Kawhi Leonard nets 36 as Clippers beat Hawks to extend win streak
Posted on: 06 Feb, 2024 at 04:27 AM
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard scored 10 of his 36 points in the final five minutes to help the visiting Los Angeles Clippers hold off the Atlanta Hawks 149-144 on Monday and extend their winning streak to four games.
Leonard, named the Western Conference's Player of the Week earlier in the day, put the Clippers ahead with a putback basket at 4:52, then provided separation with six points over back-to-back possessions -- a three-point play followed by a 3-pointer. He was 13-for-20 from the field with five 3-pointers.
James Harden scored 30 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and was 10-for-10 from the free-throw line with eight rebounds and 10 assists.
Atlanta's De'Andre Hunter matched his season high with 27 points. Trae Young, named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday, had 25 points and 12 assists, and Dejounte Murray scored 21. Atlanta had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Young (3,775) moved into second place all-time for franchise assists, passing Mookie Blaylock (3,764), and extended his streak of games with five-plus assists to 152 straight regular-season games.
Harden had three 3-pointers in the first quarter to help the Clippers take a 12-point lead at one point in the frame and take a 37-28 lead into the second period. Los Angeles led by as many as 13 points on three occasions in the second quarter only to have Atlanta, led by Hunter's 14-first half points, score the final eight points and tie it 66-66 heading into halftime.
Both teams hit six 3-pointers in the third quarter, which saw three ties and six lead changes. Daniel Theis gave the Clippers a 102-101 lead when he hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Both teams played without their starting centers. Los Angeles' Ivica Zubac, who played Sunday, was out for load management as he nurses a right calf strain. Atlanta's Clint Capela was out with a left adductor strain that will likely keep him out until the All-Star Game. Saddiq Bey did return for the Hawks after missing a game with a sprained ankle.
The Clippers return home to start a three-game homestand on Wednesday against New Orleans. The Hawks are on the road in Boston on Wednesday.
--Field Level Media