Dejounte Murray compiled 24 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists as the visiting San Antonio Spurs earned a 116-92 victory Monday over the Los Angeles Clippers to spoil Paul George’s return from an elbow injury.
San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Doug McDermott had 16 points and Derrick White added 15 as all five of the Spurs’ starters scored in double figures by the end of the third quarter. Keldon Johnson finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
San Antonio had a 67-43 rebounding advantage to improve to 2-1 on a four-game road trip that concludes Thursday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Murray had his second triple-double of the road trip, his third in five games and his sixth on the season.
— NBA (@NBA) December 21, 2021
George scored 25 points on 8-of-18 shooting while going 3 of 9 from 3-point range after missing the previous five contests with an elbow sprain. The Clippers went 3-2 with him on the sideline.
Ivica Zubac scored 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Los Angeles. Terance Mann added 11 points as the Clippers dropped their third consecutive game after losing at Utah and Oklahoma City last week.
After the Spurs gave up an average of 126 points per game over their last three contests, there were signs early of a better defense. The Clippers’ 27 points in the first quarter was the first time in the last three games the Spurs didn’t give up at least 37 in the opening 12 minutes.
San Antonio led 35-27 after one quarter, even as the Clippers shot 55 percent from the field, then held Los Angeles to 27.6 percent shooting in the second quarter to take a 62-48 halftime lead. Murray had 17 points in the first half.
The Spurs pushed their advantage past 20 points in the third quarter at 79-58 on a 3-pointer by Johnson with 5:02 remaining. The lead reached 30 points at 101-71 on a 3-pointer by Murray with 9:52 remaining in the game.
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