Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, drives to the basket during a 119-97 win over the San Antonio Spurs at Crypto.com Arena on Saturday night. (Allison Dinner / Associated Press)
There were moments in Saturday’s opening half when the Clippers’ offense looked nothing like it had all season.
Only minutes later did an all-too-familiar sight arrive: a key contributor leaving the court hurt.
Soreness in his right knee sidelined All-Star wing Paul George during the second half of his team’s eventual runaway 119-97 victory against San Antonio at Crypto.com Arena to improve to 10-7. The departure cut short what had been a superlative start, his 21 points in 15 minutes tied for his second-highest scoring output in a half this season, trailing only George’s 24-point first half against Utah earlier this month.
George watched the second half from the sideline with his right leg wrapped in a black sleeve, joining shooting guard Luke Kennard, who has missed the past two games with a strained right calf, on the team’s injury report. If George was concerned about his knee, it was not enough to keep him from lobbing T-shirts into the crowd during a break in the fourth quarter.
“I’m OK,” George told Steve Ballmer on his way to the locker room following the win, smiling and nodding after hugging the team’s owner.
Still, his unplanned absence cast a shadow over what otherwise qualified as a night for the Clippers to celebrate – a performance in which they cast aside their pattern of slow starts for an 18-point first-quarter lead, tying for their season’s most lopsided quarter. George was responsible for 18 points himself in a quarter where the Clippers, whose offense has ranked among the league’s bottom third virtually all season, erupted for 40.
One of the NBA’s most infrequent passing teams suddenly became an equal-opportunity attack while producing arguably their most impressive possession of the season. Backup point guard John Wall brought the ball around his back while driving into the paint in transition in the first quarter before passing to Nicolas Batum, who whipped the ball to his left around the…
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Author : LA Times
Publish date : 2022-11-20 06:12:26
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