Leonard has 35 points, Clippers outlast Knicks 134-128 in OT
NEW YORK (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points, Paul George added 30 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the New York Knicks 134-128 in overtime Saturday night.
After the Clippers lost a 17-point fourth quarter lead, Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer tied it at 115.
“I wish we could finish the game in the fourth quarter by making some shots to put teams away,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “But, big shot by Nico. Gutsy win by us. Nico makes the big shot and we controlled the overtime.”
The Clippers scored the first four points of overtime and never relinquished the lead. Leonard connected on all of his eight free throws in the extra session, finishing 12 for 12 from the line.
“We got to do better,” Leonard said. “Second night in a row we had big leads against these good team and they’re coming back. They have fight in them and we have to be able to close them out.”
Norman Powell added 24 points for the Clippers and Marcus Morris Sr. had 17. Los Angeles has won seven of nine.
Jalen Brunson, who returned after missing a game due to a non-COVID illness, led the Knicks with 41 points. Julius Randle had 28.
Powell’s jumper gave Los Angeles a 17-point lead to open the fourth quarter and the Clippers still led 106-94 following Powell’s layup with 7:18 remaining.
But, Quentin Grimes’ 3-pointer with 52 seconds left gave the Knicks their first lead, 113-112, and Brunson capped a 21-6 run with a layup with 18 seconds left.
George missed a 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining, but Ivica Zubac got the offensive rebound and Batum made a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“As a team, if we didn’t start the way we played and played Knicks basketball, we wouldn’t have been be in that position,” Brunson said. “I am proud of how we fought. I am not really too worried about anything. The biggest thing to take away from this game was that my teammates fought. We will move on from that.”
Clippers: No one has played in all 56 games for Los Angeles this season. Mann has missed just one, while Zubac has the most starts (54). … Los Angeles had lost three straight games to the Knicks.
Knicks: New York is the only NBA team to have a better record on the road than at home. The Knicks are also the only team with a winning record to have a losing record at home. … Randle and Isaiah Hartenstein are the only Knicks to play all 54 games this season.
Clippers: At Brooklyn on Monday night.
Knicks: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.
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