Paul George a late scratch for Clippers game on Tuesday
George “kind of tweaked his ankle a little bit” Sunday against Phoenix, coach Tyronn Lue said before tipoff. George, who scored a season-high 39 points in the victory over the Suns, tested the ankle in warmups before he was ruled out 30 minutes before tipoff.
The absence created a yawning hole in the Clippers’ offense. George has averaged 25.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season while making 49.2% of his three-pointers.
“He’s in a really good groove,” Lue said. “Understanding where he is going to touch the ball on the floor, exactly where he is going to get his shots from, just playing through him and Kawhi [Leonard] and Lou [Williams], those guys are really doing a good job of reading the defenses where guys are double-teaming or helping, they are making the right pass. If they are not, they are able to go work one-on-one and have been doing a good job of reading the situation.”
The Clippers (5-2) started Luke Kennard in George’s place. The injury leaves the team down two starters after forward Marcus Morris missed his eighth consecutive game Tuesday because of a sore knee.
Morris “has been on the floor for every practice, every shoot-around, going through all the plays, the play call, so he has been involved every day,” Lue said. “It hasn’t been like he has been away from the team, not actually being able to be a part of it.
Veteran forward Nicolas Batum is off to a good start in his first season with the Clippers after a lackluster last 18 months he experienced with Charlotte.
“He has been doing a great job of doing his rehab and doing what he’s been doing but also having the time to be on the floor with the guys and run through the plays.”
The matchup with the Spurs (2-4) was the Clippers’ first at home since finishing a two-game road trip in Phoenix, but they will return to the road Wednesday in San Francisco against Golden State.
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