How Montrezl Harrell helped the Clippers overcome OKC

first_imgMontrezl Harrell was as eye-catching on the court Monday as he is off it, where you can’t ever miss him in the bold self-stylings he’s described as a hippie-, rock star-type look.As even the professional scorers around him were slogging it out in the Clippers’ 90-88 victory at Staples Center, Harrell might’ve been wearing his bright “Rugrats” TV show-inspired sweatsuit out there, he was that conspicuous.And that in character.“Trezz just does a good job of doing his job,” veteran guard Lou Williams said. “He screens, he rolls, puts himself in position to be successful.” Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates DYNAMIC DUO IN-WAITINGThe Clippers continue to await the opportunity to debut Kawhi Leonard and George beside each other for the first time. As of Tuesday evening, Leonard was listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics (7 p.m., ESPN), the Clippers’ third game of a five-game homestand.Leonard has missed five of the Clippers’ 14 games so far, either because of a load-management strategy meant to ease stress on an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee or recently, on account of a left knee contusion.Before Monday’s game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the Clippers don’t harbor any long-term concerns about Leonard’s injury, noting the two-time NBA Finals MVP had been “very close” to playing against Oklahoma City and could play against the Celtics, who are 11-2 and in first place in the Eastern Conference.Related Articles Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “He’s skilled – I mean, he’s skilled,” George said. “Great hands. Plays bigger than what he is. He contests, he takes charges. He brings the toughness, great finisher. He’s got the complete package and he’s got a niche for this league. He’s definitely got a niche and he knows his game.“Those are guys that do well, they know what they do and they do it at a high level.” With Leonard, the Clippers are 7-2. Without him, they’re 2-3, and it’s worth noting both of their Leonard-less wins came after George returned after concluding rehab from offseason surgery on both shoulders.After being facing double-teams all game on Monday, George said he’ll welcome Leonard’s presence, whenever he’s able to provide it.“You can’t shrink the floor when you got me, Lou, Kawhi, Trezz, you just can’t shrink the floor,” George said. “There is no way that guys can take themselves out of the play defensively and try to face-guard. You just can’t do that, because Lou, Kawhi or myself, whoever is getting that type of defense, we are going to pick you apart and make plays offensively.” What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 This is how Harrell, the 25-year-old Virginian, defined successful this time.By carrying the offensive load: He took 20 of the Clippers’ 87 shots and scored 13 of their 35 baskets. All of his buckets came at the rim, many off screen-and-rolls that resulted in rim-rattling dunks as the 6-foot-7 Harrell used his speed and savvy to evade Steven Adams, the Thunder’s sturdy 7-footer.By imposing his will on a back-and-forth fourth quarter: Harrell played all 12 minutes and had 14 points, seven rebounds (including five on the offensive glass), two assists, a steal and a blocked shot.By making some NBA history: Harrell finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and five assists – becoming just the eighth player ever to post that line off the bench, and the only one to do it in fewer than 33 minutes.Paul George followed his 37-point and 33-point debut outings by scoring 18 on Monday, when he delivered the game-sealing 3-pointer and, a little later, an astute scouting report on his new teammate “Trezz.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory last_img

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