Paul George and Clippers rally from 14 down late and beat Pistons in overtime
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue pulled his starters when his team fell behind 126-112, but a lineup of Luke Kennard, Terance Mann, Amir Coffey, Nicolas Batum and Moses Brown finished the fourth quarter with a 16-2 run. Mann hit a tying jumper with five seconds left in regulation.
“You have to give those guys credit for staying ready,” Lue said. “They came out and played with some urgency. Amir and Moses hadn’t played in the game, so for them to come in and produce like the way they did was huge.“
The Clippers then outscored Detroit 14-3 in the extra period.
The Clippers were up by 20 in the first half but wasted the lead. Joel Embiid’s 44 points and James Harden’s triple-double lifted the 76ers to a 119-114 win.
Ivica Zubac added 12 points and 15 rebounds for Los Angeles, which has beaten Detroit eight straight times. The Clippers had seven players score in double figures.
Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with 23 points, including the Pistons’ only field goal of the last eight minutes. Isaiah Stewart added 21 points for NBA-worst Detroit.
“We were down 15 points in the third quarter, fought our way back, got the lead and had a comfortable lead with three minutes left,” Pistons Dwane Casey said. “They threw in the towel and we have to learn how to win that game. I’m proud of the way we put ourselves into position to beat one of the best teams in the West, but we didn’t get it.“
George scored five points in the first minute of overtime, and baskets by Kennard and Mann gave the Clippers a 138-131 lead with 2:45 left.
The Clippers led by five at the half and expanded the margin to 88-73 midway through the third quarter. However, the Pistons answered with a 21-5 run, taking a 92-91 lead on Stewart’s dunk.
Stewart’s three-pointer made it 119-112 with 5:23 left. After a Clippers miss, Bogdanovic’s short jumper put the Pistons up by nine and forced Lue to call timeout.
Stewart’s three-point play with 3:34 left capped off a 53-24 stretch that started with 6:48 left in the third quarter. From there, the Pistons shot one of 12 with five turnovers and two missed free throws.
Clippers forward Nicolas Batum is a 15-year NBA veteran. He says lessons he learned throughout his career have contributed to his longevity.
“They took their starters out and we thought the game was over,” Stewart said. “We had the lead and we didn’t finish the game. That’s completely on us, not the coaches.”
Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer on Detroit’s first possession of overtime, but the Pistons missed their last five shots and turned the ball over three times.
“I thought our defense is what changed the game,” Lue said. “We were rebounding the ball and we had deflections and steals.”
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