December 18, 2019 / 6:12 AM / a month ago

George, Leonard send Clippers past Suns

EditorsNote: Fixed percentages and tweaked 8th graf

(Kirby Lee)Dec 17, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General overall view of the Staples Center marquee prior to an NBA game between the LA Clippers and the Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George scored 24 points and Kawhi Leonard added 20, guiding the Los Angeles Clippers to a 120-99 victory over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

Lou Williams, who returned from a two-game absence due to a sore calf, had 20 points and eight assists for the Clippers, who are 14-1 at home and winners of five of their last seven contests. Williams converted 5 of 7 3-pointers and made 7 of 13 shots from the floor.

Los Angeles reserve Montrezl Harrell finished with 15 points, while Ivica Zubac had 12 points.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 19 points for the Suns, who lost their fourth consecutive contest. Deandre Ayton, who returned from his 25-game suspension for testing positive for a diuretic, finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, seven of those on the offensive end. Frank Kaminsky chipped in 12 points and nine boards.

The Suns played without guard Devin Booker, their leading scorer at 25 points per game. Booker missed his third straight contest with a right forearm contusion.

The Clippers blew the game open in the third quarter. They used a 13-4 burst capped by a 3-pointer by Leonard with 2:16 left in the third to seize an 81-62 advantage. Leonard scored 12 in the quarter as Los Angeles outscored Phoenix 36-25 to take a 90-69 lead heading into the fourth.

Phoenix got no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

The Clippers held a 54-44 edge at the break. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, with each hitting 40 percent of the shots. Overall, the Clippers outshot the Suns 50.6 percent to 40.2 percent. Los Angeles was 14 of 32 on 3-pointers (43.8 percent) to 10 of 35 (28.6 percent) for Phoenix.

George had three of the Clippers’ 14 steals.

Clippers reserve forward JaMychal Green sat out his fifth consecutive game with a tailbone contusion.

Phoenix also was without guard Tyler Johnson, who missed his second contest in a row with an illness.

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