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.