SACRAMENTO, California— Kawhi Leonard had 34 factors and 7 assists, James Harden scored 26 and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a giant recreation by De’Aaron Fox to beat the Sacramento Kings 131-117 within the NBA on Wednesday evening.
Paul George added 19 factors and 7 assists for the Clippers, who defeated the Kings for the primary time since October 2022.
All 5 Los Angeles starters scored in double figures, one thing Leonard stated is essential to getting the Clippers going persistently.
“It’s not about simply me, Paul and James or (Russell Westbrook),” Leonard stated. “It’s about the entire collective group. There’s going to be nights after I’m double-teamed or the protection isn’t letting me play. I’ve to permit myself to allow them to win the sport. We did a very good job of attending to our spots, being aggressive.”
Fox scored 40 factors on 14-of-23 taking pictures for Sacramento, which was coming off an emotional win over Golden State that superior the Kings to the knockout spherical of the In-Season Event.
The Clippers nonetheless made their mark defensively, limiting the Kings to 22 assists whereas forcing 14 turnovers.
“We modified defenses a pair instances in that first half and our crew did a very good job with understanding what we’re making an attempt to do,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue stated. “It was lots totally different from the Denver recreation.”
The Clippers had been coming off a 113-104 loss Monday to the Nuggets, who performed with out Nikola Jokic, however had been the aggressor towards the Kings a lot of the evening.
Leonard shot 14 of 18 from the sphere, together with 2 for 3 on 3-pointers. Harden was 8 of 14, together with 5 of 8 on 3s.
Leonard and Westbrook repeatedly drove the lane and scored down low whereas holding Sacramento’s protection off stability.
Westbrook had 9 factors and eight assists whereas coming off the bench once more for Los Angeles. He additionally grew to become the third lively NBA participant to succeed in 38,000 minutes performed. Earlier this week, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s profession document in that class.
Westbrook scored on a straightforward layup within the fourth quarter, then did his ‘rock the infant’ celebration, drawing boos from the Golden 1 Heart crowd.
The largest drawback for the Kings, nonetheless, was on offense.
Sacramento trailed by 25 early within the third quarter and by no means bought nearer than 13 factors after that.
Sacramento pulled to 113-100 on Malik Monk’s 3-pointer earlier than the Clippers pulled away. Leonard hit a 3 after which made a spinning jumper within the lane to cap a 12-1 run.
Harden bought the Clippers going early with 4 3-pointers and 17 factors within the first quarter, greater than he totaled in his earlier 5 video games.
The Kings bought inside 54-47 earlier than Los Angeles closed the half on a giant run, taking a 72-50 lead on Leonard’s step-back jumper from the left nook as time expired.
Consecutive dunks from Leonard and Ivaca Zubic early within the third quarter prolonged the Clippers’ result in 81-56.
“Man, that was a butt whipping,” Kings coach Mike Brown stated. “Give the Clippers credit score. They did all the pieces they wanted to do to return in right here and get a win.”
Clippers: Play the Warriors at Chase Heart on Thursday.
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Kings: Face the Nuggets in Denver on Saturday. Sacramento final received a highway recreation in that collection on Dec. 23, 2020.