Clippers extend winning streak to 4

LOS ANGELES: Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points, Reggie Jackson added 26 and the Los Angeles Clippers used a dominating second quarter to defeat the Houston Rockets, 126-109, on Friday (Saturday in Manila), extending their winning streak to four games.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard shoots during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los
Angeles on April 9, 2021 (April 10 in Manila). AP PHOTO

The shorthanded Clippers, which was missing All-Star Paul George, trailed by 10 at the end of the first quarter and found itself down, 40-26, with 9:57 remaining in the second before outscoring the Rockets, 41-6, in the remainder of the period.

Leonard scored 11 and Jackson connected on three of his career-tying six 3-pointers during the quarter to give Los Angeles a 67-46 advantage at the break. The Clippers was 15 of 21 from the field during the quarter while the Rockets missed 14 of 15 after making its first two shots.

The Clippers said the 31-point quarter differential is tied for the second-largest in team history and the largest since the team outscored the Lakers by 31 in the second quarter of a March 2014 game.

“We wanted to move the ball; share it,” Leonard said.

The Rockets worked its way back throughout the second half. The team pulled within 11 at the end of the third quarter and had its deficit cut down to five (104-99) on Sterling Brown’s 3-pointer but could not draw closer as the Clippers responded with a 16-2 run, which included eight points by Leonard.

Christian Wood led Houston with 23 points and Jae’Sean Tate scored 18.

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