-- LOS ANGELES -- New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer attended his first home game Wednesday night at Staples Center, and the Clippers broke out of their preseason funk with a 108-105 victory over Phoenix.
Trailing 80-79 after three quarters, Paul and Griffin combined to score 26 of Los Angeles' 29 points in the fourth quarter. Paul's two free throws with 5 seconds remaining gave the Clippers a three-point lead. Gerald Green's 3-pointer attempt at the buzzer was off the mark and Los Angeles held on for the win.
"I've learned about individual guys," Griffin said of the preseason, according to the Clippers' website. "I'm really seeing what they do and what their tendencies are and what they're going to really help us at. That's promising, but I think your identity as a team, it's tough to create that identity and learn a lot about your team within three weeks, four weeks, whatever it's been."
Paul said there was more to the Clippers' potential for success this season than how quickly they could get up to speed.
"We're returning the same starting five as we had last year, but it's not as easy as that," Paul said, according to the team's website. "At some point, we'll start clicking on all cylinders, but it's a process."
Eric Bledsoe led Phoenix with 27 points and Green added 23.
Ballmer officially took over ownership of the Clippers in August.
Clippers: Prior to Wednesday's game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he didn't really know much about last Sunday's Las Vegas controversy concerning Clippers forward Blake Griffin. Griffin is alleged to have slapped a man in a club. Rivers said he trusts Blake and is confident everything will work out. Griffin did not meet with the media prior to Wednesday's game. According to the Las Vegas Police Department an investigation into the alleged incident is ongoing.
Clippers: Jordan Farmar, who missed Tuesday's game against Golden State due to lower back spasms, did not play. Rivers said veteran forward Glen Davis, who is recovering from a strained right groin, is still 3-to-4 days away from doing any "real work." Rivers doubted that Davis would be ready for opening night.
Suns: Phoenix forward T.J. Warren, who suffered a thumb injury in Tuesday's win against the Lakers, did not play Wednesday. Warren injured his thumb when he caught it on a Lakers jersey during Tuesday's game.
In Jeff Hornacek's first year as the Suns coach last season, Phoenix was the NBA's most improved team. The Suns improved by 23 games, finishing with 48 wins, and narrowly missed making the playoffs.
Clippers: finish preseason at home Friday against Portland. Los Angeles opens the regular season at home on October 30 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Suns: travel to Utah for their final preseason game Friday. The Suns open the regular season at home on October 29 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.