The marquee players of Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and Paul George scored 28 and 27 points respectively to win past New Orleans Pelicans 106-111. The Pelicans were paying without their key players, Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball. Even Eric Bledsoe missed out for the Pelicans. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the Pelicans with 37 points and eight rebounds, both career highs in his first start of the season. Walker kept Pelicans in the game with his effective scoring abilities, but came up short against the rigid defense of the Clippers.
Josh Hart and former Clippers’ man Thornwell were not able to add up for the Pelicans. The former scored only 6 points whereas Thornwell went scoreless. Brandon Ingram maintained his consistency, scoring 22 points and drew the away side to only 4-points margin, the closest that they came. However, from there, Leonard and George combined to score 16 consecutive points. Leonard’s 3-pointer that restored the Clippers’ lead to double digits
Leonard and George lead Clippers to 8th season victory
“Walker really kept them in the game,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “He made 3s, layups and in-between layups. He pretty much got everything he wanted.”
The Clippers saw their 12-point lead reduced to five in the closing minutes.
“It just comes down to us putting the game away when we need to,” George said. “We’re really good in the first and second quarters. In the third and fourth is where we need to clean up and buckle down. That’s going to come.”
Alexander-Walker scored nine points in a row for the Pelicans, but he couldn’t singlehandedly outduel the Clippers’ two stars.
“Early on, I tried to let it come to me,” Alexander-Walker said. “As the flow of the game went on, I was just kind of riding its wave and figuring out where to assert myself.”
Having said that, the Pelicans face the toughest team of the Western Conference, Los Angeles Lakers next. Whereas the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Sacramento Kings.