The Los Angeles Clippers secured their season series (3-1) against the San Antonio Spurs with a thrilling 108-105 comeback win at STAPLES Center.
After trailing by as many as 15 points, the Clippers used a big third quarter to swing the game back in their favour, and when they needed a bucket down the stretch, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard delivered.
Trailing by five points with 3:04 remaining in the game, the Clippers' star duo produced a key 9-0 run to give them a late lead, with either George or Leonard scoring or assisting on every bucket.
George eventually sealed the win, with this dagger from mid-range giving them a 106-102 lead with 13.7 seconds remaining.
❄️ ICE IN HIS VEINS ❄️- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) February 4, 2020
📺 @FoxSportsWest | @Yg_Trece pic.twitter.com/GSL8ct2cjT
Leonard turned playmaker down the stretch, setting up George, then Patrick Beverley for a crucial triple which tied the game at 102-102, before throwing down a dunk off a George dime.
BIG. BUCKET. BEV.@patbev21 ties it. pic.twitter.com/GWnIKPfpje- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) February 4, 2020
George finished with 19 points, a seaon-high 12 rebounds and eight assists on the night after a slow start which saw him go 2-of-7 from the field. He closed the game shooting 4-of-6 and scored eight of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Leonard led the Clippers with 22 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and two blocks, while Montrezl Harrell added 14 points and Beverley and Lou Williams chipped in 12 points apiece.
Both George and Leonard have missed time this season as the Clippers have struggled for consistent chemistry, but with both stars in the lineup they are 16-4 on the season and 3-0 with the roster at full strength.
"Really good, real beneficial," George said post-game of getting the win with their full lineup.
"It was great that we were able to pick this win up, that's what it's about. We don't care if it's a blowout or if it's a close one, we need to learn how to do both, so it's great we were able to pick this up. Good quality team win."
Patty Mills made things interesting in the final seconds, burying a three-pointer to cut the deficit to just one-point. The Spurs fouled twice, sending Lou Williams to the line, where he iced the game knocking down both to make it 108-105 with 1.3 seconds on the clock.
The Clippers kick-started the comeback straight after half-time, leaning on their defence to get back in the game, as they held the Spurs to just two points through the opening 5:21 of the third quarter, eventually outscoring them 31-19 in the period.
"Defense is key, we held together," George added. "It's a tough San Antonio team, just like it always is. They played well, they execute - we got into a nice little zone, and it comes down to us making big shots."
🗣🗣🗣 "It's great that we were able to pick this up... Good quality team win"- FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) February 4, 2020
- @Yg_Trece after tonight's win over San Antonio.#ClipperNation • @LAClippers pic.twitter.com/pAnfvsld7j
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 27 points and nine rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan added 26 points, before going scoreless in the final frame.
Patty Mills again provided a spark off the bench with 18 points, all coming from the three-point line (6-of-13).
🇦🇺 @Patty_Mills knocked down 6️⃣ three-pointers on his way to 1️⃣8️⃣ PTS off the bench for the @spurs 🎯🎯🎯 #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/TyljUxP3c1- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 4, 2020
The Spurs (22-27), who sit in 10th in the Western Conference are back in action on Wednesday when they face the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Clippers (35-15) host the Miami Heat on Thursday.
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