LOS ANGELES — Paul George scored 20 points, Reggie Jackson added 19 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Charlotte Hornets 120-106 on Sunday night for their fourth straight victory.
Luke Kennard had 18 points, and Terance Mann finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Down 13 in the first quarter and in a nine-point hole with less than seven minutes remaining, the Clippers had a 22-0 run to take a 115-102 lead.
“It was our defense,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. “I think our defense really picked up, our physicality, our attention to detail was a lot better. I thought our focus in the first half, physically, was pretty bad.”
LaMelo Ball, from nearby Chino Hills, had 21 points for the Hornets in their fourth straight loss. Ball played his first game in Los Angeles since a right wrist fracture against the Clippers last March forced him to miss 21 games.
Miles Bridges also had 21 points for the Hornets, and Terry Rozier added 17.
“They have a good chemistry,” Hornets head coach James Borrego said of his Ball-Bridges guard combination. “They know how to play together, look for each other, especially in transition at the rim. I think both guys grew up tonight; they took a step forward.”
Charlotte got a 3-pointer from Rozier with 7:09 to play, then didn’t make another field goal until a layup by Bridges with 1:09 remaining.
The Clippers were coming off a victory at Minnesota on Friday when the rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit.
“Ever since last year we have made a lot of good comebacks and we know it’s never over,” said the Clippers Ivica Zubac, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds. “At the same time, we have to be better starting games because going down 15, 20 is hard, it takes a lot of energy.”
P.J. Washington missed his second consecutive game with a hyperextended left elbow, but center Mason Plumlee was in the starting lineup after he was a game-time decision with a left rib contusion but failed to reach double digits in rebounds or points for the sixth-consecutive game.
Charlotte stays in L.A. to play the Lakers on Monday night.