Clippers blow out undermanned Wizards 150-125The Associated Press — By BETH HARRIS - AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coach Doc Rivers called the first play of the game for Paul George and he hit a 3-pointer.
His teammates found him the rest of the way.
Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points, George added 31, and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled past undermanned Washington 150-125 on Sunday night for their 12th win in a row over the Wizards at home.
“It’s those new shoulders. He’s just a great shooter,” Rivers said of George. “He’s shooting deep shots on the move and doing it with great balance.”
Montrezl Harrell added 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds and Lou Williams had 22 points for the Clippers, who led all the way in improving to a franchise-best 12-1 at Staples Center.
“Their athletes are long, wiry and strong and defensive-minded,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “On top of that, they can score. That’s a great benefit.”
The Clippers shot 57% in taking a 27-point lead in the first half when George had 27 points.
“We just came out a little bit more aggressive as a unit,” Williams said. “We were very efficient on the offensive end. The shots we took a lot of times were ones we wanted to take.”
George and Leonard combined to score 10 of the Clippers’ first 13 points in the third when they led 95-69.
The Wizards ran off 11 straight points to close within 15 in their only major spurt of the game.
From there, the Clippers outscored Washington 19-12 to lead 116-98 going into the fourth.
For the game, the Clippers shot 55%, owned a 66-46 edge in the paint and their bench outscored the Wizards reserves 73-39.
“We’re pretty good once we’re clicking,” Williams said. “Every once in a while you kind of see glimpses where guys are on the same page.”
Rookie Rui Hachimura scored a career-high 30 points and Bradley Beal added 23 points and 11 assists for the Wizards. They were without injured John Wall, Moe Wagner, C.J. Miles and Ian Mahinmi in losing for the fourth time in five games.
Davis Bertans had 20 points and a tied his career high with six 3-pointers for Washington.
Leonard scored 11 of the Clippers’ first 20 points in the fourth. George added a pair of free throws and Williams scored seven in the stretch that extended their lead to 138-107. Leonard and George then sat down and turned it over to the bench to finish off the blowout victory.
It was the second time this season the Clippers scored 150 points. They beat Atlanta 150-101 last month.
Wizards: They’ll play the Clippers again next Sunday, the fourth time in series history the teams play both games in December. ... Their 12 straight road losses to the Clippers is the second-longest active road losing streak in franchise history.
Clippers: JaMychal Green sustained a tailbone contusion and didn’t return. ... They improved to 12-0 when leading at halftime.
AT THE LINE
The Clippers took 40 free throws and made 32. George hit all of his seven attempts, Leonard made all of his four and Williams made eight of nine.
Beal got called for a technical in the third after getting knocked down attempting a jumper.
“I just want the same respect everyone else is getting. Plain and simple,” he said. “Because any other time anybody else is coming up under your foot, even if it was unintentional or not, that’s the rule. I have to be able to land on my own two feet and I didn’t do that, but I got hit with a tech.”
The rookie out of Gonzaga played a career-high 38 minutes, mostly because the Wizards were short-handed.
“I’m still trying to get used to the NBA games. It’s different compared to college,” Hachimura said. “A lot of travel, a lot of games. I have to take care of my body more and I can play 30 minutes or 35 minutes every game and be physical.”
Wizards: Return home from a four-game Western swing to face Orlando on Tuesday.
Clippers: Host Portland on Tuesday, a team they beat at Staples Center by six points last month.
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