Leonard scores 24 points, Clippers top Suns 102-92

PHOENIX (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Marcus Morris added 18 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 102-92 on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles won its second straight game, bouncing back from a tough stretch that included its only three-game losing streak of the season. The Clippers are still working to piece together their upgraded playing rotation, which includes the recently acquired Morris and guard Reggie Jackson.

Both were important contributors on Wednesday. Morris hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left that ended a final Suns rally. Jackson had 12 points off the bench.

The Clippers led by as many as 15 points during the third quarter before settling for a 76-66 advantage going into the fourth. The Suns never cut the deficit to less than seven in the final quarter.

It was a disappointing start to a six-game homestand for Phoenix, which is among several teams fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Memphis is at No. 8 right now, but Portland, San Antonio, New Orleans, Sacramento and Phoenix are all within five games.

Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 25 points and 17 rebounds. All-Star guard Devin Booker had a rough night, scoring 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting. Phoenix shot just 39% from the field.

Phoenix led for most of the first half, but the Clippers rallied for a 54-49 lead at the break. Leonard had 12 points for the Clippers, while Ayton led the Suns with 14.


Clippers: Los Angeles has a 6-0 record this season when its full roster is available to play. ... The Clippers have a 39-19 record, which is their second-best 58-game start to the season in franchise history. The 2012-13 team was 40-18. ... Leonard had his 13th double-double of the season.

Suns: F Kelly Oubre Jr. didn’t play because of a right knee injury. Coach Monty Williams said he didn’t know how much time Oubre would miss. The 24-year-old is the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging 18.7 points. It was just the third game he’s missed this season. ... Coming into Wednesday, Ayton and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only two players in the NBA averaging at least 20 points and 12 rebounds in February. ... Ricky Rubio finished with 18 points and 10 assists.


The Clippers return home to face the Nuggets on Friday.

The Suns continue their six-game homestand against the Pistons on Friday.


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