SACRAMENTO—The Los Angeles Clippers welcomed the return of injured all-star Chris Paul, who helped lead the team past the Sacramento Kings 106-98 on Friday, January 6.

Paul had 14 points, six rebounds and 12 assists, including six consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter in his return from a hamstring injury. Austin River scored a team-high 24 points and grabbed six rebounds and two assists. J..J. Redick contributed 19 points, including a game-high five 3-pointers.  Deandre Jordan added 20 points and nine rebounds.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was complimentary of Paul, who had missed the past four games and seven of the last eight.

“Down the stretch, it’s funny, you could see that he just hasn’t played and you could see the rust,” Rivers said after the game. “But still, his grit, his defense and all his little defensive plays that he made down the stretch I thought was the difference in the game.”

DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Kings, who have lost two consecutive games. Darren Collison scored 20 points and had five rebounds while Ty Lawson added 17 points, four rebounds and six assists.

Sacramento is now 15-21 overall and ninth place in the Western Conference. They will face the NBA-best Golden State Warriors in their next game on Sunday, January 8.

The Clippers have won three consecutive games after losing six straight, moving to 25-14 on the season and fourth place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles hosts the Miami Heat next on Sunday, January 8.