RECAP: Kawhi Leonard’s 36-point night carries Clippers over Wolves

By Field Level Media
Feb 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Josh Okogie (20) drives to the basket and shoots the ball in the first half against the LA Clippers at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 36 points and Lou Williams added 27 off the bench to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 119-112 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Leonard and Williams combined to make 23 of 40 shots from the floor and 7 of 9 from 3-point range for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing skid despite playing without Paul George. The six-time All-Star did not make the two-game road trip due to a foot injury.

Minnesota’s Naz Reid scored 23 points off the bench and Karl-Anthony Towns added 18 in his return from a 13-game absence that followed testing positive for COVID-19 in mid-January. Towns also had 10 rebounds while playing in just his fifth game of the season.

Malik Beasley scored all 21 of his points in the second half for the Timberwolves, who played without D’Angelo Russell (left leg soreness) and Jarrett Culver (left ankle sprain).

Los Angeles chipped away at a 13-point deficit before scoring 12 of the first 15 points of the third quarter to claim a 59-56 lead. Minnesota attempted to turn the tide after Towns and Jaden McDaniels each drained a 3-pointer, however Nicolas Batum connected from beyond the arc as the Clippers scored 13 of the final 19 points of the third to seize an 80-73 advantage.

Williams sank a pair of shots to begin the fourth quarter and Marcus Morris Sr. made a fadeaway jumper to boost Los Angeles’ lead to 86-75. Reid scored seven points during Minnesota’s 9-0 run, but Williams answered by scoring seven points during the Clippers’ 14-3 surge to give his team a 100-87 advantage with 6:41 to play.

Towns made a layup and Beasley connected from long distance to trim the deficit to eight, but Leonard drained a mid-range jumper and a 3-pointer to effectively keep the Timberwolves at bay.

Los Angeles’ Patrick Beverley scored six points in his return from an eight-game absence caused by right knee soreness.

–Field Level Media