The LA Clippers had their three-game win streak snapped with a 116-106 loss at home to the New Orleans Pelicans.


If there’s one team the Clippers have struggled with over the past several seasons, it’s the Pelicans. Early on, it looked like those struggles were going to continue.

The Pelicans jumped out to an early 33-12 lead behind an offensive masterclass from Brandon Ingram who had 16 points in the opening quarter. The Clippers couldn’t buy a bucket while the Pelicans were getting anything they wanted.

It wasn’t until the bench came in led by Norman Powell that the Clippers began to show the energy and intensity that they lacked to begin the game. The Clippers couldn’t find any sort of consistent offensive flow outside of Powell, who had 15 points at the half, and Paul George who had 17.

Even so, the Clippers had managed to slice into the Pelicans lead to trail by only one, 56-55, at halftime. After the game, Kawhi Leonard credited the Clippers defense as well for being able to get back into the game.

“We picked up our defensive intensity. We got that going, getting some steals, some deflections,” Leonard said. “We were getting out in transition pretty quick and getting easy baskets,”

In the third quarter, the Clippers looked like they might have their Pelicans problem solved. They looked focused and locked in on both ends of the court. Both teams traded blows throughout the quarter and the Clippers scrapped their way to trail by only two, 85-83 heading into the final period of play.

The fourth quarter belonged to the Pelicans, however. After the Clippers had pulled to within two, 93-91 off an Ivica Zubac offensive rebound and put back, the Pelicans rattled off a 10-0 run to go back up double digits.

While it was Ingram in the first quarter who got the Pelicans off to a quick start, it was Zion Williamson who powered them home in the stretch run. Williamson helped carry the Pelicans in the second half with 21 of his 32 points and nine in the fourth quarter. Throughout the game, the Clippers just had no answer for the duo of Williamson or Ingram.

“They’re great players, they’re gonna have nights like this,” Leonard said. “They got it going early and you know once you make a few shots and you’re that great of a basketball player, it’s just operational.”

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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