George scores 20, Clippers roll past slumping Hornets 113-90

NBA

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)Paul George had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Reggie Jackson added 19 points off the bench on five 3-pointers and the Los Angeles Clippers handed the slumping Charlotte Hornets their fourth loss in the last five games, 113-90 on Thursday night.

Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who are jockeying for playoff position in the Western Conference. The Clippers (47-23) remain in third place, one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets with two games remaining.

LaMelo Ball had 18 points and seven assists for the Hornets in their regular-season home finale. Charlotte never really had a chance with guards Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham combining to shoot 4 of 20 from the field and 2 of 13 from beyond the arc.

The Hornets entered the night tied with the Indiana Pacers for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, but own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Indiana.

Former Hornets forward Nic Batum, who was booed relentlessly by fans during the game, gave the Clippers some breathing room with back-to-back 3-pointers to close out the third quarter and give the Clippers an 84-77 lead.

Los Angeles stayed hot in the fourth quarter, using drives and kickouts to knock down open 3s and build a 21-point lead, sending fans streaming to the exits with about 4 minutes remaining in the game.

TIP INS

Clippers: Shot 46.7% (21 of 45) from 3-point range. Batum finished with 11 points, but they came at key times.

Hornets: Miles Bridges could return this weekend after sitting out nearly two weeks as part of the league’s health and safety protocol. … Gordon Hayward has missed 22 games with a foot sprain. … Rapper DaBaby watched the game from the crowd.

UP NEXT

Clippers: Visit the Rockets on Friday night.

Hornets: Wrap the regular season with road games Saturday at the Knicks and Sunday at the Wizards.

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