LOS ANGELES, United States, Jan 25 – Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 34 points as the Los Angeles Clippers extended their season-high NBA win streak to seven games with a 108-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
Leonard shot 14 of 24 from the floor and finished with nine rebounds and eight assists while Ivica Zubac came off the bench to score 10 points and grab 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who beat Oklahoma City for the second time in three days.
Serge Ibaka tallied 17 points, Reggie Jackson finished with 14 and Paul George scored 11 for the Clippers, who matched the Los Angeles Lakers for the best record in the league at 13-4.
“On a night when we weren’t making shots, it was a good, tough, grind-out win for us,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “Kawhi had it going so we played through him a lot, especially in the second half. We had to ride him pretty hard so we could keep the lead.”
George spent two seasons with the Thunder before being traded to the Clippers prior to the 2019-20 season.
Nicolas Batum scored seven points in the win while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Thunder, who lost their third in a row after having last Sunday’s game against Philadelphia postponed.
George Hill scored 22 points and Hamidou Diallo had 14 points for Oklahoma City.
The Thunder cut the Clippers lead to six points, 102-96, with just under two minutes left on a basket by Gilgeous-Alexander. But Leonard helped clinch the victory by scoring on a dunk with 42 seconds remaining.
The Clippers grabbed a big lead early just like they did in Friday’s win over the Thunder. Los Angeles compiled a 17 point lead in the opening quarter before the Thunder reduced that to eight with just over four minutes left in the second. The Clippers regained control to take a 56-45 lead into the half.
Leonard, who scored 11 points in the third quarter, hit a jumper at the end of the third to give the Clippers a 85-73 lead.
“He did a great job of just getting us the lead,” Jackson said of Leonard. “They were loading up on Kawhi and Paul. They did a great job of attacking.”
The Clippers won despite struggling from three-point range, hitting just 14 of 46. The Thunder were even worse, making just seven of 35 from beyond the arc.
Los Angeles played without forward Marcus Morris, who sat out with an unspecified illness.
Elsewhere, Dejounte Murray had a triple double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Patty Mills scored a team high 21 as the San Antonio Spurs used a balanced and explosive offensive attack to breeze past the short-handed Washington Wizards 121-101.
It was the first game in 13 days for the Covid-19 ravaged Wizards after a half dozen players tested positive and three had to miss time because of contact tracing.
– Wizards return to court –
Lonnie Walker scored 16 points, LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 15, Devin Vassell notched 14 points, and Rudy Gay and Keldon Johnson each had 13 as seven players reached double figure scoring for the Spurs, who halted a two game losing skid.
The Spurs led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter and then used a 15-1 run down the stretch to cruise to victory.
Wizards top scorer Bradley Beal had 31 points and Jerome Robinson added 16, while Alex Len finished with 11 points.
Russell Westbrook, who missed the Wizards last two games with a quadriceps injury, was held to just nine points.
Washington acquired Westbrook from Houston in an offseason deal that included John Wall being traded to the Rockets.
In Boston, Jaylen Brown delivered one of the fastest scoring bursts in NBA history, scoring 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter as the Boston Celtics rolled over the Cleveland Cavaliers 141-103.
Brown became the first player in NBA history to score more than 30 points in less than 20 minutes as the Celtics halted a three-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points to become the sixth player in franchise history to reach 11,000 points, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 129-115 win over the Atlanta Hawks.