Damian Lillard leads Bucks’ surge over Clippers, 124-117

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Clippers fell in the clutch without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

LOS ANGELES — After losing to the Bucks, 113-106, just six days ago in Milwaukee Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo shut down any chance of revenge from LA. 

Lillard and Antetokounmpo combined for 69 points as the Clippers hosted Milwaukee Sunday afternoon in the back end of a back-to-back.

“Those two guys, they’re great players, and we understand that,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said of the Bucks’ duo. “They had a good game. I thought Dame set the tone early and then took over the game late. Once he got going, it was hard to stop him.”

Leonard and George nursed lingering injuries as Norman Powell led the Clippers with 26 points. Ivica Zubac scored 18 while Amir Coffey grabbed 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Turning point: The Clippers had the 62-59 advantage at halftime, despite shooting just 27.3% from beyond the arc while Milwaukee shot 50%.

Lillard put the nail in the coffin for LA with just over a minute left in the game. He hit a three from deep to bring Milwakee’s lead to 10 points. He collected 16 in the final quarter before helping the Bucks seal their road win.

What it means: The Clippers drop to 41-22 with just five weeks left of regular season play. Milwaukee also snapped a short Clippers two-game win streak while knocking their season home record down to 22-9 at Arena.

Hits: Without their star power, Powell and Zubac shone once again for the Clippers despite the loss. As stated before, Powell led the charge with 26 points off the bench for LA. Zubac paired nicely going 9-10 from the field for 18 points. The Clippers center also collected six rebounds with one steal, block and turnover a piece.

Misses: Clippers stars Leonard and George watched from the sidelines with lingering injuries as their team fell in Sunday’s matinee action. It was the sixth game the duo missed at the same time for LA this season.

Leonard sat out with a sore left groin while George dealt with a sore left knee. The two stars have played in 57 games together this season, the most they have played in their five years with the Clippers.

Stat of the game: The Bucks outscored Los Angeles 21-9 from the free throw line. James Harden also didn’t have his best game for the Clippers, missing seven consecutive shots in the first half and finishing 1-6 on three-pointers.

Up next: The Clippers will wrap up their three-game home stand when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday. It will be the last regular season bout between the two Western Conference teams. 

Then the team will hit the road for yet another back-to-back when they take on the Chicago Bulls Thursday followed by the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.