Paul George scored a team-high 23 points in 34 minutes on Saturday night and tuned up for their upcoming appearance with a 117-98 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings in the Los Angeles Clippers NBA Western Conference Play-In Tournament.
Norman Powell chipped 20 points off the bench in his second comeback attempt after a two-month absence from eighth-seeded clippers (41-40), who will go against seventh-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in opener on Tuesday. .
The Clippers, who have won four in a row, closed out the regular season at home in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night which means nothing more than determining whether Los Angeles will end the season at .500 or above.
Paul George (Yg_Trece) Instructed @LAClippers They win by tying the highest limit of their career with 12 dime! # Clipper Nation
🏀 23 PTS | 8 REB | 12 AST | 2 STL | 3 p.m. pic.twitter.com/8cEspJ5lDN
– NBA (BANBA) April 10, 2022
Devin Mitchell had a team-high 22 points for the Kings (29-52), who will receive a final shot in the 30-win season on Sunday night in Phoenix.
Playing for the fifth time since returning from an elbow injury, George blocked an 18-foot nail in the Clippers’ first possession and Sacramento didn’t have to look back for a third defeat in a row.
George added a 3-pointer and an assist as Los Angeles scored the first nine points of the game before advancing to 17 in the first quarter and 20 in the second.
The Kings, who won 124-115 in Los Angeles in December, reached close to seven in multiple events in the third period, before the Clippers advanced again to a 23-point advantage at the start of the fourth quarter and home on the coast.
George shot 3-pointers for 9-for-9 while the Clippers went 21-for-43 from outside the arc to account for most of his points in one night. Los Angeles beat Sacramento 63-21 on 3-pointers.
George also finds time for a game-high 12 assists.
All but one of the 12 clippers who watched the action in the game scored, the other four joined in double figures with George and Powell. Ivica Zubak has a total of 15 points as part of the double-double with a game-high 12 rebound, with Marcus Morris Sr. adding 11 points and Isaiah Hertenstein and Luke Kennard adding 10 points.
Trey Liles backed Mitchell with 15 points and Damien Jones had 12 for the Kings, who will miss the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season. Chimezie Metu was Sacramento’s leading rebounder with 10 to nine points.
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