Paul George’s 41 points lead the Clippers to victory over the Hornets

Clippers forward Paul George tries to drive around Hornets guard Tre Mann during the first half Sunday.
Clippers forward Paul George, trying to drive around Hornets guard Tre Mann during the first half Sunday, had a season-high 41 points.
(Nell Redmond / Associated Press)

Paul George knocked down eight three-pointers and finished with a season-high 41 points, and the Clippers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 130-118 on Sunday night for their fifth straight road win.

George finished 14 of 21 from the field and eight of 12 from three-point range to beat the Hornets for the 12th consecutive time.

Ivica Zubac had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard chipped in with 23 points for the Clippers (47-27).


George said he wasn’t sure what type of a night he was going to have after he airballed his first shot and had another blocked.

The Clippers win their fourth consecutive road game as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George make midrange jumpers late against the Magic.

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“You don’t know,” George said. “But what I do know is you have to stay aggressive and it’s all about catching a rhythm. And what I do know is that once you catch a rhythm you can’t be stopped at that point.”

Miles Bridges scored 33 points on seven threes and Brandon Miller had 22 for Charlotte (18-56), which has lost eight of nine and continues to limp toward the season finish line.

After the game, Miller did a jersey swap with George, someone he has idolized while growing up and calls his favorite player.

“That’s my guy. Big bro,” Miller said. “I look forward to working out with him this summer. It’s going to be a tough matchup every time we play each other. Just always look for a show when he’s on the court. He’s a great shot-maker, but not just that, he takes pride on the defensive side.”

Although the Clippers have won five of their last seven games and find themselves in fourth place in the Western Conference, George refused to say that the team is starting to jell.

“No, we are still a work in progress,” George said. “I thought we were the better team so we should have won. But I thought it should have been more decisive than what it was. So we have room to improve. But we will get there.”


Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said he was disappointed in his team’s defensive effort, which included allowing 23 3-pointers.

“I just didn’t think we had a defensive mindset coming into the game,” Lue said. “We scored so easy that we let our guards down defensively, and (the Hornets) did a good job of running good stuff and taking advantage of the mismatches. We just didn’t lock in.”

The Clippers built a 12-point halftime lead behind George, who had 22 points on eight-of-13 shooting including five threes and scored with ease while defended by the rookie Miller.

The Clippers held a double-digit lead for most of the second half and Norman Powell’s driving layup for an and-one pushed the lead to 17 with 10 minutes remaining.

Russell Westbrook scores 14 points in his return from injury, but Clippers coach Tyronn Lue is left frustrated following a 133-116 loss to the Pacers.

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The Hornets would make a run behind three straight 3s by Davis Bertans, a driving layup by Grant Williams and a three from Miller to cut the lead to six with 5½ minutes remaining. But Powell’s three from the left wing would push the lead back to 10 and give the Clippers some breathing room.

The Clippers outrebounded the Hornets 41-31.

Up next for the Clippers: wrap up a four-game road trip at Sacramento on Tuesday night.