Clippers sweep pair of games in Portland, defeat Trail Blazers 125-117

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The Clippers capped off their three-day stay in Portland with a win.

After defeating Portland Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers forced the Trailblazers to their fifth straight loss Friday night. 

The Clippers win at the Moda Center completed LA’s four-game season sweep over the Blazers. LA led by as many as 25 points in Portland while shooting at 42% from deep and 56% overall.

Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Terance Mann each finished with 20 or more points towards the Clippers victory.

In addition to Friday’s win, LA received more good news after the Clippers cleared Russell Westbrook. Westbrook, who missed most of March due to a fractured left hand, can  be expected to play as soon as Monday night against the Indiana Pacers, according to the LA Times.

“Russ is doing well,” Lue said before the Clippers defeated Portland Friday night. “He’ll play sometime next week.”

Turning  point: The Clippers had the 17-point advantage at halftime before soaring to a 90-65 lead halfway through the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, LA led by more than 20 with five minutes left.

Things didn’t end so well for LA as the Blazers went on a 16-1 scoring run to wrap up Friday’s bout. The effort was not enough, however, and the Clippers walked away victorious, 125-117.

What it means: The Clippers (44-25) are 7-5 in March thus far and still have five more  games scheduled through the month. In this month’s stretch the team has played in three sets of back-to-back games as well. 

Now LA finds itself at the fourth-seed spot in the Western Conference standings with a 1.5-game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Hits: Clippers’ star duo of George and Leonard led the way for LA’s win Friday. George finished with 31 points while shooting 10-14 from the field. Meanwhile Leonard collected 22 on the night, 13 in the first half, and shot 9-15. 

Both players sat out for the whole fourth quarter.

Misses: Norman Powell missed out on Friday’s action as his status remains day-to-day with a lower leg injury. Westbrook, as mentioned, missed Friday’s game as well but can be expected to make a return soon.

Stat of the game: When Paul George sank his first three-pointer Wednesday, he set a new  Clippers franchise record. George passed JJ Reddick for threes in a season with 202 and counting.

He  finished against Portland with 27 points while shooting  10-18 from the field and collecting seven rebounds and four assists.  George has been hot for the Clippers lately, scoring over 20 in his past eight straight games.

Up next: The Clippers will continue their road trip with Philadelphia as the next destination. They will take on the 76ers Sunday at 12:30 p.m. for the first half of a back-to-back pair of games. The Indiana Pacers will follow as the next scheduled bout Monday March 26.