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Chris Paul runs up score with late layup, Damian Lillard confronts him and swipes at ball (video)

Chris Paul, Damian Lillard

Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul, left, exchanges words with Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard after being called for a foul when he knocked Lillard down during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)


Chris Paul scored a season-high 37 points in the Rockets’ win over the Trail Blazers tonight.

But the last two were pretty cheap – and Damian Lillard clearly didn’t like it.

NBC Sports Northwest:

Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest:

This is just Paul padding his stats. There was no grander strategic consideration. Houston had wrapped up the win. The shot clock was off. It appeared everyone else on the court was content to let time run out.

I’m generally in the “don’t like it, stop it” camp. But Paul wasn’t still competing to match the trailing team’s effort. He wasn’t reacting on instinct in the flow of the game. He wasn’t trying to dazzle fans.

I understand why Lillard appear bothered – mostly because the Trail Blazers just lost, but also because Paul showed them up. If they really didn’t want Paul to score there, they could have defended. But with that opportunity passed, getting Paul’s face doesn’t seem like a terrible fallback.