Doc Rivers says every game was for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and he feels the duo star “came big” to make the Los Angeles Clippers’ story against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
George had 46 points and Leonard added 42 as he became the Clippers’ first team-mate to score more than 40 in the same game, helping the team to a 124-117 victory in Minneapolis.
The Clippers’ four straight road victories came at a crucial time, having previously been 3-6 away from the Staples Center.
Their last win brought them 20-7 overall for the season and came without key players Lou Williams (calf) and Patrick Beverley (concussion).
“That was great,” coach Doc Rivers said after Friday’s win inspired by George and Leonard. “We were without Lou (that) every game was basically for these two guys and they came great.”
George participated in the last time two teammates scored over 40, doing so with Russell Westbrook at the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, but he knew it was a spectacular feat.
“It’s separate, two kids offensive,” said George. “It’s nice when both guys can do it.” The point is, we’re dishing on, finding each other, eating each other. And then, when we have moments to be aggressive, we want to attack, attack, look for our shots.
“I thought it was a good indication (of what we can do going forward). Overall, we did a great job of simply playing each other, trying to score and then finding games to make our teammates better as well.”
Leonard was excited about the performance, but insisted that the Clippers’ wins were more important than he and George reproducing their high-scoring sets in future matches.
“It’s great that we can have someone else out there to help score the ball, making the game easier for myself,” said last year’s NBA Finals MVP.
“We got in early, got shots and Paul brought us in the second half.”
Asked if this was what he intended to play with George, Leonard said: “I didn’t think they were coming in time. We just want to win a basketball game.
“If I’m 10 and he’s 40 or vice versa, or Lou Will goes or Trezz (Montrezl Harrell) or anyone else who has a great game, that’s what I envision. I just want to envision winning games.
“We’re still trying to build our chemistry out there, we didn’t close the third quarter too long.