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Paul George Dominant as Clippers Cruise Past Pacers, Continue Winning Streak

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 14, 2021

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George (13) puts up a shot against Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers are winners of six in a row.

Los Angeles defeated the Indiana Pacers 126-115 on Tuesday improving to 38-18 on the season behind Paul George's fourth consecutive 30-point game.

For the 25-28 Pacers, who snapped a three-game winning streak with the loss, Malcolm Brogdon posted 29 points to lead the group in scoring.

     

Notable Performers

  • Paul George, Clippers: 36 PTS, 8 AST, 7 REB
  • Marcus Morris Sr., Clippers: 22 PTS, 7 REB
  • Ivica Zubac, Clippers: 14 PTS, 7 REB
  • Malcolm Brogdon, Pacers: 29 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST
  • Caris LeVert, Pacers: 26 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST
  • Domantas Sabonis, Pacers: 20 PTS, 13 REB

     

Clippers Hang On After Fast Start

The Clippers entered Tuesday with some significant injuries. Kawhi Leonard missed his second consecutive game because of foot soreness, while Patrick Beverley suffered a hand fracture and has missed the last three outings. Serge Ibaka hasn't played for nearly a month, so at least that was something the team could plan for.

In the absence of Clippers leading scorer Leonard, Paul George stepped up—and the team had an easy time of it as the league's leading blocker, Myles Turner, missed his fourth straight for Indiana with a back injury.

George, who scored 32 points in the domination of the Detroit Pistons, was well on pace to surpass that after tallying 15 points in the first quarter.

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He quieted down some in the second quarter, scoring eight more points to lead all players with 23 heading into the break. Marcus Morris Sr. scored 13, and Ivica Zubac was also in double digits with 10 points.

Even when George wasn't finding the net himself, he was setting up his teammates to do so.

A slow start in the second half didn't quite match the Clippers' opening frames. They were stifled early in the third quarter as the Pacers flew out to a 73-70 lead, with a near-three minute span without a field goal, but eventually they pulled it together again for an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter that stifled the Pacers for good.

Nicolas Batum held it down defensively with five blocks and a steal in 28 minutes while scoring 14 points off the bench.

He helped limit Indiana to 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 22.5 percent from three.

     

Pacers Can't Keep Up at the End

In their impressive win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, the Pacers posted a 45-point first quarter.

They got out to a similarly hot start, dropping 34 points in the opening frame, climbing back to take a three-point lead after trailing through the first seven minutes of play.

Keeping pace with one of the Western Conference's top teams, the Pacers went into the break down by just two points.

Caris LeVert and Brogdon, who were the leading scorers in the team's monstrous win over Memphis, had a strong first half at home. They each dropped 16 points heading into the break, while Domantas Sabonis was right behind with 10 points and seven rebounds.

T.J. McConnell posted nine points in 10 minutes off the bench.

The offensive battle continued through the third, where the Pacers were outscored by just one point, and went to the final quarter down by three points. At that point, their three leading scorers had all gotten to the 20-point threshold.

The Pacers couldn't get the big-time stops they needed early in the fourth, letting the Clippers go an 8-0 run to start. That gave L.A. its largest lead of the night, though the Pacers started the frame with Sabonis, LeVert and Brogdon on the bench.

Even when the team's top three reentered, it was too late to crawl out of the hole. McConnell was the star off of the bench with 13 points, but he didn't get much help from his fellow reserves—though Doug McDermott did exit early with an ankle injury.

The Clippers bench outscored that of the Pacers 38-25.

The Pacers, who entered the night 9-15 at home, weren't able to get an elusive win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

     

What's Next?

The Clippers will remain in the midwest, where they'll face the Detroit Pistons at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.

The Pacers will take off on a three-game road trip, starting with the Houston Rockets at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday.