Leonard and George Lift Clippers in Clutch to 100-97 Victory Over Magic

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA News, Orlando Magic
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

During Friday’s NBA action, the Los Angeles Clippers clinched a narrow victory over the Orlando Magic, 100-97, led by crucial late-game jump shots from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. This win is part of the Clippers’ successful road game streak, contrasting their recent home game challenges, and helps them maintain their position in the Western Conference standings.

“I’m not worried about the playoffs right now,” Leonard said. “We’re just trying to execute what’s in front of us. There are no excuses. We’ve just got to lock in at home and get a win.”

Leonard’s pivotal mid-range jumper and George’s subsequent score in the final moments sealed the Clippers’ victory, while Orlando’s Franz Wagner missed crucial 3-point attempts that could have sent the game into overtime. Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 23 points and eight rebounds but lamented his turnovers in the crucial final minute.

“If I show up the way I’m supposed to, we win all these games,” Banchero said.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic Updates

The Clippers’ coach Tyronn Lue praised his team’s defense and resilience, despite the game’s challenges.

“We did a great job building an 11-point lead, playing good basketball, and then we just got comfortable, turning the ball over, careless passes . . . and allowed them to get back in the game,” Lue said. “But I loved our defense tonight. Overall, a tough, gritty win for us. Coming down the stretch, keeping our composure, coming down late in the game and finding a way to win.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic Updates

For Orlando, the loss adds to a string of narrow defeats at home, emphasizing their competitive play but highlighting areas for improvement. Mo Wagner expressed optimism and resilience, acknowledging the team’s current performance level.

“Sometimes stuff doesn’t go your way. We’re going to show up tomorrow and play the same way and hope for a different result,” Wagner said. “I said the same thing when we had a nine-game winning streak and we were like the sweet darling on social media. Everything was cool.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic Updates

As the Clippers head to Charlotte and the Magic prepare to host Memphis, both teams look to build on their performances. The Clippers aim to break their home-game losing streak, and the Magic seek to convert their competitive play into victories.

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