NBA Recap: Paul George is Back, but Clippers Fell Short

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers

After a long stint of rehab for his shoulders, George missed the entirety of training camp, preseason and the first eleven fixtures of the regular season only to walk back on the court and drop 33 points in just 24 minutes.

The All-NBA forward made his high-anticipated debut on Thursday a well-rounded one, complementing his buckets with nine rebounds and four assists, before Holiday’s Pelicans crashed through the finish line to snatch a 132-127 win. 

A game-high 36 points by Holiday led the way for New Orleans who had an easier ride than usual against a shorthanded Clippers line-up, which saw Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard and Landry Shamet out for the game.

Despite being out of action for almost seven months, George went 4-for-7 from the field in the first quarter after missing his first jumper, setting the stage for some magic down the stretch. He went on to knock down those 33 points with efficiency, finishing at 10-for-17 and a faultless 10-for-10 on the free-throw line. The nine-year veteran left the glass as the third-highest scorer in history in an LA Clippers debut, only behind Dominique Wilkins (34) and Sam Cassell (35).

Fans have to wait a little longer before they see George and Leonard in action together, although, with the way both players have come out of the gates this season there’s a definite potential for a destructive duo.

LA’s starting lineup of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell also thrived last night hitting 31 (on 11-for-20 shooting) and 18 points (on 8-for-12) respectively, whilst Harrell complimented his set with seven rebounds and six assists.

Despite a slightly poor overall performance off the bench, Rodney McGruder pulled his 1.0 point per game average out of the gutter, erupting with 20 points as a result of a 5-for-7 in shooting from beyond the arc.

George did suffer foul trouble early on and had to play more cautiously towards the end of the game after racking up five. 

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers

Derrick Favors followed in Holiday’s footsteps for the Pelicans, with a phenomenal game-high 20 rebounds, complementing this with 20 points and three assists. The Clippers fall to 7-5 as they return home to face Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks this Sunday in a game that will hopefully showcase the new powerhouse of the Western Conference.

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