Clippers survive close call from Pistons
The Los Angeles Clippers completed a 7-2 homestand on a winning note, but not without a fight from Eastern Conference cellar-dweller Detroit, which stayed close until the last three minutes of a 131-124 outcome on Sunday night.
Marcus Morris Sr. led the Clippers with 33 points, and Paul George finished with 32 points and nine assists. Luke Kennard added 11 points.
— NBA (@NBA) April 12, 2021
The Pistons, who completed a Western Conference road trip at 2-3, got 26 points from Josh Jackson and 25 from Saddiq Bey.
The Clippers’ Nicolas Batum hit a 25-foot 3-pointer to break a 110-all tie with 5:44 left to play. A dunk from George widened the lead to 115-110, and he hit a pair of three throws with 3:23 left to extend the advantage to 118-112.
A 3-pointer from Morris in the final minute made it 126-116 and all but sealed the outcome.
Ivica Zubac finished 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Batum added 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Clippers.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Pistons. Cory Joseph netted 18 points to go with 13 assists, Wayne Ellington added 15 and Mason Plumlee tallied 12. Frank Jackson added 16 points off the bench.
The teams will meet again Wednesday in Detroit.
The Pistons never trailed in the first quarter and led 35-30 going into the second period. The Clippers took a one-point lead late in the second quarter and regained it at halftime, 63-62.
George had 18 points and six assists at the half, and Morris had 16 points. Jackson had 18 points to lead the Pistons.
Kawhi Leonard (rest), Serge Ibaka (lower back tightness) and Pat Beverley (broken left hand) were out for the Clippers, but Rajon Rondo (right adductor soreness) returned. He finished with 10 points and six assists in 20 minutes off the bench.
Jerami Grant did not play for a third straight game for the Pistons due to right knee soreness, and Killian Hayes also sat out due to injury management.