Timberwolves Clippers Basketball
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points, his ninth straight game with at least that many, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-106 Saturday.
Karl-Anthony Towns countered with 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, his fourth consecutive game with 30 or more points, but it wasn't enough to keep Minnesota from losing its 11th in a row, matching the team's skid from December.
Paul George added 21 points in 26 minutes and Lou Williams had 17 for the Clippers, who have won seven of nine.
The Wolves closed within four points in the third on two free throws by Robert Covington after Towns scored five points in a row.
The Clippers dominated the rest of the third thanks to a big effort by the reserves, including six points from Williams sandwiched between Leonard's dunk and a basket by George. They took a 98-86 lead into the fourth. The Clippers' bench outscored the Wolves' reserves, 46-33.
George went down on a drive to the basket while closely guarded by Covington in the third. He stayed in the game before briefly leaving the court.
George scored the Clippers' first seven points of the fourth, extending their lead to 105-86, and then sat down for good. He was eventually joined on the bench by every starter.
Timberwolves: Fell to 3-11 against the West. ... Allen Crabbe missed his second game in a row with a left knee subluxation. ... Host the Clippers next Saturday.
Clippers: Leonard is two games from tying World B. Free's streak of 11 straight games with 30 or more points set from Jan. 2-23, 1980. Leonard's streak is the longest in his career and is the longest such streak in the NBA this season.
Coaches Doc Rivers of the Clippers and Ryan Saunders of the Wolves watched the Lakers' tribute to Kobe Bryant on TV Friday night. “It was beautifully done,” said Saunders, who expressed interest in visiting the impromptu memorial for Bryant and the other eight victims of the helicopter crash across from Staples Center.
“Being around it and being able to feel the emotion, you can feel what Kobe meant, not just to the game of basketball, but what he meant to a city and probably to people who didn't necessarily, might not have been basketball fans,” Saunders said.
Rivers complimented the Lakers on the ceremony, saying, “That was phenomenal.”
Timberwolves: Visit Sacramento on Monday. The teams' previous two meetings resulted in a combined three overtimes, with each gaining a win on each other's home courts.
Clippers: Host San Antonio on Monday, a team the Clippers have beaten twice in three meetings this season.