May 24, 2024

For the past five weeks as the Clippers swung from the extremes of six consecutive losses to five straight victories, and hitting every point on the spectrum of basketball success between those streaks, the most consistency they could point to was their durability.

James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George had started together in all 18 games since Harden’s arrival via trade, meaning that for all the tests the Clippers endured in those five weeks since Harden joined the lineup, the depth of their stars was not among them.

Until Thursday.

With George out because of what the team called a sore hip, after injuring himself in a win Tuesday against Sacramento, Harden validated why he was brought to Los Angeles — to serve as a ceiling-raiser for the team when they are healthy, and superstar insurance when they are not.

In a game as notable about who was playing as who was not, with Golden State’s Draymond Green serving the first game of his indefinite suspension levied by the NBA, the Clippers survived a vintage shooting performance by the Warriors’ Klay Thompson behind Harden’s own return to a dominant form. The 121-113 win was the Clippers’ sixth consecutive, continuing a streak that began started two weeks earlier with a win on the same floor against Golden State.

The Clippers (14-10) have won 11 of their last 14 games.

Harden tied his season high with 11 assists with 21 minutes remaining in the game. He finished with 15 of his team’s 27 assists that resulted in 36 points by his teammates while also scoring 28 points. He also made five of six three-point attempts and 11 of his 12 free throws. A layup in the third quarter pushed Harden past 25,000 points for his career, one of only 24 players to reach that milestone.

Defensively he took points away, swiping the ball away from Warriors rookie center Trayce Jackson-Davis under the rim, and later stripping the ball from Jonathan Kuminga at the perimeter, leading to a fast-break layup by teammate Terance Mann. And when the Clippers appeared stuck, midway through the fourth quarter nursing a four-point lead, Harden blocked Brandin Podziemski with a soaring swipe, with the Clippers scoring on the ensuing possession to cushion their lead.

If it had been Harden alone, it would have been noteworthy. But Harden and reserve guard Russell Westbrook, in their most minutes overlapping since being kept apart entirely four games earlier, played off one another on Westbrook’s backdoor cut for an alley-oop. The basketball had not yet left Chris Paul’s right hand with a second to play in the first half when it was immediately enveloped by the right hand of Westbrook and sent flying out of bounds.

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook yells after dunking in front of Golden State Warriors forward Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Clippers guard Russell Westbrook yells after dunking in front of Golden State Warriors forward Trayce Jackson-Davis in the first half.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Known for his on-court scowl, Westbrook celebrated with a smile aimed toward fans in Arena’s section 116, then wagged his index finger back and forth. Westbrook had nine points, while Norman Powell added 21 off the bench.

Reprising his role from two years earlier as the big wing used to replace an injured George, little-used reserve Amir Coffey scored 18 points in 30 minutes. And Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points.

Leading by as many as 16, the Clippers could not close out Golden State until the final minute because Thompson would not let the game get away. He scored 16 points in the third quarter to pull Golden State within six points entering the final 12 minutes.

Thompson scored 30 points to lead Golden State, making eight of his 12 three-pointers, while Stephen Curry had as many field-goal attempts (17) as points (17).

When Coffey missed a corner three-pointer with 30 seconds to play, and the Clippers leading by just four, Leonard crashed toward the paint to corral an offensive rebound. Fouled, he made both free throws. The game was over, the winning streak still alive.

Bingo Blitz Credits Farming Strategies: Success Tips
Coin Master Spins Farming Strategies: Insights from Pros
genshin impact redeem codes january 2023 mobile matters
Get Free Zems on ZEPETO: Tips and Tricks
match masters arena 7 funny game like paper clash royale what
TikTok Coin Generator Safety Tips
Unlimited Gems in Brawl Stars: Myth or Reality?
new cheats dragon city free gems mod generator freemind
free family island hack cheats unlimited rubies and energy
how to get diamonds in hay day tips tricks youtube
tutorial how i get unlimited diamonds in litmatch app youtube
myths of moonrise codes september 2022 g7r
Boost Your TikTok Influence with Free Coins
Unlocking TikTok Coins: Insider Techniques
Comment obtenir légalement et rapidement des pièces gratuites sur TikTok
Maximiza tus Ganancias de Monedas TikTok con Estos Consejos
Coin Master Free Spin Generators: Fact or Fiction?
Insights from Pros: Coin Master Free Spins Farming Strategies
Avakin Life Avacoins Farming Demystified

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *