LOS ANGELES--The missed shots, when the game hangs in the balance, gnaw at Chris Paul more than the highs he gets from making clutch shots.
Paul experienced that unpleasant feeling during the Clippers' last two road games, both narrow losses, at Golden State and Portland.
"It hurts more to miss it," Paul said after the loss Thursday to Portland. "When you practice this all the time, you expect to make it. So when you make it, it doesn't surprise you....
"In those situations, your team is counting on you, depending on you. So I think the worst part about it is letting them down."
In Portland, Paul scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, but he missed a 17-footer at the end of regulation and didn't score in overtime as the Clippers lost, 116-112.
Paul had 34 points on 16-for-29 shooting in the game, with 16 assists, six steals and he played tremendous defense on Portland point guard Damian Lillard.
But Paul said that missing the potential game-winner is what stood out.
"I got right where I wanted to," Paul said. "With five seconds left (in the fourth quarter), that's why I went quick because I thought they were going to try to use one of their fouls. I didn't know I was going to be as open as I was. I just got to make that shot."
On Wednesday night against Golden State, Paul scored the Clippers' final eight points, finishing with 26. But he missed two layups in the final 41.9 seconds and his final shot attempt was blocked, as the Warriors held on to win, 105-103.
"This very well could have been two good wins for us," Paul said. "But now it's not."
The Clippers, who didn't practice Friday, haven't lost three consecutive games this season.
After dropping their last two on the road, the Clippers will play the struggling Utah Jazz on Saturday night at Staples Center.
"It's the way the season is. I don't overplay this," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said about losing to Golden State and Portland. "If we had come back and won these two games, we still would have to come home and we would have taken a day off. I clearly wanted to win both and I thought should have but we didn't. So we have to make up two somewhere else."
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