Leonard’s 33 points lead Clippers over Warriors, 134-124
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers have 22 games remaining to integrate their trade deadline acquisitions. They didn’t waste any time.
Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points, tying his career high with seven 3-pointers, and the Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors 134-124 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game skid.
“The Clippers just outplayed us,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They were great in the second half and they deserved it.”
Norman Powell added 24 points and Paul George had 20 points and eight assists for the Clippers, who debuted newly acquired Eric Gordon, Bones Hyland and Mason Plumlee. They helped outscore the Warriors’ bench, 49-42.
“It’s going to be different for us,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “We got to put this together as fast as we can.”
Gordon finished with seven points, Hyland had six and Plumlee scored eight in the teams’ last game before the All-Star break.
“They did a good job of just being themselves and being aggressive,” Leonard said.
Leonard was 12 of 17 from the floor, 7 of 9 from 3-point range and made both of his free throws in 34 minutes.
“I kept shooting with confidence,” he said.
Jordan Poole led seven Warriors in double figures with 28 points. Klay Thompson had 18 points playing the second game of a back-to-back for the first time this season. Kevon Looney had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Warriors fell to 29-29 at the break. They hope to have Stephen Curry back not long after the season resumes, while newly acquired Gary Payton II could be out a month.
“We have reinforcements coming and we have a lot to look forward to,” Kerr said. “We have lost so many games that we should have won. We know we’re right there.”
Gordon’s 3-pointer extended the Clippers’ lead to 18 points early in the fourth. The Warriors cut it to 116-106 on Jonathan Kuminga’s 3-pointer. He finished with 16 points off the bench.
Leonard hit his seventh 3-pointer in the closing minutes before leaving the game with the Clippers ahead 128-114.
The teams traded leads and were tied five times early in the third. The Clippers outscored the Warriors 19-7 over the final minutes to lead 105-93 going into the fourth. Leonard and George had just two points each while their supporting cast carried them. Plumlee had six points and Hyland had two during the run in which seven different players scored.
“With this offense, I feel like I can create in the lane and find teammates,” Hyland said. “I forgot Mason can push the ball, too.”
The Warriors had four players in double figures at halftime when they led 65-61.
Warriors: Thompson missed 11 games, all second games of back-to-backs, due to right Achilles tendon injury management. … Andrew Wiggins was out for personal reasons and will rejoin the team after the All-Star break. Donte DiVincenzo started in his place and scored 10 points. … Kerr got a technical late in the third for arguing a call. … Andre Iguodala (right hip soreness) missed his 16th straight game.
Clippers: Hyland will run the point for the second unit. “Just watching him, the pop he has, running pick and rolls, getting downhill, attacking and making the right passes, making the right plays,” Lue said.
Draymond Green was critical of the Warriors’ defense, something that has concerned Kerr all season.
“Defense is all about a will — a want to defend. Defense isn’t fun. You just got to want to do it if you want to win and we haven’t,” Green said. “I’m always going to try on that side, but I can be better. I’m not going to point the finger at anyone or point blame. If you’re a leader at something and you’re failing, it’s your fault.”
Warriors: At Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
Clippers: At Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
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