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Clippers' stars carry load in win over Thunder


EditorsNote: 3rd graf change Dort to 15 of 19, sted 14 of 19; 5th graf, change go to got; 6th graf, add 'with'

Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Paul George added 29 as the Los Angeles Clippers won their sixth straight contest with a 120-106 victory over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

Leonard also had eight rebounds and three steals, while George collected seven rebounds and five assists. Serge Ibaka finished with 17 points, making seven of his eight field-goal attempts, and 11 rebounds, and Nicolas Batum scored 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting for the Clippers.

Former Clipper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 30 points and eight assists for Oklahoma City, which lost for the fourth time in five games. Luguentz Dort scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half. George Hill chipped in 12 points, Mike Muscala contributed 11 points and Hamidou Diallo had 10.

The Clippers roared to a big lead early. A 19-2 surge helped boost them to a 36-18 lead after one quarter. At the break, Los Angeles led 70-53.

The Thunder, who trailed by as much as 27 points, cut the deficit to 85-75 late in the third quarter after a 3-pointer by Muscala but got no closer. The Clippers took a 91-78 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

The Clippers benefitted from their shooting in the opening half. They connected on 64.3 percent of their shots from the floor and 7 of 16 3-pointers compared with 43.1 percent shooting for the Thunder, who misfired on 20 of 27 3-pointers in the first half.

Overall, the Clippers hit 51.2 percent to 47.1 percent for the Thunder.

From long distance, the Thunder converted 14 of 42 3-pointers to 10 of 33 for the Clippers. Los Angeles entered the contest as the NBA's leader in 3-point shooting percent at 44.1 percent compared to 33 percent for Oklahoma City, which ranked 29th out of 30 teams.

The Clippers outrebounded the Thunder, 48-29.

The two teams will meet again Sunday in Los Angeles.

Thunder big man Al Horford (personal reasons) missed his fourth consecutive contest. Horford's wife recently gave birth to a baby girl.

--Field Level Media

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