Doc Rivers says every play was for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and feels the star duo “came up big” to make Los Angeles Clippers history against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
George had 46 points and Leonard added 42 as they became the first Clippers teammates to score over 40 in the same game, helping the team to a 124-117 win in Minneapolis.
The Clippers’ run of four straight road victories has arrived at a key time, having previously been 3-6 away from Staples Center.
Their latest win took them to 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 was inspired by George and Leonard. “We knew without Lou [that] every play was basically for those two guys. And they came up big.”
George was involved the last time two team-mates scored over 40, doing it with Russell Westbrook at the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, but knew it was an impressive feat.
“It’s special, two guys offensively,” George said. “It’s great when both guys can get it going. “The thing about it is, we’re dishing, finding each other, feeding each other. And then when we have moments to be aggressive, we’re looking to get aggressive, attack, look for our shots.
“I thought that was a good indication [of what we can do going forward]. Overall, we did a great job of just playing off one another, both looking to score and then finding plays to make our team-mates better as well.”
Leonard was thrilled with the performance but insisted Clippers wins were more important than he and George replicating their high points totals in future games.
“It’s great that we can have somebody else out there to help scoring the ball, making the game easier for myself,” said last year’s NBA Finals MVP.
“We got into our spots early, made shots. Paul carried us in that second half.”
Asked if this was what he envisaged playing with George, Leonard said: “I didn’t think that coming into the season. We just want to win a basketball game.
“If it’s me having 10 and him having 40 or vice-versa, or Lou Will is going or Trezz [Montrezl Harrell] or somebody else having a great game, that is what I envision. I just want to envision winning games.
“We’re still trying to build our chemistry out there. We didn’t close that third quarter too great. We [have] still got to improve.”