LOS ANGELES, USA – The Los Angeles Clippers launched a six-game road trip with a 133-130 victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans in the NBA on Saturday, January 18 (Sunday, January 19, Philippine time).
With forward Paul George out for a fifth straight game with a hamstring strain, Kawhi Leonard continued his red-hot scoring pace, delivering 39 points for the Clippers – who trailed by 10 points late in the 3rd quarter.
Leonard has now scored at least 30 points in each of his past 5 games.
Lou Williams scored 14 of his 32 points in the final period, when the Clippers outscored the Pelicans, 31-20.
Williams put the Clippers up, 133-127, with a three-pointer with 31.6 seconds remaining.
JJ Redick responded with a three and Leonard missed, but Redick's attempt at a game-tying three-pointer bounced off the rim.
Center Derrick Favors led the Pelicans with 22 points. Brandon Ingram added 21, Redick chipped in 19 and Lonzo Ball scored 18 in a triple-double that also included 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Clippers, running 3rd in a Western Conference race led by the cross-town rival Lakers, improved to 30-13 with their third straight win.
The Pelicans (16-27), who came into the contest having won 4 of their past 5, will hope to see their fortunes improve further with the addition on Wednesday of No. 1 Draft pick Zion Williamson, whose NBA regular-season debut was delayed by right knee surgery in October.