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Kawhi-less Clippers drop trip finale in Sacramento – Press Enterprise

By ERIC HE The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — The Clippers’ four-game road trip ended without All-Star Kawhi Leonard and without a win.

Domantas Sabonis had 22 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Clippers, 109-95, on Tuesday night.

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said he hopes Leonard, who returned to Los Angeles to be treated for knee soreness after playing Sunday at Charlotte and has remained relatively healthy this season , will be available Thursday night against Denver, leader of the Western Conference.

Russell Westbrook led the Clippers with 20 points. Paul George had 18 and Norman Powell, starting for Leonard, scored 17.

The Kings moved to within one game of sixth-place New Orleans in the Western Conference as they look to avoid the play-in tournament. Sacramento (44-31) is tied with Phoenix with seven games remaining, including a four-game trip that begins Thursday in New York. The Clippers are fourth in the West.

De’Aaron Fox added 20 points and seven assists for the Kings, and Keegan Murray had 19 points.

Sacramento led by just five points at halftime, but outscored the Clippers 35-19 in the third quarter, with Sabonis scoring nine in the period.

Murray punctuated the run with an emphatic dunk off a Clippers turnover on a fast break. Neither Ivica Zubac nor Westbrook joined their teammates on the court on offense after the Kings committed a turnover, and when the Clippers gave it right back, Murray hesitated before slamming it into Zubac with his right hand to give the Kings the advantage, 76-62.

Sacramento scored the final seven of the quarter, with an Alex Len dunk giving the Kings a 91-70 lead heading into the fourth.

Sacramento led by 16 after a 20-4 run in the second quarter. Davion Mitchell had 14 points in the first half, including four 3-pointers. But the Clippers cut the deficit to 56-51 at halftime.

FOLLOWING

The Clippers host Denver on Thursday at 7 p.m.

More to come on this story.

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