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James Harden scored a season-high 35 points and handed out nine assists to help the Los Angeles Clippers extend their winning streak to eight games with a 151-127 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night (Tuesday, December 19, Manila time) in Indianapolis.
Harden shot 12 of 16 from the floor, including 8 of 11 from 3-point distance.
Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points, Paul George had 27 points, Ivica Zubac finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks and Norman Powell led the reserves with 19 points for the Clippers, who had not won eight in a row since a 10-game winning streak from December 25, 2015, to January 13, 2016.
Leonard, who came in averaging 33.8 points and shooting 64.8 percent from the floor over the previous five games, hit 12 of 18 field-goal attempts against Indiana. Los Angeles shot 57.1 percent from the floor and made half of its 38 3-point attempts.
Bennedict Mathurin scored a career-high 34 points off the bench to lead the Pacers, who have lost four straight.
Isaiah Jackson scored 15 points in his first start of the season, and Obi Toppin and Buddy Hield each added 14 points for Indiana.
The Clippers took an 11-point advantage into halftime and then scored the first six points of the second half to expand the advantage to 83-66.
Los Angeles went up 98-74 on a basket by Russell Westbrook with 5:26 left in the third.
The Pacers got back within 17 before the end of the quarter, but the Clippers came back with an 8-0 run before eventually taking a 114-94 lead into the fourth.
Indiana scored the first five points of the final quarter to pull within 15 points but couldn’t get any closer.
The Pacers made 10 of their first 12 shot attempts, but that only kept them even with the Clippers, who made 14 of their first 18 to move out to a 30-25 lead with 3:35 left in the opening quarter.
Los Angeles led by as many as six points in the first quarter before Indiana scored the final five points to take a 38-37 lead into the second after a Hield 3-pointer.
The Clippers shot 69.6 percent in the opening quarter and the Pacers shot 66.7 percent.
Indiana then scored the first five points of the second period to build a 43-37 advantage.
The Clippers pulled even, then gained some separation later in the quarter with a 10-0 run that gave them a 67-57 lead on a Leonard 3-pointer with 3:32 left in the half. – Rappler.com