Harden, Leonard and George lead Clippers to 151-127 rout of Pacers for eighth straight win

Clippers Pacers Basketball
Posted at 7:19 AM, Dec 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-19 07:19:40-05

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden scored 21 of his season-best 35 points in the fourth quarter and had nine assists as the Los Angeles Clippers extended the league's longest active winning streak to eight games, routing the Indiana Pacers 151-127 on Monday night.
Kawhi Leonard added 28 points for Los Angeles and Paul George added 27 against his former team. Facing the league's second-worst defense, the Clippers matched their season-high point total for a half with 77 in the first on the way to their highest-scoring game of the season.

Bennedict Mathurin had a season-high 34 points to lead Indiana. Isaiah Jackson scored 15 points while starting in place of injured two-time NBA blocks champion Myles Turner.

All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton had an off night after missing Saturday's game with a bruised knee. He had eight points, 11 assists and four turnovers.

Leonard and George seemed to enjoy tormenting George's former fans, who have routinely booed him each time he's returned since forcing a trade in the summer of 2017.

This time, they took full advantage as the Pacers' usual turbo-charged offense looked a step slow following a 12-day trip that took them through three time zones.

The Pacers' offense looked fine during a back-and-forth first quarter and even midway through the second when Indiana took a 51-46 lead. But it didn't last.

Los Angeles took control with a 21-6 spurt to take a 67-57 lead, led 77-66 at the half and then pulled away early in the third. Indiana never recovered, and Harden made sure of it.

The Pacers held a pregame tribute for two-time ABA champion George McGinnis, who died Thursday, with a highlight reel and a moment of silence.