NBA regular season

Clippers best Mavericks for 9th consecutive win

Reuters

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Clippers best Mavericks for 9th consecutive win

TEAMWORK. LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates with teammates during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kawhi Leonard posts a 30-point double-double as the Clippers extend their winning streak even without star Paul George

Kawhi Leonard recorded 30 points and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers stretched their winning streak to nine games with a 120-111 victory over the host Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, December 20 (Thursday, December 21, Manila time).

Norman Powell scored 21 points off the bench and played 31 minutes with Paul George (illness) out for Los Angeles. Powell shot 7 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 6 from three-point range.

James Harden had 17 points and 11 assists for the Clippers. Ivica Zubac added 12 points and 9 rebounds, while Amir Coffey also scored 12 for Los Angeles.

Luka Doncic had 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists for Dallas, but his franchise record of 11 straight 30-point efforts came to an end. Doncic was just 8 of 14 from the free throw line.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points off the bench and Derrick Jones Jr. added 19 for Dallas, which lost for the third time in four games. Dante Exum scored 16 points and reserve Jaden Hardy had 15 on five three-pointers.

Mavericks standout Kyrie Irving (heel) missed his sixth straight game.

Dallas led 108-106 after a three-point play by Jones with 3:46 remaining before the Clippers answered with a game-ending, 14-3 spurt.

Powell converted a three-point play to give Los Angeles a four-point lead before Leonard drove the baseline for a dunk to make it 116-110 with 1:47 to go. Leonard added 4 more consecutive points to boost the lead to 10 with 52.1 seconds left as the Clippers closed it out.

Los Angeles made 55.8% of its shots and was 11 of 31 (35.5%) from three-point range. Daniel Theis had 11 points and fellow reserve Russell Westbrook scored 10.

The Mavericks connected on 42.9% of their shots, including 14 of 43 (32.6%) from behind the arc.

Dallas fell behind by 22 in the second quarter but rallied to trail just 69-68 on two free throws by Jones with 7:15 left in the third quarter.

A short time later, the Clippers went on an 11-2 run to take an 83-73 lead on Leonard’s basket with 4:09 remaining.

Dallas controlled the remainder of the quarter with a 10-2 burst. Grant Williams nailed a jumper with one second left to pull the Mavericks within 85-83.

Dallas moved ahead at 95-94 on Exum’s three-pointer with 8:31 left.

Leonard had 14 points in the first half and the Clippers shot 59% from the field before settling for a 67-56 halftime lead. Doncic scored 21 in the half for Dallas. – Rappler.com

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