Paul George and Kawhi Leonard did their best to go blow for blow with the Brooklyn Nets Big Three.
But in the Nets’ 124-120 win over the visiting LA Clippers in a game to live up to the pre-game hype, the Clippers star duo couldn’t keep up with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. , especially on the foul line. The Brooklyn star trio combined to go 16-16 from the line.
Leonard was 8 for 9 on the boards, but George only went to the line once in 36 minutes.
“I mean, I think it was disrespectful to have had a free throw attempt today,” said George, who had 26 points and six assists. “I’ll leave it at that.”
The Clippers have only gone to the line 17 times compared to the Nets’ 26 trips.
George’s only free throw attempt came when he drove and scored against former teammate Landry Shamet under the basket with 6 minutes, 58 seconds left. George almost had to initiate contact before he got rid of the smaller Shamet to get the whistle. His three-point game gave the Clippers a 102-97 lead with 6:58 to go.
But in a game with five Eternal All-Stars on the ground, George felt he had not received the respect of the referee team.
“The number of games I have launched or created a contact,” argued George. “And to be sent to the line [one] time …”
The Nets rebounded from their 149-146 loss to the Washington Wizards by outlasting a Clippers team that had won 10 of their previous 11 games. Irving led all scorers with 39 points, Durant had 28 points and nine rebounds and Harden had a triple-double of 23 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.
“Like I said the other night, I thought I couldn’t keep anybody,” Irving said of his loss to the Wizards, who took 41 points from Russell Westbrook and 37 from Bradley Beal.
Leonard scored 33 points left with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.
While George couldn’t reach the line, he and the Clippers discovered in two and a half minutes how explosive the Nets’ super trio was.
Durant hit a 7 footer. Irving has scored eight consecutive points. Harden then drove a step back 3 to complete a 13-0 blitz.
When asked what the Clippers learned from defending the Big Three from the Nets who could help them in the long run, Nic Batum immediately responded.
“One thing is certain: that we miss Pat Bev tonight,” Batum said of the injured Patrick Beverley with a knee injury. “We forget this guy a lot, I think. It would be huge for us tonight, so Pat Bev, come back, please.”