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Fourth-quarter rally vaults Clippers over Pistons

Feb 10, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Detroit Pistons forward Ausar Thompson (9) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40) and forward Paul George (13) as he drives to the basket in the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George scored 33 points and Kawhi Leonard added 24 as the host Los Angeles Clippers rebounded from a rare defeat by rallying for a 112-106 victory Saturday afternoon over the new-look Detroit Pistons.

James Harden scored 14 points and Russell Westbrook added 13 as the Clippers turned a 13-point third-quarter deficit into their fifth victory over their last six games while improving to 20-5 at home. The win came two days after a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, just the fourth time Los Angeles fell in 22 games.

The Clippers entered the fourth quarter down 81-76 before scoring 36 in the final period to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 21-23.

Jaden Ivey scored 23 points for the Pistons, Cade Cunningham added 22 and Simone Fontecchio added 20 in his Detroit debut after he was acquired Thursday in a trade with the Utah Jazz. Troy Brown Jr. (eight points) and Shake Milton (four points) also made their Pistons debuts after a roster shake up this week.

Jalen Duren scored 10 points with 18 rebounds and Cunningham had 10 assists for Detroit, which was unable to deliver its first three-game winning streak. The Pistons won at Sacramento and Portland to open the current five-game road trip heading into the All-Star break.

After falling behind early in the second quarter, the Clippers didn’t lead again until they went up 89-88 with 8:50 remaining after three free throws from Harden. A 16-2 run, highlighted by nine points from George, gave Los Angeles a 107-94 lead with 3:37 remaining.

The Pistons charged back with an 8-0 run to pull within 107-102 with 1:33 remaining before a George layup with 1:09 remaining sealed the victory.

The Clippers lost Norman Powell with 5:12 remaining with a laceration to his forehead after absorbing an inadvertent elbow.

Los Angeles went up 12-2 just over three minutes into the game before trailing 58-46 with 1:52 remaining in the first half and were left looking up at a 58-49 deficit at the half. The Pistons had a 32-15 rebounding advantage in the first half.

The Pistons won the overall rebounding battle 57-35 as the Clippers failed to grab an offensive board for the first time in franchise history. Los Angeles is the fifth NBA team without an offensive rebound since the 1983-84 season.

–Field Level Media

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