April 25, 2024

LOS ANGELES — — Kawhi Leonard sat within the second half of back-to-backs final season. Now he is wholesome and extremely productive.

Leonard scored 31 factors in three quarters, giving him 106 in his final three video games, and the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Sacramento Kings 119-99 on Tuesday night time for his or her fifth straight victory, the NBA’s longest energetic streak.

“Simply being wholesome has been good,” stated Leonard, who tore his ACL in the course of the 2021 playoffs.

Paul George dived on the ground for a unfastened ball within the first half and didn’t play within the second due to a sore left groin. Coach Tyronn Lue stated George might have returned if wanted.

“I did not like that,” Lue stated, noting George’s a number of shoulder surgical procedures. “It simply exhibits you these guys wish to win.”

Including James Harden has given the Clippers one other playmaking weapon.

Harden had 15 factors, seven assists and 6 rebounds to assist the Clippers sweep a back-to-back for the primary time this season. They’ve gained 10 of their final 13 video games.

“We’re locked in defensively,” Lue stated. “That is the place all of it begins for us. After we’re getting stops and getting out in transition we’re a tough staff to beat.”

Keegan Murray led Sacramento with 17 factors and Domantas Sabonis added 15 factors and 10 rebounds. De’Aaron Fox had 14 factors as Sacramento’s two-game profitable streak was snapped.

The Kings had gained 5 of seven, together with a win in opposition to Brooklyn on Monday night time, however had been overwhelmed by the Clippers from the second quarter on.

“We received our behinds kicked and that’s twice by this staff and we had no solutions,” Kings coach Mike Brown stated. “The factor that’s most regarding is typically you simply received to struggle and tonight we didn’t struggle. That’s the most important takeaway from this sport.”

The Clippers led 70-48 at halftime, taking pictures 59% from the ground, hitting eight 3-pointers and making all 10 of their free throws. Forward by 9, they outscored the Kings 31-11, together with 11 in a row — six by Leonard — for a 29-point lead simply earlier than the break.

“Kawhi’s primary factor is simply let’s play the precise approach each single night time,” Lue stated, “and once we’re not doing that he is very vocal about it.”

Leonard scored 14 factors within the third, reeling off the Clippers’ ultimate seven to ship them into the fourth main 99-70. He labored to seek out his normal spots on the ground and the few occasions he could not, he handed off to his teammates. Leonard made all seven of his free throw makes an attempt and the Clippers hit 20 of 21.

Terance Mann the one LA starter on the ground within the fourth. Norman Powell led the bench with 15 factors.

UP NEXT

Kings: Host the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder on Thursday to open a six-game homestand.

Clippers: Host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

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