George also had nine rebounds and four assists in just 24 minutes of action, going 10-for-10 from the free-throw line along the way.
But without forward Kawhi Leonard or guard Patrick Beverley in the starting lineup with him, the Clippers struggled early, being outscored, 38-24, in the second quarter, en route to the loss.
Coach Doc Rivers confirmed pregame that George, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgeries, would suit up and play.
“He’s had two practices since April,” Rivers said. “We’re going to throw him out there and see what he can give us.”
Leonard sat out the second night of a back-to-back set, and Rivers added that this was a targeted rest day for Beverley.
Rivers also didn’t set any expectation of minutes, though George clearly maximized his time.
“It’s more visual,” he said. “We’re going to watch him, and if he shows any type of fatigue, he comes out. I just think we’re asking a lot of anybody to miss that much. He hasn’t played any full-court basketball.”
The Clippers acquired George in a blockbuster trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason as part of their push to also sign Leonard as a free agent. George played 77 games last season and averaged a career-best 28 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He also tied his career mark with 4.1 assists per game.
He finished third in MVP voting and was selected to the All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team.
With just 10 available players, New Orleans was led by Jrue Holiday’s 36 points, while Derrick Favors and JJ Redick combined for 39.
Before the game, New Orleans ruled out forward Brandon Ingram (knee) and center Jahlil Okafor (ankle); both had been listed as questionable. Ingram and Okafor joined Zion Williamson (meniscus), Lonzo Ball (right adductor) and Josh Hart (ankle sprain, knee sprain) on the sidelines. New Orleans was already without forward Darius Miller, out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon.