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NBA: LA Clippers get fourth-straight win; Beats Houston Rockets behind Kawhi Leonard scoring 31


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points, Reggie Jackson added 26 and the Los Angeles Clippers used a dominating second quarter Friday night to defeat the Houston Rockets 126-109 and extend their winning streak to four games.

The Clippers trailed by 10 at the end of the first quarter and found themselves down 40-26 with 9:57 remaining in the second before outscoring the Rockets 41-6 the remainder of the period.

Leonard scored 11 and Jackson connected on three of his six 3-pointers during the quarter to give Los Angeles a 67-46 advantage at the break. The Clippers were 15 of 21 from the field during the quarter while the Rockets missed 14 of 15 after making their first two shots.

The Clippers said the 31-point quarter differential is tied for the second-largest in team history and the largest since they outscored the Lakers by 31 in the second quarter of March 2014 game.

According to Sportradar, which has quarter point differentials since 1996, it is the most the Rockets have been outscored in the second quarter and the second-most in any quarter. they were outscored by 32 (46-14) in the first quarter against Miami last season.

The Rockets worked their way back throughout the second half. They pulled within 11 at the end of the third quarter and had their deficit cut down to five (104-99) on Sterling Brown’s 3-pointer but could not draw closer.

Christian Wood led Houston with 23 points and Jae’Sean Tate scored 18.

The Clippers won the game despite being short handed again. The team announced before the game that guard Patrick Beverley broke his left hand in Thursday’s win over Phoenix and will be out for at least four weeks after undergoing surgery. LA was also without All-Star guard Paul George, who had two straight 30-point games, and Rajon Rondo.

George sat out the second game of a back-to-back set as he has been dealing with a lingering toe injury. Rondo has seen his minutes limited as he comes back from an adductor injury. Center Serge Ibaka (back) missed his 14th straight.

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