The LA Clippers made history as they earned a 135-132 comeback win over the New York Knicks.
With Kawhi Leonard sidelined (knee maintenance), Montrezl Harrell (34), Paul George (32) and Lou Williams (32) led the charge as the Clippers outscored the Knicks 106-84 over the final three quarters of the game after trailing by 16 at the end of the opening frame.
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The history? Harrell, George and Williams became the first-ever trio of Clippers to each score 30 or more points in the same game.
.@MONSTATREZZ (34 PTS), @TeamLou23 (32 PTS) and @Yg_Trece (32 PTS) become the 1st trio in @LAClippers history to each score 30+ PTS in a single game. #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/cVuvObaT8l- NBA (@NBA) January 5, 2020
It was efficient, too.
In just under 36 minutes of action, Harrell scored his team-high 34 points on 13-for-21 (61.9%) shooting from the field and 8-for-12 (66.7%) from the charity stripe. In a game where every bucket mattered, the big man scored eight in the final frame, including a big slam off of a fake handoff.
.@TeamLou23 and @MONSTATREZZ with the play-action. 💪🏾- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 5, 2020
📺 @FoxSportsWest | #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/l7wBLfkRkw
George shot a tidy 9-for-14 (64.3%) from the field, 5-for-6 (83.3%) from deep and 9-for-11 from the charity stripe to finish with 32 points in the game. None were more impressive than this extremely-high degree-of-difficulty and-one finish.
Early candidate for Shot of the Year.- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 5, 2020
How @Yg_Trece? 😲 pic.twitter.com/fQhoVm8jRt
You don't see that often.
What you do see often is Lou Will stepping up down the stretch as the Clippers' closer and this game was no different.
The reigning back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year scored his 32 points in a reserve role, shooting 9-for-18 (50.0%) from the field, 6-for-10 (60.0%) from deep and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
No bucket was bigger than this driving runner to put the game away.
.@TeamLou23 sealed the deal.- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 5, 2020
Vote Lou 🗳 https://t.co/kw8BZudidp pic.twitter.com/I6zZBjTgKd
For Williams, it's also his 200th career game of 20 or more points off the bench.
That's an NBA record.
In the first returns from All-Star voting, Leonard and George were third and fourth, respectively, among Western Conference frontcourt members but it's games like these that serve as a reminder that Harrell and Williams certainly deserve All-Star consideration.
While it's difficult to envision LA getting four All-Stars in 2020, each player presents a compelling case.
More importantly, it was a big bounce-back win for the Clippers, who were in search of answers after a 26-point home loss to the Grizzlies just one day ago. LA (26-12) is a relatively pedestrian 4-3 over its last seven and currently sits at fourth in the Western Conference as Denver (24-11) and Houston (24-11) each have one fewer loss.
For the Knicks, it continues a trend of better play since the promotion of interim head coach Mike Miller. New York enjoyed a career-best 38-point performance from Marcus Morris while RJ Barrett scored an efficient 24 points (on 7-for-11 shooting) with his godfather Steve Nash in attendance.
The Clippers will see an extended period of rest before they're back in action on Saturday when they host the Warriors. The Knicks will be back in action on Wednesday as they return to the Staples Center floor to take on LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers.
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