Kawhi Leonard finished with a season-high 33 points, making three 3-pointers, Norman Powell added 27 off the bench and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 113-101 on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Clippers improved to 22-21 on the season and won their first game since beating Toronto in late December. The Mavericks dropped to 23-19 and have dropped two straight.
Terance Mann remained in the starting lineup for Los Angeles and finished with 12 points, five rebounds and one block after replacing Reggie Jackson, who is currently out of the rotation. Marcus Morris Sr. scored 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter while Robert Covington added nine points, eight rebounds and three assists off the bench for the Clippers.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. Tonight was a good game for us,” said Clippers coach Ty Lue.
The Clippers were shorthanded without star forward Paul George due to a hamstring strain and Luke Kennard with a calf injury.
“Just gotta stay the course and hope for the best,” Leonard said of the Clippers staying healthy over the course of the season.
Luka Doncic dazzled and kept Dallas within striking distance late in the game, pouring in 43 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the loss.
“We lost, so I don’t know if it’s a big night… They’re a great team. They beat us twice in the playoffs. They have a great team and it’s always hard to play against them,” Doncic said.
The four-year superstar reached 40 points or more for the ninth time in his young career against the Clippers.
“This dude, man… He loves playing against a lot of people but he really loves playing against us,” said Lue on Doncic.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 13 for the Mavericks.
The Clippers led 31-25 in the first period and used a 22-12 run in the second to jump out to a 69-47 advantage at halftime.
Powell scored six consecutive points and Leonard buried a jumper to extend their lead to 22 with 56.0 seconds left in the second period.
Doncic scored seven consecutive points to get within four, 104-96 with 2:50 left in the fourth but Leonard responded with a step-back three-pointer and converted three free throws to retake a 110-99 advantage as the Clippers would go on to close out the 113-101 victory.
“I got in a rhythm, knocked down open shots, trusted in my teammates and we were able to pull it out,” said Leonard, who tied a season high with nine rebounds.
The Clippers will next host the top seeded Denver Nuggets (28-13) on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.