By Mykell Mathieu
Sports Reporter 

Clippers squander big lead, lose Kawhi Leonard in 118-100 loss to Timberwolves

 

March 14, 2024

Jevone Moore

Paul George of the Clippers gets ready to score two of his 22 points over Chicago Bulls player Ayo Dosunmo last Tuesday night at home

Anthony Edwards scored 37 points to help the Timberwolves comeback from 22-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 118-100 on last Tuesday night on the Clippers home court.

It was a bad loss for the Clippers who dropped another game to one of the premier teams of the NBA, but the biggest loss was Kawhi Leonard who left the game prior to the end of the first half. Leonard left the game with back spasms which he was dealing with prior to the game. He played the entire first quarter but was seen leaving the arena during the second quarter.

"[Leonard] has been dealing with this for a couple of days. Wasn't sure if he was going to go this morning," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. "He tried to get on the court and play today, and it just didn't loosen up on him."

Before Leonard's exit, Los Angeles midway through the second quarter led Minnesota 57-35. Everything went downhill from there. The Timberwolves dominated the Clippers in the second half outscoring them 63-37 in the win. "They played tougher than we did, for sure, no doubt," Lue said. "We can talk about schemes and things, but when things don't go right, we've got to get tougher."

Paul George led the Clippers in scoring with 22 points. George was one of the five Clipper players to score in double figures, but no other player scored 15 or more points.

Even without star play Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves were able to dominate when it came to rebounds (48-34) and points in the paint (62-40). The Clippers also struggled with the 18 turnovers which led to 24 points for Minnesota.

Jevone Moore

Clippers guard James Harden had four second-half turnovers and took a lot of blame for his team's struggle. "Definitely my turnovers... My turnovers were't forced by anybody else. They were all on me," Harden said. "That's something I can control, that I can get better at. And I will."

Los Angeles will look to get back to their winning ways most likely without Leonard when they travel to Chicago on Thursday night to play the Bulls at 5 p.m. They stay on the road for a date with the Pelicans on Friday at 5 p.m. and they return home for a game against the Hawks on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

The Clippers are currently 41-23 which is good enough for fourth place in the Western Conference.

 

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