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Paul returns as Clippers put Sixers to the sword

AP

The Clippers expected they’d be better once Chris Paul returned to the lineup. They just probably couldn’t have imagined how much.

Blake Griffin had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists Sunday night as Los Angeles stormed out to a 31-point lead in the first quarter with its All-Star point guard back on the court and pummeled the Philadelphia 76ers 123-78.

“It felt great just to play. You never know what it’s going to be like until you actually get out there and compete,” Paul said. “A lot of things go through your mind out there, especially when you come back because you want to make sure you’re not too tired and not trying too hard. But at the same time, we’ve been playing extremely well and I didn’t want to break up our rhythm.”

Thunder 112, Knicks 100

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Magic 93, Pacers 92

In Orlando, Victor Oladipo had 23 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, as the Magic rallied to surprise Indiana.

Bulls 92, Lakers 86

In Los Angeles, Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points, Joakim Noah had 18 points and 13 rebounds as Chicago held off the Lakers after nearly blowing a 19-point lead.

Nets 93, Pelicans 91

In New York, rookie Mason Plumlee scored a season-high 22 points and matched his best with 13 rebounds.

Wizards 93, Kings 84

In Washington, Nene scored 18 points and led a strong defensive effort.

Cavaliers 91, Grizzlies 83 (OT)

In Cleveland, Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and the Cavaliers won back-to-back games for the first time in a month.

Mavericks 102, Celtics 91

In Boston, Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points, and Shawn Marion finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.