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Leonard returns from 2-game absence; Clippers rout Blazers

Kawhi Leonard scored 28 issues in his go back from a two-game absence, Paul George added 23 issues, and the Los Angeles Clippers breezed previous the Portland Path Blazers 128-105

LOS ANGELES — Kawhi Leonard scored 28 issues in his go back from a two-game absence, Paul George added 23 issues, and the Los Angeles Clippers breezed previous the Portland Path Blazers 128-105 on Wednesday night time.

It used to be the Clippers’ 2d immediately blowout win to near out the 12 months. They beat Minnesota through 23 issues an evening previous after bouncing again from an unsightly 51-point defeat in opposition to Dallas final weekend.

Leonard wore a transparent plastic masks held in position through two white straps round his head to offer protection to his mouth, the place he had 8 stitches after you have elbowed through teammate Serge Ibaka every week in the past. He began slowly, scoring 12 issues within the first part, when the Clippers shot 58% from the ground.

Leonard and George got here out firing to begin the second one part. They blended to attain the Clippers’ first 9 issues, extending their result in 85-57.

George had 10 rebounds, whilst he and Leonard had seven assists each and every. Six Clippers scored in double figures. Lou Williams added 15 issues off the bench.

“Guys are taking part in onerous, we’re locked in,” Williams stated. “We all know now we have numerous guys who’re succesful, we’re taking part in with consider.”

CJ McCollum scored 25 issues, making seven Three-pointers, to steer the Blazers, whose two-game profitable streak ended. Damian Lillard made 14 of 15 loose throws to complete with 20 issues after lacking 11 of 14 pictures from the sphere. He used to be zero of eight from Three-point vary.

“They only had a 50-point loss, so that they’ve been locked in,” Lillard stated of the Clippers. “We neglected open pictures, we allowed them to get blank seems as a result of we have been past due and no longer as lively at the defensive finish.”

The Blazers led simply 3 times and not through greater than 3 issues. They lived on the line, making 29 of 34 loose throws. Carmelo Anthony made nine of 10 foul pictures and scored 15 issues.

Portland by no means were given a large run stepping into the second one part, when it trailed through 30.

“Whilst you get down within the league, it’s onerous to return again, particularly in opposition to proficient groups,” McCollum stated.

The Clippers led through 21 in the second one quarter. Leonard scored six issues in an 18-7 run, capped through his three-point play that made it 67-46. Lillard and McCollum blended to attain the Blazers’ ultimate 15 issues to tug them to 76-57 at halftime.

TIP-INS

Path Blazers: G Gary Trent Jr. sat out with a proper calf pressure after scoring 28 issues off the bench in opposition to the Lakers on Sunday. … The Blazers were on the town because the weekend and used the Clippers’ facility to apply on Tuesday. With the tight restrictions in COVID-19 ravaged Los Angeles County, the staff cannot meet or consume as a gaggle at its resort. “I love to head for my walks,” trainer Terry Stotts stated. “I love getting out of the resort.”

Clippers: They have had no less than 30 assists within the final two video games for the primary time since Dec. 1-6, 2014. … The staff is Four-1 to begin the season for the primary time since 2017-18. … F Marcus Morris Sr. has but to play this season as a result of knee soreness.

UP NEXT

Path Blazers: Talk over with Golden State on Friday within the first of back-to-back video games with the Warriors.

Clippers: Talk over with Utah on Friday to start out the brand new 12 months.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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