Tuesday, April 20: Clippers 113, Trail Blazers 112
The skinny: Without Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic, the Trail Blazers put up a great fight Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers at Moda Center.
But, it wasn't enough, as Paul George took over down the stretch and made two free throws with 4.8 seconds left as the Clippers beat the Blazers 113-112.
The Blazers (32-25) lost their eighth consecutive game against a team with a record of above .500 at the time of the matchup, and 12th game in the past 14 against above.-500 teams.
Portland led 105-99 when George scored on a jumper with 3:41 left. It was two of his 10 points down the stretch.
The Blazers led 112-107 after CJ McCollum's 3-pointer with 1:03 left, but it would be Portland's final points. George scored on a drive and, after a McCollum miss, he scored on a layup and it was 112-111.
Norman Powell missed and George drove to the basket only to be fouled and awarded two free throws, which he made with 4.8 seconds left. McCollum faked George on the next possession and had a nice, mid-range shot to win but the ball bounced off the rim.
George had 33 points for the Clippers (41-19). The Clippers shot .500 overall but only .289 (11 of 38) on 3-pointers. McCollum had 28 points, Powell 23 and Carmelo Anthony 18 for Portland, which went 14 of 44 from 3-point land (.318).
Lillard sat out his third consecutive game with right hamstring tendinopathy. Nurkic was nursing a sore knee.
But, the Clippers played without Kawhi Leonard (right foot soreness), Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley.
The Clippers won their sixth consecutive game against Portland.
Quotable: "It's a make or miss league. There's a lot of great players out there. It's gonna come down to the last few possessions, especially playing against playoff-caliber teams," McCollum said.
Next up: In the second game of a back-to-back, the Blazers play Denver at Moda Center, 7 p.m. Wednesday. Lillard will reportedly play in the game.
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