Chris Paul banks in game winner to lift Clippers past Spurs (VIDEO)

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Chris Paul left the game with 1:25 left in the first quarter because he strained his hamstring. For the rest of the game he was hobbled, not nearly as explosive, yet he kept making plays because he’s the smartest point guard in the game today.

Then, with the game on the line — tied 109-109 with 8.8 seconds left — he made the play that dethroned the reigning champions.

Paul got the ball out top with Danny Green on him (Kawhi Leonard was shadowing the hot J.J. Redick), drove right and got close to the paint, put his body into Green then leaned back to create a little space and hit a bank high off the glass that had to arc over the helping Tim Duncan. (The Spurs had a chance to tie but a time keeping screwup tipped the play, and Matt Barnes knocked away an alley-oop attempt to Kawhi Leonard.)

It was going to take a shot like that to win this, the best first-round series in recent memory. It’s fitting it should come from CP3.