NBA: Paul George, Clippers have just enough to turn back Rockets

Field Level Media, Reuters

Posted at Apr 24 2021 02:24 PM

NBA: Paul George, Clippers have just enough to turn back Rockets 1
Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers dribbles against John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Carmen Mandato, POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Paul George finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Los Angeles Clippers to their fourth consecutive win and 11th in the last 12 games, 109-104, Friday over the host Houston Rockets.

Los Angeles (43-19) rallied from a seven-point deficit early in the fourth quarter with a spurt of four 3-pointers, three of which fueled an 11-2 run.

The Clippers' early fourth-quarter burst accounted for one-third of their total made 3-pointers on an uncharacteristic off-night for the NBA's best-shooting team from beyond the arc. They finished 12-of-34.

George went 3-of-10 from long range, while all three of Reggie Jackson's successful 3-point attempts came in the final period. Jackson finished 3-of-6 from distance and scored 13 of his 19 points in the fourth.

Jackson and George combined to score six unanswered points over a 1:30 stretch late in the fourth that effectively sealed the win for Los Angeles.

Los Angeles owned a 46-34 advantage for points in the paint, and turned 14 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points. 

Patrick Patterson grabbed four of his six total rebounds on the offensive end and finished with 12 points.

The shorthanded Clippers, playing without Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley, Serge Ibaka and Rajon Rondo, had six scorers in double-figures. 

DeMarcus Cousins and Amir Coffey came off the bench for 11 and 10 points, and Ivica Zubac recorded 12 points and eight rebounds.

John Wall paced Houston (15-45) with 27 points. He found Christian Wood for a lob dunk for one of Wall's 13 assists, a play book-ended by a Kelly Olynyk 3-pointer and a Wood foul shot. 

The sequence pulled the Rockets within three points with just under a minute to play.

Olynyk finished with 23 points— one of three Rockets along with Wall and Wood to score at least that many— attempted a would-be, game-tying 3-pointer with 10.8 seconds remaining that rimmed off.

Wood finished with 24 points and grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds.