The LA Clippers began a four-game home-stand with a 132-127 win against the Portland Trail Blazers

Summary

There’s no such thing as a bad win. Sure the Portland Trail Blazers are near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, sure the Clippers allowed the game to be closer than it probably needed to be, but a win is a win.

The Clippers started off the game well, building up a double-digit lead. But midway through the second quarter, that lead was gone. The Blazers caught fire and took advantage of poor Clipper defense to get back into the game.

Anfernee Simons and Shadeon Sharpe took turns torching the Clippers while Scoot Henderson reached a new career-high off the bench.

But the Clippers tightened up when it mattered, something they’ve been increasingly better at during this winning streak. The Clippers had struggled to close out games earlier this season, but this was just the latest in a string of games where the Clippers made the right plays down the stretch to hold off their opponent.

“I think James [Harden] getting more comfortable, I think understanding what we want to run the last six minutes of games, who we want to play through and how we want to do it,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said after the game. “When you have PG, Kawhi and James closing out games, all three of those guys know what sets we want to run for each of those guys. . .it’s been effective, as of late just understanding what we want to run and what we want to do. They’ve been great of just capitalizing down the stretch.”

Kawhi Leonard helped pace the Clippers with another strong game of 34 points, six rebounds and five assists. This was on the heels of his 41 point performance against the Utah Jazz.

One of his most notable stats, however, is the fact that he’s played in every game so far this season as a result of his health. He’s in a good rhythm right now and playing some of the best basketball he’s played all season.

“I’m just in a good rhythm, my team is in a good rhythm,” Leonard said after the game. “We’ve won the last three or for games, that’s all I care about. You guys see the big numbers, I think I’ve been shooting the ball pretty well throughout the season. Tonight the ball found me and I made shots.”



David Yapkowitz

David Yapkowitz

David is in his sixth season as credentialed media at Los Angeles Clippers games and second season covering the team for 213 Hoops. He also covers the game at the college and high school levels. When his professional basketball dreams did not materialize, he turned to the next best thing, writing about it.

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