LOS ANGELES (AP)Paul George scored 21 points, hitting five of the Clippers’ season-high 21 3-pointers, and Los Angeles routed the slumping San Antonio Spurs 119-97 on Saturday night.
Norman Powell added a season-high 26 points off the bench and Reggie Jackson had 20 points as six Clippers scored in double figures. Powell hit five 3s and Jackson sank all four of his 3-point attempts.
”Today was the best game we’ve played all season. This is the blueprint of how we need to play,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. ”It was a fun game to play and a fun game to watch.”
George tweaked his calf and left after playing 15 minutes. ”He’s doing OK,” Lue said.
Kawhi Leonard had 11 points in 22 minutes of his second straight start after missing 12 games because of right knee stiffness. John Wall had 15 assists, becoming the first Clippers player since Chris Paul in 2017 to have at least that many.
”I was trying to get 20, to be honest,” Wall said. ”My whole career I like to pass the ball.”
Wall is coming off the bench in his first season with the Clippers and feeling no pressure to score big numbers on a team with so many offensive weapons.
”This is probably the deepest team any of us have played on,” he said. ”We shouldn’t worry about who’s the leading scorer, just play the right way.”
Since starting the season 5-2, the Spurs have lost nine of 10 and four in a row. They were led by Jakob Poeltl with 20 points. Doug McDermott added 13 points and Tre Jones had 10 assists.
The Clippers led all the way, dominating from the opening tip. They took an 18-point lead in the first quarter when they shot 61% from the floor.
Los Angeles reeled off three consecutive 3-pointers – two in a row by Jackson and one by George – that pushed the lead to 16 points just before halftime.
Leonard got into the long-range action, too, hitting a 3-pointer in the third. The Clippers took a 22-point lead into the fourth and were able to give their starters valuable rest as Powell led the second unit.
The Clippers have won eight of their last 12 against the Spurs.
Spurs: They had nine field goals in the first quarter when the Clippers made nine 3-pointers. … In his 27th season at the helm, Gregg Popovich is coaching his youngest roster since he joined the franchise in 1996. The average age is 23.4 and the 16-man roster includes 13 players younger than 26. … Romeo Langford (return to competition conditioning) will likely be back next week.
Clippers: Wall’s nine assists in the first quarter tied a career high for most in a single period, the first time he’s had that many since March 21, 2014, against the Lakers. … Their 40 points in the first quarter were the most scored in a quarter this season. … Retired Hall of Fame broadcaster Ralph Lawler, who called games for 40 years, made a rare visit to his old workplace.
Spurs: Visit the Lakers on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back.
Clippers: Host Utah on Monday.
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