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Paul George, Clippers have just enough to turn back Rockets

/ 03:11 PM April 24, 2021
Paul George Los Angeles Clippers

Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers walks in reverse to the bench during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on April 23, 2021 in Houston, Texas.  Carmen Mandato/Getty Images /AFP 

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 over the host Houston Rockets on Friday.

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.

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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.

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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 short-handed 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.

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Olynyk, who finished with 23 points, attempted a would-be, game-tying 3-pointer with 10.8 seconds remaining that rimmed off. The Clippers then sealed the win by going 4 of 4 at the foul line in the final moments.

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

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