Clip­pers cruise past Pis­tons

George in­jures ham­string, leaves game

Antelope Valley Press - - Sports - By BETH HAR­RIS

LOS AN­GE­LES — Mon­trezl Har­rell scored 23 points and the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers sur­vived with­out Paul George in the sec­ond half to beat the Detroit Pis­tons 126-112 on Thurs­day night, win­ning con­sec­u­tive games for the first time since Dec. 13.

George didn’t re­turn after half­time be­cause of left ham­string tight­ness. He fin­ished with 12 points.

Lou Williams added 22 points and Kawhi Leonard had 18 in three quar­ters for the Clip­pers, who had al­ter­nated wins and losses for nearly three weeks.

Bruce Brown led nine Pis­tons in dou­ble fig­ures with 15 points. An­dre Drummond added 10 points and 12 re­bounds. They’ve lost four in a row on the road and eight of nine over­all.

Trail­ing by nine, the Clip­pers took con­trol in the sec­ond quar­ter. They outscored the Pis­tons 35-20, in­clud­ing runs of 9-0 and 10-0, to take a 69-63 lead into half­time. George hit back-to­back 3-point­ers and Leonard fol­lowed with an­other 3. Seven dif­fer­ent Clip­pers scored in the spurts.

Once George was side­lined, his team­mates stepped up. Landry Shamet hit con­sec­u­tive 3-point­ers that ex­tended the lead to 18 points in the third. Mau­rice Hark­less, who started, Williams and Har­rell com­bined to score 13 of the Clip­pers’ fi­nal 15 points and send them into the fourth lead­ing 106-79.

Detroit scored on con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions just once in the third.

Har­rell and Williams an­chored the sec­ond unit in the fourth when the starters rested. The Pis­tons outscored the Clip­pers 33-20, but they had too big a deficit to over­come.

TIP-INS

Pis­tons: They’re on a trip with at least one game in each time zone for the first time since Dec. 5-16, 1979 . ... Nearly two years after Blake Grif­fin’s shock­ing trade from the Clip­pers to Detroit, he’s the only one of six

play­ers in­volved still on ei­ther ros­ter.

Clip­pers: Pa­trick Bev­er­ley is ex­pected back in the next couple games from a sprained right wrist . ... At 10-5, they tied for the league’s third-best record in De­cem­ber . ... So far the Clip­pers have scored at least 130 points in six games, tied for sec­ond-most in the NBA.

NO GRIF­FIN

Grif­fin sat out with left knee sore­ness against his for­mer team. Clip­per Dar­rell shouted, “I paid my money and I want to see Blake Grif­fin!”, draw­ing a smile from Grif­fin seated on the bench. The crowd then be­gan chant­ing, “We want Blake! We want Blake!”

RE­MEM­BER­ING STERN

Doc Rivers re­called that David Stern was the first call he re­ceived after be­ing fired as Or­lando coach in 2003.

“I’m think­ing, `Wow, this is a cool thing. When you get fired the com­mis­sioner calls,’” Rivers said. “But he was call­ing me to tell me was that tomorrow ABC was go­ing to of­fer me the job and I bet­ter take it.”

Rivers did, work­ing with

Al Michaels as a TV com­men­ta­tor for one sea­son be­fore re­turn­ing to coach­ing with the Bos­ton Celtics.

“He was the sher­iff with love,” Rivers said of Stern, who died Wed­nes­day. “Peo­ple don’t re­mem­ber this league when he came in. This was a tough league. This was a drug-in­fested, im­age-prob­lem league. David Stern came in and cleaned it up and kept it go­ing.”

Detroit coach Dwane Casey cred­ited Stern for do­ing more than any other sports com­mis­sioner to pro­mote race re­la­tions and women in the work­place.

“I am a prod­uct of the ‘60s and I’ve seen ev­ery­thing, dis­crim­i­na­tion, seg­re­ga­tion, and David made it known from the very start that he wanted di­ver­sity in the NBA,” Casey said. “He wanted it in the front of­fices and in the coach­ing ranks, and he made it hap­pen.”

There was a pregame moment of si­lence for Stern.

UP NEXT

Pis­tons: Visit Golden State on Satur­day in the mid­dle of their six-game trip.

Clip­pers: Host Mem­phis on Satur­day, a team the Clip­pers beat by two points on Nov. 27.

As­so­ci­ated Press

HANG­ING OUT Los An­ge­les Clip­pers for­ward Mon­trezl Har­rell dunks as Detroit Pis­tons guard Bruce Brown watches dur­ing the first half on Thurs­day in Los An­ge­les. Har­rell scored 23 points in the Clip­pers’ 126112 vic­tory.

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