The LA Clippers had a strong finish in which they took away the win from the Portland Trail Blazers. Doc Rivers’ boys won this tight contests with 107-101, handing their coach his 900th victory.
Doc became only the 13th coach in the history of the league with 900 wins.
“He just keeps going, he is not getting bored with a process, he just keeps going every day,” Kawhi Leonard stated about his coach, indicating that he isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
Yet, if it weren’t for Lou Williams, he would probably have to wait for one more game at least to enter that club.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 8, 2019
Sweet Lou scored seven points in the moments when the game was on the line. First, he broke a tie with a two-point jump shot, and after that, with 45.6 seconds to go hit a three to give his Clippers a two-possession edge. From that moment on, it was hard for the guests from Oregon to come back, and Kawhi Leonard sealed the game with four straight free throws.
“Another test for us down the stretch,” said Kawhi Leonard. “We came through, got stops in the fourth quarter, it was great.”
Both teams had periods in which they controlled the flow of the game. At the beginning and the first half that were the hosts, afterward, Portland took over the wheel.
The sides were leveled up until the midway of the first when the Clippers started to pull away slowly. They would win that sequence with 26-22, and continue to play in the same rhythm until the half. With 2:22 left in the second, Williams scored both of his free throws to give an 11-point advantage to his team, 42-31.
But then the Trail Blazers responded. They came back from the break sharp and motivated, and turned the tide in their favor. With 6:05 left in the third, CJ McCollum drilled a three, which leveled the rivals to 61 each. Portland had a 6-point advantage coming in the final quarter and was ahead until 2:40 when Clippers erased the deficit.
Both Lillard and McCollum were pretty bad in the final 12 minutes, and if it weren’t for Anfernee Simons, who scored 16 points in that sequence, the home team would solve this matter probably earlier.
“They were coming out to guard me and picking up full court. Pat Beverley did a good job on defense,” said Lillard.
On the other side, Leonard and his crew were, as usual, the most lethal in those moments.
“We got stops out there, and when the pressure came, we didn’t break, we just kept pushing.”
Kawhi had 27 points and 13 boards, whooting 9 of 23 from the field and hitting 9 of his 10 free throws. Lou Williams added 26 buckets with 8 assists and going 11 for 12 from the line.
The big guys were excellent tonight. Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell had 15 points each, with the note that Zubac had 13 boards, 9 of them offensive, all that in 20 minutes. The young Croat played 20 minutes.
Harrell was 7 of 11 from the field, with 6 boards, while JaMychal Green also added 10 rebounds.
For the visitors, Lillard and McCollum had 22 points each, but shooting 18 for 46. They made just 4 threes in 16 attempts. Hassan Whiteside had another monstrous double-double with 17 buckets and 19 boards, and Simons also added 17 points.
The Blazers are going back home to meet the Brooklyn Nets in second of back-to-back nights.
Meanwhile, the Clippers are meeting the Toronto Raptors, in Kawhi’s first matchup versus the team whom he guided to the title last year.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.