NEW ORLEANS (AP) Paul George made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points, Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and nine rebounds, and the surging Los Angeles Clippers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 111-95 on Friday night.

James Harden had 13 assists and eight points in 29 minutes for the Clippers, who led by 31 points in the fourth quarter and won for the 14th time in 16 games.

Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, whose four-game winning streak was snapped. Jordan Hawkins also scored 13 points in just seven minutes off the bench.

The Clippers played suffocating defense against New Orleans' top two scorers, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, each of whom was held to 12 points. Williamson left in the third quarter with a right leg contusion that Pelicans coach Willie Green said after the game was not serious.

“I just think defensively, we were locked in,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.

After averaging 32 points in his last four games against Los Angeles, Ingram was kept in check by quick double-teams as soon as he touched the ball.

“We wanted to make sure we tried to take the ball out of his hands early, because he’s had first quarters against us that have been crazy,” said Lue, whose team had lost four straight to the Pelicans. “He had nine shots, and nine shots for an All-Star player just shows that we’ve done a good job trying to take the ball out of his hands.”

The Clippers took control by outscoring the Pelicans 30-15 in the second quarter, holding New Orleans to 5-of-24 shooting. Los Angeles closed the first half on a 24-7 run, limiting New Orleans to five points over the final 6:11, and led 56-41 at the break, holding the Pelicans to their fewest points in a half this season.

Harden took just seven shots, but he kept the ball moving for wide-open jumpers by George.

“It’s easy because our guys on the floor attract so much attention,” George said. “James, Kawhi, those guys attract so much attention that a lot of times, it leaves me open for catch-and-shoot situations, and my job is easy at that point. I just finish the play that those guys created.”

Green said the Clippers came out to prove a point defensively.

“They were physical, they were aggressive, they had their hands on us,” he said. “They mixed up their defensive coverages. They blitzed some pick-and-rolls. It just took us out of what we wanted to do, and we were a step slow tonight.”


Clippers: Will be the visiting team at their home venue, Arena, against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Pelicans: At Sacramento on Sunday.



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