The Los Angeles Clippers could be without star forward Paul George when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
George left Thursday’s 126-112 victory by the Clippers over the Detroit Pistons with left hamstring tightness. He scored 12 points in the first half but was unable to return in the second.
“Nothing happened. He just felt tightness, said it at halftime and then we just decided not to bring him back,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters after the game. “He’s going to be evaluated, clearly.”
George is listed as day-to-day on the injury report. However, the game against Memphis is the first of back-to-back contests. Los Angeles hosts the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Guard Patrick Beverley, who missed the previous two games with a right wrist sprain, has been ruled out against the Grizzlies.
The Clippers didn’t miss a beat without either against the short-handed Pistons, who played without former Clipper Blake Griffin and Markieff Morris because of injuries. The Clippers blitzed the Pistons in the third quarter by outscoring them 37-16, turning a six-point halftime edge into a 106-79 lead heading into the fourth. Detroit cut the deficit to 10 late in the game but the outcome was never in doubt.
Montrezl Harrell scored 23 points and blocked three shots for the Clippers, who blocked 11 shots. Ivica Zubac added four rejections.
Kawhi Leonard had 18 points, while JaMychal Green and Maurice Harkless scored 12 points each for Los Angeles. Harkless also had nine rebounds. Lou Williams added 22 points off the bench as the Clippers improved to 15-3 at home.
“Give our guys credit. In the third quarter, they came out and defended, scored and got a big lead and then they went back to doing what they did in the first two quarters,” Rivers said. “But I’ll take the (win).”
The Grizzlies dropped a 128-123 decision to the Kings in Sacramento in their most recent outing on Thursday. Memphis faded in the fourth after entering the final frame with a seven-point advantage. They also allowed the Kings to end an eight-game losing streak.
The Grizzlies started strong, rolling to a 42-26 lead at the end of the first quarter and increasing the margin to 20 in the second quarter before the Kings rallied, outscoring the Grizzlies 37-14 for a 63-60 edge at the break.
“Game of runs — basketball is a game of runs,” Grizzlies rookie point guard Ja Morant, who scored a team-high 23 points and recorded seven assists, told the club’s website.
Jonas Valanciunas finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Jaren Jackson Jr. also scored 18, De’Anthony Melton chipped in 16 and Dillon Brooks added 15 points for Memphis, which is 5-5 in its last 10.
“Give the Kings a lot of credit,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins told the website. “We come out, jumped on them, have a great first quarter. They responded, picked up their physicality, got it going in the second quarter — giving up 37 and 38 in the second and fourth — that definitely not sour standard. It’s unacceptable.”
The Grizzlies have lost three straight to the Clippers, including a 121-119 loss in Memphis on Nov. 27.
–Field Level Media