December 26, 2019 / 3:56 AM / 24 days ago

Leonard scores 35 as Clippers rally past Lakers

EditorsNote: Adds new 3rd graf and second to last graf, deletes “LeBron” in 4th graf

December 25, 2019; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) before playing against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard had 35 points and 12 rebounds to lead the visiting Los Angeles Clippers to a come-from-behind, 111-106 win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday evening.

Montrezl Harrell scored 18 points off the bench, and Paul George had 17 points on 5-for-18 shooting for the Clippers, who are 2-0 against the Lakers this season.

With 3.6 seconds to go and the Clippers up by three, Patrick Beverley blocked a LeBron James 3-point attempt. George then made two free throws to seal the outcome.

Kyle Kuzma scored a season-high 25 points off the bench for the Lakers, who have lost four in a row. They hadn’t dropped consecutive games all season before the current skid. Anthony Davis scored 24 points, and James finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

After trailing by as many as 15 in the third quarter, the Clippers pulled even at 86-86 entering the fourth.

James hit a pull-up jumper to give the Lakers a 101-94 lead with 6:39 left, but seven straight points by the Clippers tied the game again.

Leonard twice made two free throws to give the Clippers a four-point lead, the second time with 2:03 left, and the Lakers managed just one point the rest of the way.

The Lakers led by seven twice in the second quarter before an 8-0 run by the Clippers moved them ahead 43-42.

James missed his first seven shots before making a layup with 5:28 left in the second quarter to move the Lakers back ahead 44-43.

Both sides continued to trade leads for the next couple minutes before the Lakers closed on a 17-2 run to take a 63-51 lead into the break.

After trailing by as many as 15 with 9:26 left in the third quarter, the Clippers used a 16-3 run to pull within 71-69 with 6:44 remaining.

Clippers reserve guard Landry Shamet sank a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to tie the score at 86-86 heading into the fourth.

The Clippers improved to 12-3 this season with George and Leonard in the lineup.

The Clippers beat the Lakers 112-102 in the season opener on Oct. 22, one of three double-digit losses for the Lakers. In that contest, Clippers were without George, who missed the first three weeks of the season while rehabilitating two offseason shoulder injuries.

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