LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 38 points, Montrezl Harrell added 24 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat San Antonio 103-97 on Thursday night, handing the Spurs their first loss.
Leonard — who sat out Wednesday’s game at Utah due to load management — also grabbed 12 rebounds for his first points-rebounds, double-double this season. It is also Leonard’s first double-double in three meetings against the Spurs, where he played seven seasons (2011-18).
Leonard also has scored 30 or more in three of his first five games with the Clippers, who he signed with as a free agent during the offseason.
The game was close for the first 28 minutes, before the Clippers took control with a 9-1 run to take a 64-55 lead with 6:55 remaining in the third quarter. Leonard — who had 25 points in the second half — scored five of his 10 third-quarter points during the rally, including a dunk after a steal of DeMar DeRozan at midcourt.
San Antonio got within five (80-75) at the end of the third quarter before the Clippers scored 11 of the first 13 points in the fourth quarter with nine coming from Leonard. The Spurs scored six straight points to get within 97-93 with 2:34 left, but could not get closer.
DeRozan, a Los Angeles native, led San Antonio with 29 points and Derrick White added 20.
Spurs: G Dejounte Murray will not play Friday night against Golden State as a precaution. He had knee surgery after tearing his right ACL during the preseason last year.
Clippers: Doc Rivers, who is two wins shy of 900 as a coach, improved to 7-0 on Halloween and 5-0 with Los Angeles.
Spurs: Travel to Golden State on Friday to complete their first set of back-to-back games this season.
Clippers: Host Utah on Sunday. The teams have split their last 14 matchups.