All-star point guard Chris Paul shot an uncharacteristic one-for-ten from the field and the Los Angeles Clippers just couldn't take advantage of a sidelined Tony Parker losing to the San Antonio Spurs, 113-103 in a battle of Western Conference powers.
In his fourth game back from a shoulder injury - including Sunday's All-Star Game - Paul managed to hit nine free throws giving him eleven points on the night but he's still making his way back from that six-week layoff.
"He struggled" said Clippers coach Doc Rivers about his point guard. "He's probably getting his timing back. He looked tired tonight. I mean that happens."
"I think Chris was hurting tonight" said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "He probably won't tell anybody that and I don't know that for a fact but we didn't get the whole Chris Paul tonight."
To hear post game comments from Rivers and Chris Paul, click on the video with this story.
The Clippers (37-19) didn't get Tony Parker at all. They did get a big dose of his replacement - Aussie Patty Wells - who led San Antonio with 25 points on nine of 15 from the field including a pair of three's late in the game that put it away for the defending Western Conference Champions.
"Coming off the bench, he's been really important to us winning games" said Popovich about Mills. "He's a feisty, aggressive, skilled player who's really important to us."
All-star forward Blake Griffin led everyone with 35 points and 12 rebounds. He surpassed the 6,000th point career mark in his 284th career game. Griffin is only the eighth active player to reach that 6,000 point mark before the end of his fourth season. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant reached the milestone in 238 career games.
Jamal Crawford scored 25 in the starting line-up in place of J.J. Redick who is still out nursing a bad back and hip. Darren Collison added 10 while DeAndre Jordan grabbed 18 rebounds to go along with seven points.
For the Spurs (39-15), "The Big Fundamental" - Tim Duncan - had 19 points and 13 rebounds.Marco Belinelli had 20, Boris Diaw had 12 and Manu Ginobili had seven.
The Clippers finished their five-game home stand with a three and two mark and now hit the road for two games against Western Conference foes - the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and the Oklahoma City thunder on Sunday.
San Antonio plays the second of a back-to-back Wednesday night in Portland against the Trail Blazers.