NBA: Clippers down Thunder for seventh win in a row

LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) passes the ball during the fourth quarter at Staples Center, California, on Jan 24, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS/ROBERT HANASHIRO-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Kawhi Leonard had 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers earned their seventh consecutive National Basketball Association victory with a 108-100 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday (Jan 24).

Serge Ibaka contributed 17 points and six rebounds for the Clippers, who defeated the Thunder for the second time in three days.

Reggie Jackson scored 14 points, Paul George chipped in 11 and Ivica Zubac added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Thunder, who lost their third in a row. George Hill scored 22 points and Hamidou Diallo had 14 points. Isaiah Roby collected 10 points and 10 boards.

A three-pointer by Hill and a bucket by Gilgeous-Alexander sliced the Clippers' lead to 102-96 with 1min 56sec left. However, a dunk by Leonard with 42.5 seconds remaining sealed the win for Los Angeles.

A bucket by Hill pulled Oklahoma City within 72-67 with 4:54 remaining in the third quarter. However, Leonard's jumper to end the quarter increased the lead to 85-73 heading into the fourth quarter. Leonard scored 11 points in the third.

Like they did in Friday's win, the Clippers skated to a big lead early. They led by as much as 17 points in the first quarter before the Thunder rallied in the second. A jumper by Darius Bazley cut the deficit to 43-35 with 4:12 left in the first half, but the Clippers pushed the margin to 56-45 at the break.

Both teams struggled on three-point shooting in the first half. The Thunder made just two of 13 compared to seven of 29 for the Clippers from long distance in the first half. Overall, Los Angeles converted 14 of 46 attempts to seven of 35 for Oklahoma City.

Patrick Beverley (knee) failed to return for the second half. He finished with seven points in 13 minutes. Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr sat out the contest with an illness.

Thunder centre Al Horford missed his fifth consecutive game for personal reasons.

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