NBA Recap: Kawhi and Williams catalysts for Clippers comeback against Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers downed the throwback Thursday orange and black trimmed kits to represent the franchise’s years in New York state from 1970-78.

In the wake of an NBA $50,000 fine against the Clippers for making ‘inconsistent statements’ about Kawhi’s health, the All-star small forward refused to let bad news affect his game Despite a slow start, Leonard rose to hit 27 points, 13 rebounds and four assists by the end of play last night, shooting at 39% from the field. 

In a close game, home-team LA came back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth with Leonard putting up 18 points in this final quarter rally. Williams scored 26 points overall, shooting 43% from the field with eight assists, as Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac knocked down 15 points each. Zubac complimented his score with 13 rebounds, nine of which where on the offensive end, in a well-rounded performance.

In a shot-for-shot fourth quarter, Hassan Whiteside hit a three with 1:16 remaining, tying the score at 98, only to be countered by a jumper from Williams which saw the Clippers nudge ahead by two at 58.9 seconds on the clock. Hassan Whiteside added 17 points and 19 rebounds in total.
However, a free throw by Anfernee Simons put Portland within reach at 99-100, but Williams hit another three with 32.5 seconds left, increasing the margin to four.

The Blazers weren’t backing down easy with Rodney Hood demolishing the Clippers' lead to 103-101 with 17.5 seconds remaining. Finally, a foul against Leonard saw him hit both free throws with 13.1 seconds left as the Clippers shutdown Portland once and for all.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum led Portland with 22 points apiece, although they both hit a rather average 9-of-23 from the field. Anfernee Simons scored 17 points, 16 of these in the fourth, adding two rebounds and two assists.

Portland was able to keep the score surprisingly close in the first half despite shooting 32% from the floor, compared to 38.3% for the Clippers, and an overall 37.5% vs LA’s 43.8%.
With Clippers back on track, they look towards the Toronto Raptors on Monday as the Blazers welcome the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

Thursday's NBA results:

Celtics 108, Hornets 87

Thunder 112, Spurs 121

Heat 124, Suns 108

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