NBA regular season

Clippers get Kawhi Leonard back, pummel Heat


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Clippers get Kawhi Leonard back, pummel Heat

HEALTHY AGAIN. Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) looks to pass against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the second quarter at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The Los Angeles Clippers make the most of their star-studded lineup back at full health, handing a 17-point rout to the Jimmy Butler-less Miami Heat

Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points and grabbed six rebounds after missing the past four games and Paul George added 23 points as the Los Angeles Clippers earned a 121-104 victory over the visiting Miami Heat on Monday.

Norman Powell scored 22 points off the bench on 9-of-11 shooting and James Harden added 15 points and 10 assists as the Clippers won for the 12th time in their past 14 contests. Both defeats during that run came when Leonard was out with a left hip contusion.

Ivica Zubac had 12 rebounds as Los Angeles ended a three-game losing streak to Miami while winning for the ninth time in its past 10 home games.

Bam Adebayo recorded 21 points and 15 rebounds and Kevin Love added 17 points off the bench as the short-handed Heat lost consecutive games for the first time since late November.

Miami was without Jimmy Butler (foot), Caleb Martin (ankle), Josh Richardson (back) and Haywood Highsmith (concussion protocol).

Duncan Robinson scored 15 points, as did UCLA product Jaime Jaquez Jr. in his homecoming for the Heat, who are 1-2 on a five-game road trip. Tyler Herro had 12 points for Miami but did not score in the second half.

The Clippers’ Russell Westbrook used two first-quarter baskets to move past Patrick Ewing and into 25th place on the all-time scoring list. Westbrook finished with eight points and has 24,821 for his career.

Miami led 35-23 after one quarter, but the Clippers stormed back to take a 59-58 lead at halftime after trailing by as many as 14 points in the second quarter. Los Angeles then opened a 95-85 lead after George scored 12 points in the third quarter.

George made three baskets from 3-point range in the game to move past JJ Redick and into second place on the Clippers’ all-time list.

The Clippers took a 106-90 lead with 8:41 left in the game after a transition 3-pointer from Leonard, and Miami never pulled within single digits the rest of the way. Miami removed its starters trailing 117-97 with 2:55 remaining. –

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