RECAP: Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7
Chris Paul banked in a shot over Tim Duncan with a second left to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 111-109 victory over the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 on Saturday night for a wild finish to an entertaining first-round series.
After Duncan made two free throws to tie it with 8.8 seconds left, Paul drove the right side and put up a one-handed shot over the 39-year Spurs star that went in as he was falling away.
Matt Barnes knocked away the inbound pass to seal the victory and the Staples Center crowd went crazy after the Clippers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for just the fourth time in franchise history.
The Clippers, who faltered at home in Games 2 and 5, move on to face the Rockets starting Monday night in Houston.
Paul returned from an early hamstring injury to help keep the Clippers in the game. He scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half, including four big 3-pointers.
Duncan had 27 points and 11 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the series.
Blake Griffin had 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for Los Angeles for his second triple-double of the series.
The Clippers trailed by five points with 5:42 left before Griffin made two free throws and J.J. Redick a 3-pointer to tie it at 97 with 3:58 to go.
The teams traded leads during the final minutes, with Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili scoring for the Spurs and Barnes hitting a 3-pointer for the Clippers.
Paul made two three throws with 13.3 seconds left for a 109-107 lead before Duncan was fouled by Redick and made both shots with 8.8 seconds left.
Paul hit a clutch 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter to give the Clippers a 79-78 lead and earn a standing ovation. It was his third 3 of the quarter, coming after Ginobili made two of three free throws after he was fouled by Austin Rivers while taking a desperation shot from three-quarters court with 7.8 seconds left.
Paul missed the final 2 minutes of the first quarter and the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second quarter. He appeared to get hurt as he dribbled up court before making a 3-pointer. He sat on the bench with his head in his hands before leaving for the locker room.
Barnes scored 17 points, Jamal Crawford 16 and Redick 14 for L.A.
Tony Parker had 20, Danny Green 16, Leonard 13 and Boris Diaw 12 for San Antonio.