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Clippers’ Paul George hoping to return during road trip

Paul George, Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are expecting Paul George to join the team in Dallas on Tuesday, and the Clips are hoping he’ll play at some point on their current road trip, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. George has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury.

The Clippers began their road trip in New Orleans on Saturday, and the rest of the trip features games against the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic before finishing up with a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers have been relying on Kawhi Leonard’s firepower to stay afloat, going 4-1 in George’s absence, pushing past the Denver Nuggets to tail hallway rival Los Angeles Lakers in second place.

At 30-13, the Clippers seem to be taking shape right at the halfway point of the season, winners of seven of their last 10 games and now bound to get one of their main cogs back.

George is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 23.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists through 26 games. He is shooting 42.9% from the field, a strong 39.5% from deep, and a clean 90.9% from the foul line.

The Clippers have tried to manage the duo of George and Kawhi Leonard, hoping they will have fresh legs to finish out the season and start peaking in the postseason. They’ve made use of a strict no back-to-back policy for Leonard while keeping an eye on George, who underwent double shoulder surgery in the offseason and rejoined the team in November.

Leonard has led the way in each of the past five games without George, scoring 30 or more in each of them. Kawhi is likely due for a break against the Atlanta Hawks when the Clippers visit them on Wednesday for the second half of a back-to-back.