George, Clippers rain 3s on Pelicans in 126-103 blowout

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2020 Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson, left, drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard during an NBA basketball game Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Paul George made three straight 3-pointers in the opening minutes and had eight overall for 28 points for the Los Angeles Clippers, who rode a team-record barrage of long-range shots to beat the faltering New Orleans Pelicans 126-103 on Saturday.

The Clippers broke the franchise record by making 25 of 47 3-pointers. George made 8 of 11. The Clippers also tied the team record for 3-pointers made in a half and fell one short of the NBA record by hitting 16 of 24 in racing to a 77-45 halftime lead.

“We were just having fun with it,” George said. “We put the work in tonight and it paid off at the end."

Los Angeles made its first six 3-pointers to take a 20-6 lead. Patrick Beverley scored from behind the arc for L.A.’s first points and then George connected on three straight possessions for a 12-2 lead just 2:11 in.

Kawhi Leonard and Beverly kept the barrage going for six straight 3s before Leonard had the Clippers’ first miss. The Clippers made 9 of 13 3s in the first quarter for a 37-25 lead.

Leonard had 24 points for the Clippers, who bounced back from a 103-101 loss to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

“As a group, we thought we weren't ourselves,” George said of that loss. “We were trying to get our identity back that we had closing the season out before the pandemic hit. It just hasn't been us and tonight was a huge emphasis on ball movement, playing comfortable, playing among each other and having fun. I thought you saw that tonight.”

Said coach Doc Rivers: “It just means we got our first victory in the bubble. We've got to keep growing. We've got six more. We've got to keep growing for the playoffs.”