Kawhi Leonard came back following his injury picked up against the Nuggets, scoring a team-high 28 points, adding seven assists in 30 minutes. His Clippers were ahead during the entire contest, confidently building the lead, keeping the guests under control. They were already up 37-26 after the end of the opening 12 minutes before jumping to 76-57 at halftime.
Tyronn Lue’s team ended the night with 47.4% shooting from deep, hitting 18 threes in 38 attempts. They also had 30 assists compared to only 14 coming on Portland’s side. The Trail Blazers had 19 turnovers, four apiece coming from Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic.
CJ McCollum had 25 points, the majority of coming from downtown, as he made seven three-pointers in 11 tries. Lillard, on the other hand, couldn’t hit a single three in 8 shots, but missed just one of 15 attempts from the line, ending the night with 20 buckets. He also had five rebounds and four assists.
Carmelo Anthony had 15 points, and Enes Kanter a double-double with 10 points and rebounds each.
Paul George also posted a double-double. The Clippers superstar delivered 23 points, had 10 rebounds, and seven assists, all that in 28 minutes. He probably could have reached a triple-double, but Lue decided to rest him.
The LAC had six players with 10 or more points. Lou Williams added 15, Ibaka, Batum, and Reggie Jackson all had 11.
This is the second victory after a 51-point loss against the Dallas Mavericks. The first was against the Timberwolves, 124-101, and now this, both with a commanding performance. It seems that the embarrassment vs. Mavs was quickly forgotten and that the Clippers are back in the saddle.
Four of the next five games they play are on the road. They now travel to Salt Lake City to meet the Jazz on January 1, and after that, have a clash against the Suns in Phoenix.
Portland has back to back matches with their big rivals, the Golden State Warriors, both of them in California, before playing at home against the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Terry Stotts’ boys had a difficult schedule, meeting with the top teams from the conference in each of their four opening matches. The Trail Blazers defeated Houston Rockets and the champions LA Lakers, while lost to Utah Jazz and now the Clippers.