The Los Angeles Clippers are currently on a six-game road trip. They started on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 6 and took an L. So far they have played five of their six games and have gone 4-1. Their last two games on the road are back-to-back. The first one was tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 6:30 p.m. PST and tomorrow’s game is against the Chicago Bulls at 5:00 p.m. PST.
Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers was not happy with the leagues’ decision to schedule a set of back-to-back games less than 24 hours apart and called the scheduling ‘ridiculous,’ per the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s funny how everyone talks about these back-to-backs and they’re making it better and then they do this,” Rivers said.
Ahead of the Clippers game against the Timberwolves, the team released their injury report which did not list Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. The report did list Patrick Beverley (concussion), Landry Shamet (high left ankle sprain) and Lou Williams (sore right calf) as “OUT”.
The Clippers’ dynamic duo were unstoppable tonight and tallied a combined total of 88 points. They made NBA history, as they are now the first duo to each score 35+ points through three quarters of a game over the last 20 seasons, per Farbod Esnaashari of Forbes. They are also now the only pair of teammates in franchise history to each score 40 points, according to Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. The Clippers ultimately defeated the Timberwolves, 124-117 . Leonard had 42 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists while George had 46 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
The Clippers went into their game against the Timberwolves missing two key starters and two key bench players. Fortunately for the Clippers, they have their superstars Leonard and George who can pick up the pace when needed. The dynamic duo stepped onto the court hungry and played better together than they ever have since they made their season debut against the Boston Celtics. The Clippers earned a seven point lead almost immediately, 16-9, with all of their points attributed to either the Klaw or PG. George and Leonard scored all 23 points in the first quarter until Montrezl Harrell finally scored a bucket. The Clippers ended the first quarter ahead, 33-29. Leonard tied his career-high for points in a first quarter with 16 points, per Farbod Esnaashari of Forbes. George tallied 12 points, two boards and one assist by the start of the second.
Leonard, George and Harrell stole the show as they scored all of the team’s first 40 points. Patrick Patterson was the fourth Clipper to score in the second quarter. When the team tallied 46 points, Leonard and George recorded more than half of those, with a total of 35 points together. The Clippers led at the half, 65-58. 54 of those points came from PG and Leonard. Leonard tallied a total of 31 points marking himself a career high for any half, per Mirjam Swanson of the OC Register.
The Dynamic duo kept up their scoring trend and went into the fourth quarter scoring a combined a total of 76 points. The Clippers kept their lead going into the fourth, 102-81. The Clippers ultimately defeated the Timberwolves and closed out the game with a seven point lead, 124-117.