Paul George scores 40 as Clippers eke out win over Kings

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George exploded for 40 points, Nicolas Batum snatched a key offensive rebound in the final seconds and the Los Angeles Clippers continued their road dominance over the host Sacramento Kings with a 111-109 win on Saturday night.

Reggie Jackson buried all three of his 3-point attempts en route to 14 points for the Clippers, who were playing their second game of the season after opening with a victory over the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

The win was the Clippers’ 17th in their last 18 trips to Sacramento.

De’Aaron Fox totaled 36 points for the Kings, who dropped their second in a row, both at home, to tip off the campaign.

After a Fox layup drew the Kings within 105-100 with 2:22 remaining, George dropped in consecutive interior hoops to open a nine-point margin with just 1:57 left.

But Sacramento wasn’t done. Kevin Huerter drilled a 3-pointer and Harrison Barnes dropped in one of two free throws to get the hosts within 109-104 with still 1:09 left.

When Fox hit from 15 feet at the 41.4-second mark, suddenly the Kings were within three.

It appeared Sacramento would be getting a shot at a tie when George misfired on a 3-point attempt with 16.5 seconds left, but Batum grabbed the rebound. The Kings were forced to foul Norman Powell, whose two free throws iced the win.

Fox’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer capped the scoring.

George hit 16 of 31 shots and added six assists. It was his 19th game with at least 40 points in his career, and his first since 41- and 42-point games in the first 10 days of last season.

Luke Kennard (11) and Ivica Zubac (10) also scored in double figures for the Clippers, who won despite sitting out Kawhi Leonard. Zubac led Los Angeles with eight rebounds.

Fox shot 15-for-23 on his big night and hit three 3-pointers, as did rookie Keegan Murray, and Huerter bombed in five as the Kings outscored the Clippers 42-27 from beyond the arc.

Making his season debut, Murray finished with 19 points off the bench, Huerter added 18 and Domantas Sabonis 11 for Sacramento, which was outshot 50.6 percent to 47.1 percent.

Sabonis added 10 rebounds for the game’s only double-double. He also had a game-high seven assists.

–Field Level Media

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