Trail Blazers Clippers Basketball

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) holds the ball as Ivica Zubac (40) sets a screen on Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George scored 36 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rode a franchise-best 47-point first quarter to a 133-116 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Kawhi Leonard added 29 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as the Clippers followed an 18-point rout of the defending champion Lakers two days ago with another impressive performance at both ends.

George shot 11 of 18, made six 3-pointers and hit all eight of his free throws. He finished three points off his season high of 39. Reggie Jackson added 23 points off the bench.

Norman Powell scored 32 points and CJ McCollum added 24 points while playing with five fouls for the Blazers, who had their four-game road winning streak snapped. The Clippers harassed Damian Lillard into 2-of-14 shooting for 11 points, well under his team-leading 29.6 average. A frustrated Lillard earned a technical foul in the third. He had just four points in the second half.

The Clippers scored 47 points in the first quarter, the most in that quarter in franchise history, while shooting 64%. George’s 22 points were the most by a Clipper in the first since Blake Griffin had the same on March 10, 2014, against Phoenix.

George keyed a 24-6 run over the end of the first and start of the second that extended the Clippers’ lead to 26 points, their largest of the game. He scored seven points. Leonard, Nicolas Batum and Jackson hit consecutive 3-pointers and new addition DeMarcus Cousins capped the spurt by scoring on his offensive rebound.

Trailing 62-36, the Blazers worked hard at getting back in the game. They outscored the Clippers 30-11 to close within seven at halftime. Powell scored nine, punctuated by a one-handed slam. McCollum added eight, and Robert Covington closed out the half with a 3-pointer that beat the shot clock.

The Clippers extended their lead to 14 points early in the third. Portland ran off 12 in a row, getting 3-pointers from Powell and Robert Covington, to close to 84-82. That's the closest the Blazers came after trailing by 26 in the first half.

Los Angeles closed with an 18-7 spurt to lead 101-89 going into the fourth. Leonard and Jackson scored eight apiece and Rajon Rondo added a basket.


Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic (right knee inflammation) sat out less than two weeks after returning from a right calf strain. He missed nearly two months with a right wrist fracture. Nurkic's knee began bothering him Sunday after playing in back-to-back games. “As of now, it's not serious,” coach Terry Stotts said. ... The 47 points were their most allowed in any quarter this season.

Clippers: Their 47 points were the fourth-most in a single quarter in franchise history and the most scored in a single quarter since they had 47 in the second on Jan. 5, 2020, against New York. ... Patrick Beverley started in his return from being out three weeks because of right knee soreness. He had eight points.


Trail Blazers: Visit Utah on Thursday to conclude the two-game trip.

Clippers: Host Phoenix on Thursday.


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(1) comment

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

47 points allowed in the first quarter? Yeah..nice defense..not. Despite the fact that the 'zers have beat up on the lesser teams, and they have a winning record, they're still unwatchable, and that is never going to change until they fire Stotts and hire a coach that teaches and enforces basic fundamental basketball skills and execution, along with playing more inspired defense. Ya know, playing better defense is not rocket science. It's about effort, or in the case of the 'zers..the lack thereof. How un-fun is it to watch Blazer games, when you see average individual opponents have career nights? How sick is it to watch opponents cut to the basket for easy uncontested lay-ups and emphatic dunks? How disgusting is it to watch a bunch of millionaires standing around not boxing out, throwing the ball away or dribbling it off their leg out of bounds, not following their shots, and basically getting out-worked? This has been the pattern with Stotts for 8 years now. His teams have ranked among the worst defensively every year except for two, and he's never had a team rank in the top ten. He just stands there on the sidelines, with that stupid goofy look on his face, and now he's exacerbating his futility and unlikability, with the way he interviews after the games. Dude's becoming an indignant, obtuse, arrogant pod. I don't know what Lillard likes the guy, but he's not doing Lillard, the other players, the franchise, or the fans any favors. He needs to yesterday.

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