The Los Angeles Clippers start off December a perfect 1-0, defeating the Washington Wizards 150-125. With the win the Clippers improve to 15-6 on the season, while the Wizards drop to 7-11.
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Moe Harkless, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Ivica Zubac
Wizards: Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant
Right out of the gate the Clippers demonstrated that they were determined not to repeat Friday’s dismal performance against the San Antonio Spurs. In the first quarter the Clippers shot a red hot 57.1 percent from the field and from three-point land. The quarter was unsurprisingly a fast-paced shoot-out.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard clearly came to play, combining for 23 points on 10 for 17 shooting in the frame.
Home cooking— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 2, 2019
.@Yg_Trece and @kawhileonard have combined for 23 PTS and 4 AST in the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/oBRWTFdJmw
George was particularly impressive, with his full array of scoring skills on display.
Ohhhh this is filthy, @Yg_Trece #ClipperNation • @LAClippers • #PrimeTicket pic.twitter.com/B7yHEamIaD— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) December 2, 2019
The dynamic duo of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell added 9 off the bench. The chemistry these two share is something that has not been seen in the NBA since John Stockton - Karl Malone days.
& @TeamLou23 → @MONSTATREZZ pic.twitter.com/iiSHUQgGAL— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 2, 2019
The period ended with the Clippers on top by four, 39-35.
In the second quarter, the Clippers quickly extended their lead to double digits, and then broke the game wide open behind George’s spectacular offensive efforts. PG-13 connected for an additional 12 points, bringing his total to 27 in the half.
BOOM BOOM BOOM @FoxSportsWest | @Yg_Trece pic.twitter.com/1Gkag0anhq— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 2, 2019
At the end of two, Clippers led by a comfortable 25 points, 82-57. Per Clippers PR, the 82 points ties the record for second-most points scored in the first half in franchise history. It is also the most points scored in a first half by any NBA team so far this season.
STATS AT THE HALF
The Clippers shot a combined 30 for 53 (56.6 percent) from the field, and 7 of 15 (46.7 percent) from long. They outscored the Wizards 40-26 in the paint and in 13-4 in fast break points They also out-rebounded Washington 21-15.
- Paul George: 27 points, 6 rebounds
- Kawhi Leonard: 14 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
- Montrezl Harrell: 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
- Lou Williams: 10 points, 6 assists
- Patrick Beverley: 3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Bradley Beal was best for the Wizards with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals. Rui Hachimura - who was surprisingly impressive throughout the contest - chipped in an additional 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Clippers’ shooting cooled off and their defense relaxed a bit to start the third quarter, allowing the Wizards an opportunity to use their high octane offense to whittle LA’s lead to 13. After a Clipper time out, adjustments in intensity were made. There was never any real threat of a Wizards comeback after that point.
George did not continue his prolific shooting in the second half, scoring just four points. It was Kawhi’s turn to heat things up. He connected for 20 points and ended the game with a team high 34. Lou and Trezz also remained consistent in their contributions, and by the end of regulation had combined for 45.
Final: 150-125, Clippers win.
The Clippers ended the night shooting 55.3 percent from the field and 43.8 from beyond the arc. Turnovers were high (16), a continuing issue, but otherwise the performance was solid. The squad out-performed the Wizards in nearly every area, finishing with 52 rebounds, 22 assists, 8 steals, 66 points in the paint, 22 second chance points and 17 fast break points. They lead the game from start to finish.
The “Big Four” of Leonard, George, Harrell and Williams combined for 110 points. The last time the Clippers had two players with 30+ points and another two players with 20+ points in the same game was on March 9, 1982 vs. San Antonio (Tom Chambers 34, Michael Brooks 33, Charlie Criss 23, Michael Wiley 20).
Other role players had solid games as well. Jerome Robinson contributed nicely on both ends of the floor, and Maurice Harkless (7), Terance Mann (7) and Patrick Patterson (6) each hit a couple of nice buckets.
- Kawhi Leonard: 34 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
- Paul George: 31 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist
- Montrezl Harrell: 23 points, 15 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
- Lou Williams: 22 points, 8 assists, 1 rebound
- Jerome Robinson: 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Rui Hachimura was top for the Wizards with 30 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Bradley Beal added 23 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, and 2 steals. Davis Betrans (20 points) and Isaiah Thomas (16 points) also contributed.
- Shake it Off, Shake it Off – the Clippers, and especially Paul George, came out confident and aggressive in this match-up, setting the tone early. The entire team played with great pace throughout the game, moved the ball and scored with ease. Although it helped that they were up against the worst defense in the NBA, this was a good win for the franchise, and a solid, confidence building, bounce back performance.
- Rebounding – the Wizards have been out-rebounded by opponents by an average of 5 boards per game this season. Tonight, they were out-rebounded by the Clippers 52 to 43. Montrezl Harrell was gobbling rebounds left and right, he finished with a career high 15 boards. Harrell can now boast being the first Clipper in franchise history to have 20+ points and 15+ rebounds off the bench.
- Get a Lot, Give a Lot - the Clippers scored a lot in this game, falling two shy of their franchise record for the second time this season. (The first time was the Clipper’s 150-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks on November 16, 2019.) Impressive, but the squad also gave up a lot of points. Defensively, they still struggle with consistency. This will prove problematic against better teams, and is something they need to continue to work on.
- JaMychal Green - Green took a tumble late in the second quarter while battling for an offensive rebound and suffered a tailbone contusion. He did not return in the second half. Green has been a meaningful contributor for the Clippers this season; hopefully the injury is nothing serious.
The Clippers have one more battle on their home court before embarking on a six-game road trip. Doc Rivers and company host the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.