NBA: Leonard helps Clippers cruise by Thunder

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Mar 04 2020 12:48 PM


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Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 109-94 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.

The Clippers have won two of three against the Thunder this season. Leonard missed the first two meetings between the teams.

He quickly made up for lost time in Oklahoma City, scoring eight first-quarter points as the Clippers pulled away early. Los Angeles has now won all nine games it has played this season with a fully healthy roster.

The Clippers might not have emerged from the game fully healthy, though. In the third quarter, Montrezl Harrell crashed to the floor hard after battling for a rebound against Oklahoma City's Nerlens Noel.

Harrell returned to the game to start the fourth but appeared to tweak his leg again and left the game for good, though Los Angeles had the game well in hand.

The win was the fifth consecutive for the Clippers, their second-longest winning streak of the season. During the streak, Los Angeles has averaged 120.6 points per game.

The Thunder have dropped back-to-back games. It's the first time this season Oklahoma City has lost consecutive games by double figures and just the eighth game this season the Thunder have lost by 10 or more points.

The Clippers came out hot, shooting better than 63.6 percent from the floor in the first quarter to build a lead as big as 13 in the frame.

Los Angeles scored 38 points in the first, nine by Lou Williams, to lead by 11.

While the Clippers were hot on the offensive end, they also clamped down on defense. Starting just after the midpoint of the frame, the Thunder went nearly four minutes in the first quarter, with just one field goal in six tries.

Then in the second quarter, Oklahoma City had even more trouble scoring after the six-minute mark, missing four consecutive field goals and turning the ball over four times in a four-and-a-half minute span.

Paul George and Harrell added 16 points each for the Clippers.

Dennis Schroder led the Thunder with 24 points, 13 in the first half.

The Clippers led by double digits for all but one possession of the second half, pushing the lead as high as 21.

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