PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Paul George had 33 points, including two free throws with 4.8 seconds left that gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 113-112 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
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George also had 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, playing without Kawhi Leonard. It was the Clippers’ sixth straight win over the Blazers.
CJ McCollum had 28 points but missed a pullup jumper at the final buzzer for Portland, which didn’t have Damian Lillard for the game. Norman Powell added 23 points.
The Clippers were up 86-82 heading into the final quarter, but Carmelo Anthony’s 3-pointer and jumper gave the Blazers a 93-90 lead. Powell’s layup extended it to 101-96 midway through the period.
Reggie Jackson’s 3-pointer pulled the Clippers within 102-99 with 4:29 left, but McCollum answered with a 3 for Portland. Anthony padded the lead with a jumper.
After George made free throws, Ivica Zubac’s layup narrowed it to 109-107. McCollum against answered with a 3, but George’s basket got Los Angeles within a point with 33 seconds left.
McCollum missed a corner 3 and with 4.8 seconds to go George made a pair of free throws to give the Clippers the lead. McCollum missed a jumper to end it.
Lillard, ranked third in the league with 28.7 points per game, missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury. Portland was also missing center Jusuf Nurkic, who was held out for knee pain management for the first game of a back-to-back. Enes Kanter started in Nurkic’s place.
On the Clippers’ side, Leonard was out with right foot soreness. He missed four games last week — three because of the foot — but returned Sunday against the Timberwolves and had 15 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes. The Clippers won, 124-105.
Clippers coach Ty Lue said it was best to hold Leonard out now as “more of a precautionary thing” for the final stretch of the season, and he will be re-evaluated next week. Leonard leads the Clippers with 25.7 points per game.READ MORE: Man, 30, Fatally Shot In Long Beach; Motive Unknown
McCollum’s left-handed floater gave the Blazers a 31-30 edge after a back-and-fourth first quarter. Anthony’s free throw after Rajon Rondo’s technical put Portland up 46-42.
Powell’s 3-pointer extended the lead to 58-48 with just over 2 minutes left in the first half, but the Clippers closed the gap to 60-56 at the break. Powell led all players with 17 points in the half.
Terance Mann’s dunk pulled the Clippers within 71-70 before George’s pullup jumper put them in front 75-74.
Clippers: LA handily won the two prior meetings against the Blazers this season, 128-105 and 133-116. … During a break between quarters the Blazers showed highlights from Nic Batum’s triple-double against the Clippers on the video scoreboard. Batum played for Portland from 2008-15.
Trail Blazers: McCollum shifted to point guard, with Powell also in the backcourt. Derrick Jones Jr. started at small forward. … It was the first of a four-game homestand for the Blazers. … Portland was coming off a 109-101 loss at Charlotte on Sunday.
Clippers: Host Memphis on Wednesday night.
Trail Blazers: Host the Nuggets on Wednesday night.MORE NEWS: Need A Holiday Package Delivered By Christmas? Here Are Shipping Deadlines
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