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Clippers' Paul shines in debut against Lakers

LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in his Los Angeles Clippers debut and Chauncey Billups made a fine first impression with his new club, scoring 23 points in a 114-95 win over the Lakers on Monday.

The first of two preseason games between the teams followed a dizzying two-week media frenzy in both camps, during which time the Clippers acquired Paul from New Orleans right after the league squashed a proposed three-way deal that would have sent him to the Lakers.

Paul's arrival came immediately after the Clippers' acquisitions of former Laker Caron Butler as a free agent, and Billups from the New York Knicks in a waiver auction. Lamar Odom, whom the Lakers tried to peddle to New Orleans in the squashed deal, angrily demanded to be traded and was sent to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks — who swept the Lakers out of the playoffs last spring.

Blake Griffin had 12 points for the Clippers in a foul-plagued 25 minutes.

Bryant had 22 points in about 30 minutes, Pau Gasol scored 16 and Andrew Bynum added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Bobcats 79, Hawks 77

At Charlotte, N.C., Kemba Walker opened his NBA career with a solid performance, shaking off a slow start to score a game-high 18 points — including the go-ahead layup— to lift the Bobcats over the Hawks in the preseason opener for both teams.

Josh Smith and Al Horford each scored 11 points to lead the Hawks.

The Bobcats' Boris Diaw scored 12 points.