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Clippers break down defensively, lose 111-92

Paul George and Luke Kennard held their own without much help from their teammates.

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The last time the Clippers faced off against the Trail Blazers, they showed no mercy and blew them out by 30. And in all six matchups prior, the Clippers found themselves coming out with a win.

With extending their win streak against the Blazers on their mind, the Clippers started off on the right foot: they made it rain from behind the arc, capitalizing on their first five 3-point attempts. But this time, the Blazers didn’t take long to reply with an answer of their own. They quickly turned things around as they dominated the Clippers on both ends of the floor, going on a 21-6 run into the second quarter. They tightly held onto the lead as the Clippers fell short in a 111-92 loss.

Paul George didn’t make it so easy for the Blazers, though. Nearing the end of the first half, George took matters into his own hands and stopped the Blazers from further extending their lead. And while the rest of the Clippers were held back to 6-of-31 shooting, he led a tour de force, netting in 9-of-14 shot attempts in the first half.

But soon he and the Clippers got sloppy with the ball — perhaps they were trying too hard to force their way on the score sheet (all of them with the exception of George had not scored double-digits entering the second half). Forcing highly-contested shots and overly risky on-the-go passes, the Clippers did not find the bottom of the net in their first seven shot attempts to start the third quarter.

Luke Kennard sought to be the spark to the Clippers fire as he made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut what used to be a 20-point deficit at the start of the quarter into five (largely thanks to the Clippers shooting 7-of-8).

The Clippers first option put the exclamation mark of the Clipper run as George hit a pull-up three-pointer in the face of Anfernee Simons.

Despite the continued offensive efforts by George and Kennard, however, the Clippers couldn't quite get it done on the defensive end: the Blazers got easy looks from long distance as they sunk 19 threes on close to 50 percent shooting. What’s more, the Blazers outhustled them, outrebounding L.A. 73-50 and winning most 50-50 balls that led to easier looks in the paint.

Lue threw the towel with three minutes remaining of the game, letting Paul George and his hot hand cool down on the bench, who finished the game with 42 points and 8 rebounds.