Strong second half propels the Los Angeles Clippers past the Milwaukee Bucks

Mar 29, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) moves to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Morris Sr. scored 25 points and Kawhi Leonard added 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the host Los Angeles Clippers dominated the second half while posting a 129-105 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

Luke Kennard scored a season-high 21 points while starting for injured Paul George (foot). He was 8 of 11 from the field and 5 of 6 from 3-point range, with four of his treys coming in rapid succession in the final quarter.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 points and Terance Mann notched 14 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Clippers won their sixth straight game. Los Angeles scored 72 second-half points and outscored the Bucks 33-19 in the final quarter.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points in his return from a one-game absence due to a knee injury. Jrue Holiday recorded 24 points, seven assists and three steals and Khris Middleton added 15 points for the Bucks, who lost their third straight game.

Los Angeles shot 53.7 percent from the field and made 19 of 34 from 3-point range. Jackson and Morris made four each to complement Kennard, who learned he was starting less than 30 minutes before tipoff when George was scratched.

The Clippers held a 46-32 rebounding advantage while ending a five-game slide against Milwaukee.

The Bucks connected on 46.9 percent of their shots, including 11 of 30 from distance.

Milwaukee pulled within 105-98 on Antetokounmpo’s short jumper with 7:36 left before Kennard got hot and hit four 3-pointers in a span of 1:59. The final trey in the flurry was from 28 feet out and boosted the Clippers’ lead to 117-100 with 5:12 left.

Leonard followed with a basket to increase the advantage to 19 with 4:43 remaining. The lead reached 20 at 122-102 on Morris’ 3-pointer with 4:08 left and Los Angeles closed out the impressive win.

Nicolas Batum drained a 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left in the first half to give the Clippers a 57-55 lead at the break.

The Clippers began the second half with an 11-4 push to take a 68-59 lead. Los Angeles later increased the margin to 12 on Mann’s 3-pointer with 2:36 left in the third quarter.

Patrick Patterson drained a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in the third quarter to give Los Angeles a 96-86 lead and Morris opened the fourth quarter with a trey to make it a 13-point margin.

–Field Level Media