PHILADELPHIA -- Chris Paul showed signs he is rounding into form, just as the Los Angeles Clippers rounded out an eight-game road trip.
The veteran point guard, playing his third game after missing the previous nine with a bruised right kneecap, collected 21 points, 11 assists and five steals Monday night as the Clippers routed the Philadelphia 76ers 107-90.
"I'm getting there," he said. "I'm going to keep working. I feel like I'm at a point right now where I can't hurt the team."
That was not the case, he said, on Jan. 21 against Golden State, the last game he played before returning last Friday in Miami. He had only three points in 19 minutes against the Heat. But Paul scored 25 in Sunday's victory over the New York Knicks and Monday made 9 of 11 shots from the field.
It was the second-best shooting night of his career when he has 10-plus attempts, exceeded only by his 10-of-12 effort on Jan. 5 against Golden State.
Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford added 20 points apiece for the Pacific Division-leading Clippers (37-17). Los Angeles won its second straight to close out the long trip -- made necessary by the presentation of the Grammy Awards at the Staples Center -- with a 4-4 record.
Griffin also collected nine rebounds and five assists.
"Especially having a long flight like this," Crawford said, "you don't want to go home on a loss."
Paul said, "We were 2-4 at one point (on the trip) with a back-to-back coming up against two playoff teams. To finish 4-4, we'll take it."
Ex-Clipper Nick Young finished with 29 points to pace the Sixers (22-28), who lost for the second time in three games.
Paul notched 10 of his points in the game's first 8:33, helping Los Angeles breeze to a 26-12 lead. After the Sixers crept within 41-29 early in the second quarter, the Clippers scored 15 of the half's last 19 points to go up 56-33 at the break.
In all, Los Angeles outscored the Sixers 26-11 in the quarter.
Paul had 12 points, seven assists and three steals in the half, and the Clippers shot a robust 62.9 percent from the floor. Crawford scored 11 in the half.
Paul said his hot start was aided by the Sixers' insistence on going under ball screens, leaving him with open jump shots.
"I haven't seen that much lately," he said, "so I was excited. ... It was just taking what they give me. ... I'm always still looking to pass, but at the same time I know I've got to keep them honest. I've got to keep the defense honest and shoot it when I'm open."
Los Angeles pushed its lead to 88-59 after three quarters. Griffin scored 12 points in the quarter, two on a thunderous left-handed dunk off Paul's pick-and-roll feed, on which he was fouled by Spencer Hawes. Griffin then missed the free throw, but DeAndre Jordan slammed the ball home.
Neither Paul nor Griffin played in the fourth quarter, when the Clippers pushed their lead to 32.
Matt Barnes had 11 points and Eric Bledsoe 10 for Los Angeles, which shot 58.7 percent from the field overall.
Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner scored 10 points each for the Sixers, though each of them was 4 of 14 from the floor. Jeremy Pargo also scored 10 for Philadelphia, which faces Milwaukee on the road Wednesday in its last game before the All-Star break.
"It's over with," Holiday said of the loss. "Whatever happened, happened. Obviously, I think we're definitely looking at Milwaukee. ... I don't know if Coach (Doug Collins) said it, but we didn't come to play today. We'll be ready next game."
NOTES: Sixers center Andrew Bynum, who has yet to play this season because of bone bruises to both knees, said before the game he experienced a lot of pain in the left knee after working out two consecutive days on the court. While he stopped short of calling that a setback, he did say he is uncertain as to when he will be able to return, after saying last week that he hoped to be back by the end of the month. ... The Clippers' Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler did not play because of sore backs. ... Collins, on his team's struggles: "I thought we were going to be a better shooting team, and we just don't get to the free-throw line." The Sixers began the night with just 801 attempts at the line, fewest in the league. They made 11 of 16 foul shots in the game.