NBA: Full fitness, Clippers beat Hornets for the 10th time in a row

Paul George Kawhi Leonard Clippers NBA

FILE – Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers reacts after a Minnesota Timberwolves foul in front of Paul George #13 during a 99-88 win at Arena on December 14, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP Copyright 2022 NBAE.

Paul George scored 22 points to lead seven Los Angeles players with a double as the Clippers dominated the first half on their way to a 126-105 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Nicolas Batum scored 21 out of seven three-pointers, Kawhi Leonard added 16 and Norman Powell had 14 for Los Angeles, whose 23-time-high three-way team and a 36-point lead in the first half.

LaMelo Ball led Charlotte with a triple brace – 25 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists – while Mason Plumlee added 18 points and Jalen McDaniels finished with 16. Kelly Oubre Jr. got 13 points and PJ Washington scored 11 for the Hornets, who lost nine out of 10.

Los Angeles was in full shape for the first time all season with several players returning, including Ivica Zubac, who had four points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes after missing the last two games. over because of a bruise on his left knee.

The Clippers’ full roster made an immediate statement against Charlotte, who took a 37-19 lead after hitting 22.7% in the first quarter.

Los Angeles continued the momentum into the second half and took a 60-27 lead thanks to George’s three-pointer 6:50 in the remaining half.

George had 14 points in the first half for the Clippers, who took a 71-40 lead at halftime after shooting 52.2% from the field, including 12 of 25 (48%) from outside the arc.

The Clippers have won their last 10 meetings against the Hornets, who opened the second half 13-3 to make it 74-53.

Batum’s 3-pointer against his former team with 4:44 remaining in the third inning gave Los Angeles an 87-60 lead.

Charlotte leads 97-74 after three quarters and won’t get any closer than 14 points in the final period. Hornets shoot 40.2 percent and 9 out of 31 (29 percent) from a 3-point range.

Marcus Morris Sr. got 13 points for the Clippers, while Luke Kennard got 12 and Reggie Jackson finished with 10.

Los Angeles has won for the fifth time in its last six games despite having a top 27 home run of the season. The Clippers hit 50.6% from the field and 23 of 49 (46.9%) from outside the arc.


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