Kawhi Leonard leads scoring in win against Suns.
(Credit: Courtesy of the LA Clippers)

The Los Angeles Clippers went into the Footprint Center and beat the Phoenix Suns, 115-110, gaining homecourt advantage. Kawhi Leonard led scoring for the Clippers with 38 points, five rebounds and five assists, but it was his teammate, Russell Westbrook who made a pair of clutch free throws with 17.7 seconds on the clock that inched the Clippers closer to victory.

Westbrook shot just 3 of 19 from the floor, however, he had 10 rebounds, eight assists and that critical block on a layup attempt from the Suns Devin Booker with 10 seconds left in the game. The Clippers lead the series, 1-0.

“I told him during the game that your scoring is not that important,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said. “Don’t get frustrated with missing shots. You bring us way more than just scoring the basketball, so don’t let that affect your game.”

The Clippers had 15 offensive rebounds in the game, compared to six for the Suns. Eric Gordon scored 19 points with Norman Powell contributing 14 and Ivica Zubac with 12. Zubac, Mason Plumlee and Westbrook led the defensive efforts for the Clippers with 15, 11 and 10 rebounds respectively. The Clippers remain without the services of Paul George. It is unclear when George will return to the lineup.

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(Credit: Courtesy of the LA Clippers)

On the other side of the court, Kevin Durant scored 27 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists for the Suns with Booker adding 26 points, Torrey Craig with 22 points, and Deandre Ayton with 18. Chris Paul finished the game with seven points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

“It’s one game,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “We will look at the film and regroup.”

Durant acknowledged the strong play of Leonard saying:

“I mean, he’s a tough cover,” Durant said about Leonard. “He can score from all areas. He was making shots there in the second half. He made some big 3s there in the fourth quarter. Just an all-time player. We gotta continue to be physical and deny his catches and make it as tough as we can on him.”