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Clippers get best of Raptors in Kawhi Leonard’s return

Dec 27, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) comes off the court during a time-out against the Toronto Raptors during the first half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ivica Zubac had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Toronto Raptors 124-113 on Tuesday night.

Paul George added 23 points for the Clippers, who have won two in a row after their overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Former Raptor Norman Powell scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter for the Clippers, who are 2-1 on a five-game road trip. Reggie Jackson added 20 points, former Raptor Kawhi Leonard had 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and Marcus Morris Sr. scored 10 points.

Pascal Siakam scored 36 points for the Raptors, who had won their two previous games. Gary Trent Jr. added 20 points, O.G. Anunoby scored 18, Scottie Barnes had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Malachi Flynn scored 10 points off the bench.

Toronto guard Fred VanVleet left the game during the third quarter with a stiff back and did not return. He had four points.

The Clippers led by 15 points entering the fourth quarter. Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer increased the lead to 23 points with 9:14 left to play. Siakam’s layup capped an 8-0 Toronto run that cut the lead to 15 points with 6:45 left and Flynn’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 12 with 4:15 remaining, but the Raptors could never fully mount a comeback.

Toronto led 29-27 after one quarter.

Powell’s layup gave the Clippers a six-point lead with 8:45 remaining in the second quarter. Toronto led by two points on Trent’s 12-footer with 2:07 to play before the break. Jackson gave the Clippers a four-point lead with a layup with 45.3 seconds left, and Los Angeles led 60-56 at halftime.

George banked in a 7-footer to give the Clippers a nine-point lead with 8:40 remaining in the third quarter. The lead reached 14 with 5:03 left on George’s 3-pointer before Los Angeles went on to take a 97-82 advantage into the final period.

John Wall (left knee injury management) did not play for the Clippers.

–Field Level Media