TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points, Paul George added 16 and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way Tuesday night in a 115-96 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Terance Mann also scored 20 points and Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who stayed one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets in the race for third place in the NBA’s Western Conference. Both teams have three road games left to play. The Nuggets hold the tiebreaker, having won two of three against the Clippers.
Chris Boucher had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Raptors, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Marcus Morris Sr. opened the game with a 3-pointer and the Clippers never trailed.
After three 3-pointers by Rajon Rondo, a couple of dunks by Zubac and two straight baskets by Leonard, the Clippers took a 17-point lead late in the first half.
Malachi Flynn’s 3-pointer got the margin down to eight just before the end of the first half. But the Raptors, using their 35th different starting lineup of the season, never got any closer in the second half.
Clippers: G Patrick Beverley started for the first time since April 8. … F-C Serge Ibaka, who has not played since March 14 due to a back injury, hopes to play during the season-ending four-game road trip.
Raptors: Boucher started and played 38 minutes after missing nine games with a sprained left knee. … F Pascal Siakam (strained left shoulder) and G-F Rodney Hood (fractured finger) did not play after being injured Sunday night. … G Kyle Lowry, G Fred VanVleet and F OG Anunoby also sat out the first game after Toronto’s official elimination from the postseason.