George, Leonard Power Clippers’ 112-106 Victory Against Pistons

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, NBA: Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Clippers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George led with 33 points, and Kawhi Leonard contributed 24, propelling the Los Angeles Clippers to a 112-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons during Saturday’s NBA action.

Kicking off with an aggressive 12-2 lead, the Clippers saw their initial advantage neutralized as the Pistons matched their intensity and outperformed them in the middle quarters.

Reflecting on the game’s beginning, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue remarked on the initial burst and subsequent slowdown, highlighting a strategic shift to a smaller lineup in the second half that improved scoring.

“It was a great start. It was sluggish after the start,” Lue said. “The second half, we went small and were able to score a lot better.”

In a pivotal fourth-quarter performance, George netted 15 points, including consecutive 3-pointers during an 11-0 Clippers surge, extending their lead to 107-94. George acknowledged the Pistons’ recent form and emphasized the strategic adjustment to a smaller lineup as key to overturning the game’s momentum.

“Give the Pistons credit. They’re playing well over the past three, four games. This is one of those tough games, play early (in the day) against a young team and you got to be ready for them,” George said.

“I thought they were ready to come out. We had to make the adjustments. I thought playing the small ball helped us with creating energy, and that was just the turning point of the game.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons Updates

The Pistons, driven by Simone Fontecchio and Cade Cunningham, narrowed the gap to seven points within the final two minutes with an 8-point run. Despite this late push and closing the game on a 12-5 run, the Pistons could not overcome their deficit, marking their tenth consecutive loss to the Clippers.

George praised Cunningham’s potential and the Pistons’ core strength, anticipating their future success.

“I love Cade’s game. He’s really good, he’s athletic, he’s strong. That’s really where he’s going to be a problem for many years to come,” George said. “They got a strong nucleus with him. They’re going to be good when they figure it out playing together.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons Updates

Amir Coffey and James Harden provided crucial support from the bench, with Coffey hitting timely 3-pointers and Harden’s free throws capturing the lead since the second quarter’s outset. Jaden Ivey led the Pistons with 23 points, although the team missed an opportunity to secure a three-game winning streak.

The Pistons led by as much as 13 points early in the third quarter but could not maintain their lead despite significant contributions from Cunningham, Jalen Duren, and Fontecchio. The team ended with a notable rebounding advantage but fell short in their sixth consecutive away game.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons Updates

An injury to Norman Powell of the Clippers, who Duren hit, resulted in Powell needing stitches, though he assured his resilience post-game.

Looking ahead, the Pistons will face the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday, while the Clippers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.

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