Chris Paul and Deron Williams renewed their rivalry Saturday night, a rivalry that used to be billed as a battle between the league's two best point guards. Paul is still regarded by most as the league's best, but Williams' time as a member of the Brooklyn Nets has knocked him down a few pegs. However, Williams seemed up to the task of playing Paul's foil for at least one night as the two dueled at Staples Center, with the Clippers earning a 101-95 win.
Williams looked to score for much of the first half, putting up 11 points and just two assists. He changed course in the second half as his shot stopped falling, but he did manage to get his teammates involved as the Nets held a slim lead during the third quarter. Paul, on the other hand, spent the first half setting up his teammates, most notably Willie Green, who had 12 first half points.
The two teams traded baskets for much of the third quarter, as the largest lead the Nets managed to hold was six points. The Nets held a five point lead for the early part of the fourth quarter before the Clippers used an 8-0 run to take an 84-80 lead. The Nets got within one when Williams hit a three with just under two minutes to go. About a minute later, Jamal Crawford hit a three of his own. Paul then made a layup plus the foul to put the game out of reach. Paul finished the game with 29 points and 11 assists while Williams finished with 18 points and nine assists.