LA Clippers' Robert Covington has career night with key players out, drops 43 in win

Despite the fact the Milwaukee Bucks and LA Clippers rested several starters and key players, Robert Covington still made the Friday night game a record-breaking one for the Clippers.

Taking advantage of the Clippers sitting four starters, Covington buried a franchise-record 11 3-pointers and scored a career-high 43 points to help the Clippers blow out the Bucks 153-119 at Fiserv Forum. Covington's 11 triples matched the most made in a game in the NBA this season. He is the only player ever to have at least 43 points, 11 3-pointers, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in a game, according to the Clippers.

Even Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was watching while sitting the game out, admired Covington's career night. Covington had not scored more than 31 points or hit more than seven 3-pointers in his NBA career before Friday.

"My teammates, throughout the game, they were telling me out there they were trying to get me 50," Covington said. "I came close."

Covington added: "And even Giannis told me, 'Hey man, go for the record. I'm trying to see something.' I was going for it. I think this is the most 3s I've shot in a game in my career besides the G League."

Covington made 11 of 18 3-point shots and had the green light with Paul George (elbow maintenance), Reggie Jackson (rest), Marcus Morris Sr. (left knee soreness) and Nicolas Batum (left ankle soreness) all sitting one night after L.A. (38-40) lost in overtime in Chicago. Teammate Amir Coffey also had a huge night, with a career-high 32 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Six of the eight Clippers who played scored in double figures to help the team set a franchise record for most points scored in a regular-season game.

The Bucks, also playing the second game of a back-to-back after winning in Brooklyn in overtime Thursday night, held out Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness), Jrue Holiday (left ankle sprain), Khris Middleton (left wrist soreness) and Brook Lopez (return to competition reconditioning) while also not playing Wesley Matthews and Grayson Allen.

With Milwaukee's best out, the Clippers led the game by as many as 43 points late in the fourth quarter.

Covington knew he was having the best night of his nine-year career in the third quarter.

"When I hit my first five and I scored 17 points in [the third] quarter, I think that's the most I ever scored in a quarter in my career," said Covington, who entered the night averaging 8.9 points per game this season.

He added: "The basket just kept getting bigger and bigger and my rhythm just stayed the same. My teammates found me, right on the money."

The Clippers acquired Covington in a deal for Norman Powell shortly before the trade deadline. Covington has built a reputation for his defense but he now has made Clippers history with his 3-point shooting.

Afterward, teammates doused Covington with ice-cold water in the locker room in celebration.

"I mean he made some shots early, but I didn't know it was going to be this kind of night," Clippers coach Ty Lue said. "I am just happy for him. Coming into a new situation where he has fit in great, it starts with his defense, his deflections, his willingness to want to defend every single possession. And tonight he was rewarded by getting open shots."