Thunder: Chris Paul leads the NBA in clutch points
Chris Paul enters the new year with the most clutch time points of any NBA player this season, by a large margin.
It should be noted, that number is skewed because the Thunder guard has had so many opportunities to score in clutch time. OKC leads the league in games that came within five points in the last five minutes. Of the Thunder’s 33 games this season, 25 have qualified under that definition of clutch.
But Paul’s 91 clutch points are still significant. The Bulls’ Zach LaVine is the player closest to catching Paul, and he has only scored 78 clutch points.
When the playing field is leveled, with a look at per-clutch-game averages, Paul still lands in the top 10. Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving leads the league with 5.7 points per game, and Houston’s James Harden comes in second with 4.6. Paul ranks No. 7, averaging 3.6 clutch points.
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“I love it man,” Paul said last week after the Thunder’s 104-102 overtime win. “And that’s why it’s fun to have a team like this. Different guys get going. And that’s the thing that gets your blood going is fourth quarter, them situations.”
Paul made important shots in that game, but he took it to another level in OKC’s 106-101 win over the Mavericks Tuesday. For this fifth time this season, Paul scored double digits in the fourth quarter. His 13 points in the final period Wednesday included the eventual winning basket.