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NBA: Clippers beat struggling Spurs

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs forward Zach Collins (23) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio on Monday, November 20 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Homosexual)

SAN ANTONIO — Paul George scored 28 points, Kawhi Leonard added 21 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Victor Wembanyama and San Antonio 124-99 on Monday night, extending the Spurs’ losing streak to nine games.

James Harden added 13 points and 10 assists as Los Angeles earned its sixth straight victory over San Antonio.

The Clippers won their second straight game with Harden after losing their first five games with the All-Star guard in the lineup following a trade from Philadelphia.



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“The more reps you do, the more comfortable you get,” Harden said. “The more you try to figure out where the guys’ spots are on the floor and where can I attack and get mine. As video games go by, you see us getting more and more comfortable.

Wembanyama was limited to nine points and three rebounds. Keldon Johnson had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead San Antonio, and Cedi Osman scored 17 points.

“It was a great group we played tonight,” Johnson said. “Praying that everyone on their roster stays healthy, they will be competing and ready to make some noise in the West.”

The Spurs’ losing streak matches the fifth-longest streak in franchise history.

San Antonio set the franchise record last season by losing 23 straight games and finished with the third-worst record in franchise history at 22-60.

That futility helped the Spurs land the No. 1 pick, which they used to select the franchise’s new cornerstone in the 7-foot-3 Wembanyama.

Leonard was the face of the Spurs, the bridge between the Big Three era of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and the future. That changed when Leonard requested and received a trade, which was shipped to Toronto in 2018.

Spurs fans didn’t forget and booed Leonard every time he touched the ball.

“It’s a complete fan base,” Leonard said. “They have to win every game. As soon as I get in the game, there’s going to be boos, but walking around town or going to a restaurant, they show love.

Leonard and the Clippers gave fans plenty of reasons to mock Monday.

The Clippers finished with 30 assists and just seven turnovers to hand the Spurs their sixth double-digit loss this season.

The Clippers also limited Wembanyama to 4 of 12 shooting, and notably missed all four of his 3-point attempts.

San Antonio suffered its second-worst loss of the season, 123-83, against the Clippers on October 29. The Clippers were on the same track in the second half after two competitive first quarters.

“I’m completely happy with this sport,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “No one likes to lose, but I thought their competitiveness and execution was good. Towards an excellent group, very competent and very well supervised. So, I’ll sleep well. We’ll take a look at the movie. We will proceed tomorrow. But I like a lot of things I’ve seen, individually and in groups (clever).

A Leonard dunk and layup off a no-look pass from Harden extended the Clippers’ lead to 86-66 with 4:37 left in the third quarter. The Clippers extended that result with 28 points before emptying their bench midway through the fourth.

San Antonio leads by 15 points or eight more games this season and by 20 in six games. The Spurs have rallied to win just once.

George had to come out after being hit in the eye by Wembanyama during the Clippers’ first possession. He returned midway through primary school and completed 11 of 16 from the field and 4 of 8 from 3-point range.

Spurs starting guard Devin Vassell missed the game with a groin strain.


The teams closed out a two-game set in San Antonio on Wednesday.


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