NBA

Without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Clippers Collapse, 104-101, Against Timberwolves

Playing without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers lost for the first time in 2017, 104-101, to the Minnesota Timberwolves, snapping their seven-game winning streak.

Starless Night Part Deux.

For their second separate stint of the season, the Los Angeles Clippers went down in flames without their two biggest stars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. 

Karl Anthony Towns had a game-high 37 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves erased a 12-point deficit in the second half to shock the Clippers, 104-101, snapping LA's seven-game win streak on Thursday night at Staples Center.

The 2015-2016 NBA Rookie of the Year dominated down the stretch with 15 fourth quarter points to complete the comeback, whereas the Clips wilted without their two best players in the waning minutes of the game.

Without Paul and Griffin, the Clippers appeared to have the game in the bag as they led by seven points at halftime, and by as many as 12 in the third quarter.

DeAndre Jordan had a career-high 29 points to lead Los Angeles in the loss and Austin Rivers chipped in 20 points.

The Clippers seemed poised to remain the only undefeated team in the NBA when they led 101-98 with 1:12 left in the game, but the T-Wolves scored six unanswered points to close it out, handing L.A. their first loss of 2017.

Andrew Wiggins finished with 27 big points and drained two free throws with five seconds left, leaving L.A. with two last gasp three-point shot attempts that did not go down. 

The victory was just Minnesota's sixth road win of the season, and their first triumph of the season in a game decided by four points or less. Entering the game, the Timberwolves were winless at 0-10 in games decided by less than a handful of points. 

The Clippers are 2-6 without Paul this season and have a franchise winning percentage of just .293 when their floor general doesn't take the court.

Things only get worse for L.A. as they currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, just a game and a half ahead of the Utah Jazz, and four games away from being in seventh place. 

The Clippers will play 10 of their next 11 games on the road, and will face seven teams with winning records, including two head-to-head matchups with the NBA-best Golden State Warriors.

The Clippers are expected to be without both Griffin and Paul during that stretch, and are in danger of falling further down the standings in the Western Conference. 

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