On Saturday night, Paul George scored 40 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers defeat the Sacramento Kings 111-109.
George’s 40-point performance was his fifth while playing for the Clippers and his 20th overall, including in the playoffs.
George stated, “I know I can be the No. 1 choice. I have a great sense of awareness and confidence in my skills.
With 41.4 seconds left, De’Aaron Fox’s goal capped a 15-6 Sacramento surge that had brought the Kings from a 12-point deficit to 109-106. On the following Clippers possession, George missed a three-point attempt, but Nicolas Batum snagged the offensive rebound and Norman Powell made two free throws to secure the victory.
Tyronn Lue, coach of the Clippers, said of George, “I thought he took his time and got to his areas.” He really carried us down the stretch; he needs to be aggressive. For us to win games, (George and Kawhi Leonard) need to play well and contribute.
Leonard and newly acquired John Wall were absent from the Clippers’ (2-0) lineup due to knee management. They exercised prior to the game while travelling to Sacramento with the team.
In his first game since tearing a ligament in his right knee during a playoff match in June 2021, Leonard played 21 minutes on Thursday. After missing all of the Houston Rockets’ season last year, Wall played in his first NBA game in 18 months. Both are anticipated to participate in Sunday’s Clippers home opener.
For the Clippers, Reggie Jackson scored 14 points, and Ivica Zubac added 10 points and 8 rebounds.
In his debut NBA game, youngster Keegan Murray added 19 points to Fox’s 36 points to lead the Kings. With five three-pointers, Kevin Huerter scored 18 points. Adding 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists were Domantas Sabonis.
As the Kings’ head coach, Mike Brown is still looking for his first victory.
Brown remarked, “I think we competed tonight a little closer to 48 minutes than we did the other night. There are no moral wins, but I believe tonight’s trend was in the right direction (upward points).
KINGS Respect Brown
Before the game, the Kings observed a minute of silence in honour of longtime official Tony Brown, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 55 from pancreatic cancer. More than 1,100 regular-season games and 35 postseason games were overseen by Brown.
MURRAY BROUGHT OUT A GEM
After missing Sacramento’s season opener on Wednesday, Murray made his NBA debut.
With 7:28 remaining in the first quarter, Murray, a 22-year-old Iowan who was taken fourth overall, entered the game to a standing ovation from the home fans. His 19 points was third among Kings rookies in their inaugural season.
TIP-INS Clippers: Los Angeles received two technical fouls that resulted in game delays. In the last 20 meetings with the Kings, Los Angeles has triumphed 15 times.
Kings: Sacramento made 15 of 26 free throw attempts, which resulted in boos from the crowd in the third. … Sacramento is 0-2 for the first time since the season’s first five games in 2019, when it was 0-5. Fox stated, “As a team, we must be able to walk up there and make free shots. “We are aware that can both win and lose games.”
Fox scored over 30 in the first game of the season as well. He is only the fourth player in franchise history to score 30 points or more in a season’s opening two games.
Next up for the Clippers is Sunday night’s home debut against Phoenix.
Kings: Sacramento’s first road game of the year is on Sunday night at Golden State.
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