EditorsNote: Tweaked 5th graf, minor additional edits
Kawhi Leonard had 38 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 103-97 win against the visiting San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
Montrezl Harrell scored 24 points off the bench and Lou Williams added 12 points in a reserve role despite shooting just 5-for-19 for Los Angeles.
DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, Derrick White had 20 points off the bench and Rudy Gay added nine points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who had won their first three games this season — leaving the Philadelphia 76ers as the NBA’s only remaining unbeaten team.
The game marked the third matchup between Leonard and DeRozan since the Spurs traded Leonard to the Toronto Raptors in July 2018 in a deal that brought DeRozan to San Antonio.
Leonard went on to lead the Raptors to their first NBA title last spring, then signed a three-year, $103 million deal with the Clippers in July.
The Clippers led by two points at the half and didn’t give up the lead the rest of the way.
Los Angeles used a 9-1 run to take its biggest lead through that point of the game at 64-55 with 6:35 left in the third, and eventually brought an 80-75 lead into the fourth.
After scoring the first four points of the final quarter to match their biggest lead at 84-75, the Clippers moved ahead by double figures for the first time, 89-77, on a 3-pointer by Leonard with 9:18 remaining.
The Spurs got as close as 97-93 on a floater by White with 2:34 left, but Williams and Harrell each made baskets to extend the lead back to six.
The Spurs trailed by as many as six in the first quarter before taking a 24-23 lead into the second.
The Clippers and Spurs traded leads early in the second quarter before Los Angeles moved ahead by as many as five and then took a 50-48 lead into the break.
—Field Level Media