonio came into the game without Kwahi Leonard; during the game, they lost Stephen Jackson. Is this is good time to point out how much I raved about the Clippers this summer? Only 72 games to go!

Utah 102, Houston 91: With James Harden suffering from the flu, and Carlos Delfino sitting out his 3rd straight game, the Rockets had no chance to hang with the Jazz, and were blown out on the road. Harden was just 1-of-6 in 17 ineffective minutes. Obligatory Jeremy Lin update: 5-of-15, 13 points, three assists, three turnovers. The Rockets, first-week darlings, are now 4-7. Here are two Jazz highlights for the seven Utah fans in the audience. Sample size: the Jazz are 2-0 with Gordon Hayward coming off the bench.

Indiana 96, Washington 89: The Wizards are 0-9. We won’t totally kill them yet – Wall and Nene remain out – but there’s little to no hope in the immediate future. Playing Washington is a cure-all – Roy Hibbert had his best game of the season with 20 points, 12 rebounds and flour blocks.

Denver 97, Memphis 92: The Nuggets beat the team with the NBA’s best record on the road thanks to a late three from former Knick Danilo Gallinari (26 points). JaVale McGee, who George Karl is still trying to find minutes for, scored 15 points and took eight rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. Rudy Gay had the dunk of the night, this quick one over Kenneth Faried.

Charlotte 102, Milwaukee 98: The Bobcats are 5-4 and could surpass last year’s strike-shortened win total of seven by Christmas! Kemba Walker must have learned a lot in his bad rookie year (19 points), and the bench has been fortified thanks to Ramon Sessions (23 points). I knew Rich Cho would make things happen! (Ha.) Also, they’re starting two rookies (Jeffrey Taylor of Vanderbilt and No. 2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist). When they get Tim Thomas and Gerald Henderson back, the bench should be even stronger.

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