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Ty Lue lauded a "complete game" from Paul George after the seven-time NBA All-Star inspired the Los Angeles Clippers to a 113-112 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
George scored a game-high 33 points, claimed 11 rebounds and provided three assists in the Clippers' win at Moda Center on Tuesday.
Clippers coach Lue was full of praise for shooting guard George, who sparkled in the absence of the injured Kawhi Leonard.
"He's been carrying us," Lue said. "He's really stepped up by making his team-mates better but also scoring the basketball.
"He's just doing everything. It was a complete game tonight and we needed every bit of it."
George was on target with two free throws with 4.8 seconds to play, moving the third-placed Clippers to 41-19 in the Western Conference.
Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts took the positives out of a narrow defeat.
"I liked the way we played tonight," Stotts said. "I liked the way we played in some of these other games.
"We came up short, but I thought tonight we competed really well against a really good team. We had some opportunities in the last minute that we weren't able to capitalise on."
Leonard will be out until next week due to a foot injury.
Lue said of the two-time NBA champion: "He wants to get out there. But right now, it's not the smartest thing to do with him feeling it and trying to manage it for the most part for a while now.
"We just got to be smart about it. Sometimes you got to protect the player from themselves, and right now that is what we are doing."