Paul George drops 41, leads Clippers past Charlotte

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
George helped Los Angeles reach a three-game win streak against the Hornets.

CHARLOTTE– The Los Angeles Clippers stacked another win on their road trip over the Charlotte Hornets, 130-118.

The team managed to survive Charlotte’s 23 made three-pointers thanks to Clippers star Paul George’s eight three-pointers.

Turning point: The Clippers had the 31-25 advantage after the first quarter. By halftime LA was shooting 60.5% from the field with a 16:4 assist-turnover ratio. That allowed the Clippers to keep the lead over Charlotte at the half, 67-55.

Ivica Zubac marked his eighth made free throw during the third quarter, while the Hornets finished the third quarter with just 5 collectively. Charlotte continued to drain threes through the fourth, probably more than the Clippers expected. Despite the lagging defense LA hung on for the 130-118 road win.

What it means: The Clippers finish 10-7 in March, and conclude the month on their first three-game win streak since the Grammy road trip. 

With Sunday’s win LA clinched a postseason appearance, but the possibility of  a play-in tournament appearance is still in question. The Clippers stand at 47-27 in the Western Conference standings for the fourth-seed spot with eight games left in the regular season.

Hits: Ivica Zubac put on an impressive performance Sunday with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Zubac also went 10-10 from the free throw line against Charlotte. It was the first time in his career marking that many attempts and shooting 100% on them. Collectively, the Hornets only went 7-11 from the line compared to Zubac.

Misses: James Harden came up short in the scoring category, only finishing with two points on one made basket. Fortunately, he also had zero turnovers – and George took care of business.

Stat of the game: George was the difference maker Sunday for LA. He finished with a season-high 41 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field and 8-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.

Up next: Sacramento lies ahead as the final stop for the Clipper’s road tour. LA has the advantage on the season series with the Kings, 2-1. 

The team will return to Arena Thursday for a three-game home stand, kicking off the action with a bout against Denver. The defending champs have the lead on the season series with LA, 2-1.