Kawhi Leonard, Paul George Combine for 44 as Clippers Crush Lonzo Ball, Pelicans

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The Los Angeles Clippers notched their fifth straight win with a 134-109 victory over the visiting New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers lost to the Pelicans 132-127 when they visited New Orleans on Nov. 14. Paul George made his Clippers debut that night, but Kawhi Leonard was inactive (left knee injury management). Sunday marked the first time the two teams faced off with Leonard and George on the court together.

The final score reflected the All-Star duo’s impact. However, the Clippers bench was exceptional. Montrezl Harrell led all scorers with 34 points, and reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams poured in 19.

The Clippers improved to 12-5, leapfrogging the 11-6 Houston Rockets after their 137-123 loss to the Dallas Mavericks earlier in the day. They are third in the West Conference behind the 14-2 Los Angeles Lakers and 12-3 Denver Nuggets.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans dropped to 6-11—tied for 10th in the West with the San Antonio Spurs.

Notable Stats

LAC F Kawhi Leonard: 26 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists

LAC F Paul George: 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 block

LAC G Patrick Beverley: 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks

LAC F Montrezl Harrell: 34 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks

LAC G Lou Williams: 19 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists

NO F Brandon Ingram: 24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block

NO G Jrue Holiday: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists

NO G JJ Redick: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists

NO G E’Twaun Moore: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block

NO G Lonzo Ball: 9 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal

Bench Production Makes Clippers Well-Rounded Title Contender

The Clippers were known for their depth before they landed George and Leonard over the summer. 

Harrell and Williams played major roles in L.A.’s surprise run to the playoffs last season, and Williams became a back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year.

Josiah Johnson @KingJosiah54

“The Clippers are Kawhi and PG team”

Lou Williams: https://t.co/26bXZS8daU

Against the Pelicans, Harrell tied his career high with 34 points on 13-of-18 shooting in 28 minutes off the bench. Williams has been a double-digit scorer in every game this season.

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Ol’ Reliable!

@TeamLou23 and @MONSTATREZZ executing pick n’ roll perfection. https://t.co/xHLgC6piqK

LA Clippers @LAClippers

.@MONSTATREZZ has a firm handle on things.

📺 @FoxSportsWest https://t.co/AseqlemUKL

The Clippers bench outscored that of the Pelicans 72-46.

After the contest, Harrell spoke about the importance of L.A.’s depth:

FOX Sports West @FoxSportsWest

Montrezl Harrell tonight: 34 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, & a steal. That’s prettyyyyy good.

🔈 Trezz talks with @Kristina_Pink after tonight’s win.

#ClipperNation • @LAClippers https://t.co/EjtGnaea8s

The addition of George and Leonard made the Clippers championship contenders. That is inarguable. However, the consistency of Harrell and Williams will sustain their efforts throughout the long path to June. 

The Clippers lead the NBA in bench minutes per game (22.2) and bench points per game (52.1).

To Harrell’s point, the Clippers have a difficult road stretch over the next few weeks, including the 13-3 Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 6 and 11-4 Toronto Raptors on Dec. 11.

What’s Next? 

The Clippers will travel to face the equally hot Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center, and the Pelicans will stay in L.A. to take on the Lakers on Wednesday night.

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