CM – Paul George, Clippers School Boy Spurs

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LOS ANGELES – It wasn’t that easy to hit the old Easy Button at the Staples Center on Tuesday night – as it’s now called – but the Clippers eventually defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 106-92.

When the news spread in the arena – the home of the Clippers and Lakers since 1999 – that the building will soon be called the Crypto.com Arena, the hosts held court in front of the 13,298 fans present.

Strengthened by Paul George’s 34 points and nine rebounds, the Clippers (9-5) held Dejounte Murray and the Spurs (4-10), who came within 10 points – 99-89 – two minutes from time.

Nothing is taken for granted in the NBA, not even a game against a young team from San Antonio who lost five of their last seven games and nine of a total of 13. The Clippers stayed stuck at 91 for nearly four minutes in the fourth quarter as the Spurs reduced their lead from 91:73 to 91:82.

understaffed without Terance Mann (ankle), Justise Winslow (in person) as well as Kawhi Leonard (ACL), Marcus Morris Sr. (knee) and Serge Ibaka (G League), the Clippers supported themselves on their young legs on Tuesday.

Amir Coffey, 24, turned out to be an active understudy and Brandon Boston Jr., 19, a fearless, offensively inclined rookie – he scored 13 points on 4-of-7.

But 25-year-old Murray of Spurs did the most damage among the promoters, despite the fact that he did the most damage before half-time when he scored 20 of his 26 points. He narrowly missed a triple double (12 rebounds, nine assists).
Guard Reggie Jackson, the 11-year-old guardian of the Clippers, turned it on in the third quarter and broke off an early game funk to score 10 of his 21 points (and grabbed five of his six rebounds) for the Clippers to help regain control. 83-71 Enter the last frame.

The Clippers, so often hit by slow starts, built a 25-20 lead in the first quarter on Tuesday, shooting 11 for 21 out of the field but only 1 for 10 out of 3-point range. George started with nine points – and a few assists, steals and turnovers.

Successive buckets of Luke Kennard, including a falling 3-pointer, gave them a 35-26 lead just minutes into the second quarter.

The Clippers lead grew to 12-52:40 in the second period – before Murray triggered a sprint in San Antonio that put the Spurs 56-53 back within two points of break.

George and Murray scored 15 points each in the duel in the second quarter and went into halftime with 24 and 20 points respectively.

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Eric Bledsoe added 11 points and three steals for the Clippers who avoided losing two in a row despite flipping the ball 22 times.

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