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Clippers extend their winning streak to 4 games after the team’s rout of Spurs

Paul George has 35 points, Kawhi Leonard scores 27 and the Clippers take an 138-100 win against a struggling San Antonio for their longest win streak of the year.

LOS ANGELES — The last time the Clippers faced against the San Antonio Spurs, they were in a slump. They had lost nine out of eleven games. What’s the difference this time?

The Clippers (27-24) are on an unbeaten streak that has extended the streak to four games, with an 138-100 win over that same Spurs team that they were unable to defeat six days ago.

“Yeah it’s different. We have quite a ways to travel, but things seem distinct,” Coach Tyronn Lue declared. “When you triumph, it affects the way you think about things, but I think we’re improving in some areas, particularly offensively. I believe we’re turning a right direction in that area.”

Offensively The Clippers had a solid performance with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard who contributed the bulk of scoring. George scored an all-time high of 35 points with fourteen-of-19 shooting (5 in 8 attempts from the 3-point line) 7 assist and 4 rebounds while Leonard scored 27 points and a shooting percentage of 10-for-16 as well as seven assist.

“Offensively I was thinking that we took advantage of their double-teaming. We got to the right spacing and our proper distance, moved our ball and dealt with the ball, which was one of our issues during the season” stated Lue, in reference to their low amount of turnovers.

“Only five turnovers is a huge deal for us and so PG as well as Kawhi getting 14 assists and not having any turnovers is huge when you’re playing with the two big men such as that. … As I said, we’re moving up, but we’ve got some way to go. We need to keep working towards where we’d like to be, but I’m pleased with the current situation.”

Things have certainly changed for a team that began the season with big expectations, but injuries and absences made it difficult to establish the sameness and consistency that would allow them to string wins.

“I believe that offensively, over the past 10 games, we’ve been ranked third for offense,” Lue said. “It was something we had trouble with in the beginning of the season when we had Kawhi as well as PG and the other players out. Now, I believe offensively, we’re sort of getting it figured out.”

Even from a defensive standpoint the Clippers were able to make a few more stops than they did the previous time they faced them play the Spurs (14-35) that resulted in a shootout of 131-126 on the court in San Antonio.

Center Ivica Zubac viewed footage of the Clippers earlier match against the Spurs and, while the total of 257 points recorded two weeks ago could be fun for crowd, he thought it was a bit snarky.

“We discuss this,” he said about playing defense. “We simply have to play this (make the defensive stop) at the basketball court. Be better.”

The Clippers have surrendered on average 110.6 points for each game, and they allow their players to take 53.3 percent shooting in the open field. They restricted the Spurs with no the star center Jeremy Sochan (quadriceps), to 45.1 percent shooting.

Keldon Johnson was the leading scorer for his team of Spurs in scoring with 19 points. Keita Bates-Diop, who took over from Sochan as a starter, scored 13 points. San Antonio has lost nine of its last 10 games, and 13 of 14.

“Well defensively, I felt we did a great job of knowing the game plan, adhering to the rules by removing the back cuts and taking off the middle drives,” Lue said. “I believe that we did a pretty good job at that.

“It’s an extremely difficult team, as they put you in close-out situations. I think we did a decent job of sticking to our game strategy.”

The Clippers are playing their last home game prior to a six-game road trip which begins on Saturday in Atlanta they avoided the possibility of a shootout in Arena by jumping out to a quick lead. Leonard shot six of his seven first shots. George was also effective, starting at 4-7 for 7. At the half, Leonard had 18 points and George 22 to help lead in the Clippers in a score of 78-57. advantage.

They had a lead of as high as 34 points in the second half , and shot 58.4 percent from the field, as they had a healthy team. Twelve players scored points in the win, and they combined to score 18 three-pointers.

Norman Powell had 15 points and Zubac had five rebounds. Zubac had 11 points as well as five rebounded.

The roster was further strengthened by returning Guard Luke Kennard, who had been absent for the last nine games due to an injury to his calf that remained. Kennard began his first game since returning and scored five points in just 17 minutes.

John Wall (abdominal injury) and Marcus Morris Sr. (rib contusion) are both on the sidelines.

The game wasn’t perfect in the case of the Clippers. They surrendered 52 points on the field and sixteen second chance points. However, Lue was happy with the way his team performed.

“Things are improving The two players (Leonard as well as George) are both playing well, they’re fit. This is a good aspect we can take for granted,” Lue said.



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