PHILADELPHIA (AP) - With some help from Blake Griffin, Chris Paul came up huge when the Los Angeles Clippers needed it most.
Paul had 24 points, including the game-winning 17-footer with 3.2 seconds left, Griffin added 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Clippers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 78-77 on Friday.
On the Clippers' final possession, Paul sent a pass to Griffin, but the ball bounced through his legs. Griffin went on the floor, passed back to Paul, who somehow scored over the outstretched arm of Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala who is one of the best defenders in the league.
``That almost turned out to be ugly,' Paul said. ``I threw the ball between Blake Griffin's legs. I thought it would be a turnover, so thank you Blake Griffin for diving for the ball. Without him, we don't win the game.'
Mo Williams added 14 points, Randy Foye had 10 and Reggie Evans added a season-high 10 rebounds for the Pacific Division-leading Clippers, who improved to 16-8.
``Reggie was great for us,' Griffin said.
The Clippers are still coping with the loss of veteran guard Chauncey Billups, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear.
Foye, who starred at nearby Villanova, received his second straight start and scored four points in the fourth quarter.
But it was Paul who found a way to get it done at the end.
``Chris Paul made the big one,' Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. ``We tried to open up the lane a little. He's going to make the right play. That's what great players do.'
Elton Brand had 12 points and 10 rebounds while Iguodala added 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists one day after being selected to the All-Star team as a reserve for the first time in his eight-year career.
Lou Williams had 11 points while Jodie Meeks and Thaddeus Young had 10 each for the Sixers, who dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.
``It's disappointing to lose two straight at home,' Brand said. ``We've got to regroup, go on the road and keep growing.'
The Sixers completed a tough seven-game stretch with a 4-3 mark.
Philadelphia defeated Orlando, Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers at home with a road victory against Atlanta.
The three losses came against Miami, San Antonio and the Clippers, all at home.
The Sixers have a 13-5 record at home following a favorable schedule with only nine road games thus far.
A sellout crowd of 20,539 was roaring - the third sellout on this homestand - and the fans were chanting ``Beat LA!'
The noise reached a fever pitch following a pair of free throws by Williams with 18 seconds left, giving the Sixers a 77-76 advantage.
``We had chances,' Williams said. ``We kind of shots ourselves in the foot with mistakes and missed free throws.'
But Paul responded with that difficult shot with 3.2 seconds left, sending the Clippers back on top 78-77.
``We had to grind it out,' Del Negro said. ``We didn't shoot it well, but we got out on them defensively and slowed them down.'
The Sixers led by as many as 12 in the first half, but the Clippers rallied thanks to Mo Williams and got within 43-41 at halftime.
Notes: Griffin was whistled for a technical foul with 5:39 left in the third quarter. ... Sixers C Spencer Hawes was out for the 12th time in the past 14 games with a strained left Achilles. ... Wali Jones, a member of the Sixers' 1966-67 championship team, attended the game.
The Associated Press News Service
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