LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul is an NBA League Pass addict.
While some players like to get away from basketball when they’re not playing, Paul is normally transfixed to his television or iPad.
He can recite the NBA standings and the upcoming league schedule by memory.
He makes sure he’s not alone. He will quiz his 3-year-old son, Chris II, on the league while they are watching games together.
“Memphis,” Paul will say.
“Grizzlies!” his son will shout.
“Who plays center for the Lakers?” Paul will ask.
“Dwight Howard!” his son will answer.
Even when Paul is sitting on the bench, watching his Los Angeles Clippers play, he will often feel as if he’s watching a game from the previous night.
That was the case Saturday as the Clippers went up by 13 points only to watch the Orlando Magic come back after trailing the entire game to win 104-101 and snap the Clippers’ 13-game home winning streak.
“When I’m playing in a game, sometimes I feel like I’m at home watching the game on League Pass,” Paul said. “You’ll be watching the game and a team will be up by 22, and the next thing you know, they’re up five. You hate to let that happen when you’re actually involved in the game, but it happens.”
It happened to the Clippers on Saturday largely because they attempted (and made) only six free throws as a team. In fact, the Clippers’ starters and four of their reserves combined to shoot just one free throw. Meanwhile, the Magic were 15-of-19 from the free throw line. Orlando also had 22 second-chance points compared to seven for the Clippers.
“We only shot six free throws,” Paul said. “That’s unheard of, especially when Blake [Griffin] shoots 22 shots and he shoots no free throws. That’s not typical for us. I play on the perimeter, but he plays inside. He can shoot two free throws on accident.”
Another reason for the Clippers’ lackluster performance was the play of their normally potent bench, which welcomed Grant Hill for the first time this season. The Clippers’ bench was outscored by Orlando’s 37-33, with Hill contributing two points in six minutes. It’s only the 10th time this season the Clippers’ bench has been outscored.