LOS ANGELES -- As Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins leaned against the wall outside of the visiting locker room at Staples Center, he looked at longtime Los Angeles Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler and smiled.
"Lawler's Law!" Collins said, referring to Lawler's decree that the first team to score 100 points wins.
"Last time it was 100 after three quarters," Collins continued. "But who remembers that?"
The Clippers didn't hit Lawler's Law until late in the fourth quarter, beating the Sixers on Wednesday night, 101-72. It was a win the Clippers desperately needed after losing three of their last five games.
With just 13 games left in the regular season, the Clippers are mere percentage points from being the No. 3 seed in the West or starting the first round of the playoffs on the road at either Memphis or Denver.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Paul powers through
Chris Paul doesn't like to talk about injuries, especially this time of year, but there was no hiding the kinesiology tape that was around his left shoulder and the ice pack taped to the shoulder before the game. In fact, it was so painful Paul could hardly put his shirt and jersey on before the game on his own without wincing in pain. Paul, however, played Wednesday night and finished with 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds in just 31 minutes. It was a strong performance at a time when the Clippers desperately needed it. Paul responded well to a rough night in Sacramento on Tuesday where he hit only 2-of-10 shots and committed seven turnovers. On Wednesday he was 8-for-10 with four turnovers.
Bench is back
After being outscored the previous three games, the Clippers' bench responded Wednesday by outscoring the 76ers' bench 42-25. Despite the absence of Chauncey Billups, Eric Bledsoe, Ronny Turiaf and Grant Hill, the Clippers got contributions from six players, including Maalik Wayns and DaJuan Summers, two players who recently signed 10-day contracts. Jamal Crawford scored 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting, and Ryan Hollins had a solid night with 10 points and six rebounds.
Yes, playing the 76ers can do wonders for a lot of teams, but after getting torched from the perimeter recently, the Clippers could at least look at the stat sheet and smile after Wednesday night's win. The Sixers only scored 72 points, which is a season low for a Clippers opponent this season. The Sixers also shot just 36.7 percent from the field. Even more impressive for the Clippers is that they held the Sixers to just 30 percent from 3-point range (3-for-20) after letting teams hit nearly 50 percent recently. The Clippers need to have similar defensive efforts against the top teams in the league, and they can only hope to parlay Wednesday's win into something more. Next week, the Clippers go on the road for a four-game trip that could go a long way in deciding where they finish in the Western Conference standings.