NBA: Clippers storm past Thunder with dominant second half | Inquirer Sports
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NBA: Clippers storm past Thunder with dominant second half

/ 03:23 PM March 24, 2023

Mar 23, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Bones Hyland (5) celebrates as he heads down court after a 3 point basket in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 23, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Bones Hyland (5) celebrates as he heads down court after a 3 point basket in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 24 as the Los Angeles Clippers took control in the second half to beat the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 127-105 on Thursday.

Bones Hyland had 16 points and seven assists, while Terance Mann scored 14 points and Nicolas Batum added 12 for Los Angeles (39-35), which avenged a 101-100 home loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Leonard shot 13-for-15 from the floor and had six rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City (36-37) with 30 points against his former team. Josh Giddey scored 18 points, and Jalen Williams added 16.

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The Clippers played without All-Star guard Paul George, who sprained his right knee in the Tuesday loss. George will miss the remainder of the regular season and will be reassessed in two to three weeks.

Leonard opened the game shooting 7-for-7 from the field and scored 15 points in the first quarter to help put Los Angeles ahead 36-29. The Clippers shot 63.6 percent from the field for the period.

Oklahoma City trailed 42-31 early in the second quarter before holding the Clippers to 12 points over the final 10 minutes of the half, which ended with the teams tied at 54. Gilgeous-Alexander had 19 points before the break to lead all scorers.

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Leonard was held scoreless in the second quarter before responding with 15 in the third. After Oklahoma City moved ahead 68-65 on a Giddey 3-pointer, the Clippers began to take control over the final seven minutes of the period.

Los Angeles owned a 92-80 advantage at the end of the third quarter after draining two 3-pointers in the final minute. The Clippers carried the momentum into the fourth and outscored the Thunder 24-9 to begin the period.

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Westbrook, who finished with seven assists, scored five straight points to put the Clippers ahead 116-89 with 4:51 remaining.

Ivica Zubac had a game-high 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which shot 56 percent from the field and 48.6 percent (18 of 37) from 3-point range.

Oklahoma City, which had won the first three meetings against the Clippers this season, shot 44.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent (13 of 39) from beyond the arc.

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TAGS: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA

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