Clippers turn it around at halftime, crush Hornets – Daily News

The Clippers made a hard midgame pivot Thursday after an ugly first half, including a particularly wretched second quarter, sprinted away from the host Hornets for a 113-90 victory, improving to 13-0 this season in games when they hold opponents to fewer than 100 points.

The Clippers outscored their hosts 69-43 in the second half, shooting 64.9% (24 for 37) from the field and 56.5% (13 for 23) from 3-point range over the final 24 minutes.

For the game, the Clippers finished 21 for 45 from behind the arc – the eighth time in team history – and the fourth occasion this season – that they’ve connected on at least 20 3-pointers.

As lopsided as the final score was, the Clippers trailed 47-44 at intermission – a deficit largely attributable to a stinker of a second quarter, in which they shot 5 for 16 (31.2%) from the floor and just 1 for 10 from 3-point range.

As cold as they were going into the break, they were equally hot coming out of it: In the third period, L.A. shot 13 for 15 from the field and 8 for 10 from behind the arc. Leonard went a perfect 3 for 3 in the third quarter for 10 of his 16 points.

Paul George finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Reggie Jackson gave the Clippers 19 points off the bench.

Marcus Morris Sr. added 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting and Nicolas Batum, who was booed relentlessly by fans during the game, chipped in with 11 points, three rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot in his return to Charlotte, where he played for five seasons.

With the win, the Clippers will maintain at least a one-game lead on the Denver Nuggets for third place in the Western Conference with two games left in the regular season. The Nuggets, who were playing in Minnesota on Thursday night, own the head-to-head tiebreaker should the teams finish tied in the standings.

More to come on this story.


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