The LA Clippers were without Paul George (hamstring) for the fifth consecutive game and nearly dropped one to the surging New Orleans Pelicans, but Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams wouldn't let it happen.
Leonard torched the Pelicans through the first three quarters of this contest, scoring 33 points on 21 shot attempts. Despite his dominance, the Clippers still found themselves trailing by eight points heading into the fourth quarter and were in danger of letting this game slip away.
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Leonard wasn't at his best in the final frame, only scoring six points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field, but Williams picked up where his All-Star forward left off, taking over in the fourth quarter as we've seen the reigning Sixth Man of the Year do so many times before.
Williams was on fire in the fourth, scoring 14 points to lead the comeback that would decide the outcome of the game. Up by just three points with under a minute remaining, Williams put the dagger in the Pelicans' hopes to hold off the Clippers charge, burying a 3-ball to put the game away.
Lou Will. Dagger. 👌#ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/jHcM1HvlGR- NBA TV (@NBATV) January 18, 2020
Lou Will finished the contest with 32 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block off the bench, while his running mate Montrezl Harrell went for 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field.
Leonard continued his ridiculously hot scoring streak, going for a game-high 39 points on an efficient 15-for-28 (53.6%) shooting from the field.
🖐️ 39 PTS for The Klaw! 🖐️- NBA (@NBA) January 18, 2020
Kawhi stuffs the stat sheet (39 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 5 STL), powering the @LAClippers to the road win. pic.twitter.com/tSsRX44shV
The Pelicans got a triple-double out of Lonzo Ball, 22 points from Derrick Favors, 21 points from Brandon Ingram and 19 points from JJ Redick, but the Clippers trio of Leonard, Williams and Harrell combined for 95 points, accounting for 71% of the team's scoring total, proving to be too much for New Orleans to handle.
Kawhi's 39 points marked his fifth consecutive 30-point game. He's doing more than just scoring the ball, too.
Kawhi Leonard, last 5 games:- StatMuse (@statmuse) January 18, 2020
39-6-6-5-1, 54 FG%
32-5-5-1-1, 60 FG%
43-3-4-2-1, 64 FG%
30-5-4-3-0, 48 FG%
36-9-5-3-1, 56 FG%
His first five 30-point game scoring streak since 2017 (including playoffs). pic.twitter.com/REPgxztzON
Over that five-game stretch, Leonard is averaging 36.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game on 55.8% shooting from the field and 42.9% from 3, stepping up with his All-Star teammate out of the lineup.
The Clippers are 4-1 during that stretch and sit in third place in the Western Conference at 30-13. With the loss, the Pelicans fall to 16-27, 4.5 games out of eighth place with Zion Williamson's return on the horizon.
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