NBA regular season

Clippers get best of Raptors in Kawhi Leonard’s return

Clippers get best of Raptors in Kawhi Leonard’s return

FAMILIAR FOE. Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard drives to the net against Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr.

John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Former Raptor Kawhi Leonard pumps in all-around numbers to help lift the Clippers against the team he led to the 2019 NBA championship

Ivica Zubac had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 124-113, on Tuesday night, December 27 (Wednesday, December 28, Manila time).

Paul George added 23 points for the Clippers, who have won two in a row after their overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Former Raptor Kawhi Leonard had 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists in his return after sitting out against the Detroit Pistons. 

“It’s always great memories coming into this arena,” said Leonard, who led the Raptors to the NBA championship in 2019. “I would rather give the fans in Toronto a chance to see me play again.”

Norman Powell, another former Raptor, scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter for the Clippers, who are 2-1 on a five-game road trip. Reggie Jackson added 20 points and Marcus Morris Sr. scored 10.

John Wall (left knee injury management) did not play for the Clippers.

Pascal Siakam buried 36 points for the Raptors, who had won their two previous games. 

Gary Trent Jr. added 20 points, OG Anunoby scored 18, Scottie Barnes had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Malachi Flynn scored 10 points off the bench.

Toronto guard Fred VanVleet left the game during the third quarter with a stiff back and did not return. He had 4 points.

The Clippers led by 15 points entering the fourth quarter. Nicolas Batum’s three-pointer increased the lead to 23 points with 9:14 left to play. 

Siakam’s layup capped an 8-0 Toronto run that cut the lead to 15 points with 6:45 left and Flynn’s triple cut the lead to 12 with 4:15 remaining, but the Raptors could never fully mount a comeback.

Toronto led 29-27 after one quarter.

Powell’s layup gave the Clippers a six-point lead with 8:45 remaining in the second quarter. Toronto led by 2 points on Trent’s 12-footer with 2:07 to play before the break. 

Jackson gave the Clippers a four-point lead with a layup with 45.3 seconds left, and Los Angeles led 60-56 at halftime.

George banked in a 7-footer to give the Clippers a nine-point lead with 8:40 remaining in the third quarter. The lead reached 14 with 5:03 left on George’s three-pointer before Los Angeles went on to take a 97-82 advantage into the final period. –

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