HOUSTON (AP) - Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was named the MVP of Sunday's NBA All-Star game, scoring 20 points and handing out 15 assists in the West's 143-138 win over the East.
Paul is the first Clipper to win the award and is the third player to have at least 20 points and 15 assists in the league's annual showcase, joining Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
He sank 7-of-10 shots and went 4-for-5 from 3-point range. He sank two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the West build a double-digit lead.
``Pretty special,'' Paul said. ``It's something I've never done and it's something that I definitely, coming into the game, I wasn't trying to achieve or thinking that it might be possible.''
Paul already had the best per-game assists average in All-Star history (12.4). He had nine assists and plenty of fancy dribbling the first half and his niftiest moves came right before one of his only mistakes.
When 6-foot-11 Chris Bosh came out to the wing to guard him, Paul slid the ball between Bosh's legs and darted past the Heat forward. It looked good until Paul's pass from under the basket back into the lane was picked off by the East, one of his three turnovers in the game.
Paul didn't have a turnover in the second half, and had nine points in the final quarter to help the West win for the fourth time in five seasons.
``In games like this, it's so up-tempo and fast-paced,'' Paul said. ``A guy like me, that's a facilitator, I enjoy (it).''
Paul is averaging 9.6 assists - second to Boston's Rajon Rondo - in his second season with the Clippers. More significantly, he's led the Clippers to a 39-17 record and he, Blake Griffin and ``Lob City'' have helped their franchise steal some of the L.A. spotlight from the floundering Lakers, who currently sit 10th in the Western Conference.
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