Clippers blow big lead, but beat Knicks in OT

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers squandered a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter on Saturday night, but Nicolas Batum hit a late 3-pointer to force overtime and Los Angeles pulled away at the free-throw line to earn a 134-128 win over the host New York Knicks.

Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points to lead six players in double figures for the Clippers, who have won seven of their last nine games. Paul George had 30 points while Norman Powell finished with 24 points off the bench. Marcus Morris Sr. finished with 17 points, while Terance Mann added 12 and Batum had 10.

Jalen Brunson scored 41 points, three shy of his career high, while Julius Randle posted 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who didn’t take their first lead until the final minute of regulation. They lost for the seventh time in 10 games.

RJ Barrett scored 14 points but was 6 of 21 from the field for New York. Quentin Grimes had 13 points and Immanuel Quickley 11 off the bench.

Powell’s layup to open the fourth quarter gave the Clippers their biggest lead at 98-81 before the Knicks began chipping away.

Brunson hit a contested layup to cut the deficit to 112-110 with 1:21 left. After Los Angeles missed two shots on the next trip up the court, Brunson dished to a wide-open Grimes, who hit a corner 3-pointer to give New York its first lead at 113-112 with 52 seconds left.

Following a timeout, Leonard missed a pullup jumper, and Brunson then drove the length of the court and hit a floater to extend the lead to 115-112. George missed a long 3-pointer, but Ivica Zubac was able to tap the ball back to George, who passed to Batum. His 3-pointer from the right corner just beat the buzzer.

The Clippers went 15 of 18 from the charity stripe in overtime, when the teams combined to shoot 6 of 13 from the field.

Morris opened the scoring and put the Clippers ahead for good by hitting a jumper with 3:52 left. After Brunson missed a layup, Powell and Randle traded two free throws apiece.

The Knicks then went 0-for-1 with three turnovers on their next four possessions as Los Angeles scored six straight points, including four from the free-throw line, to go up 125-117 with a minute left.

The Knicks pulled within 130-125 on a dunk by Isaiah Hartenstein, and then Leonard was whistled for an offensive foul. But Brunson missed a contested 3-pointer and Powell put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws with 8.7 seconds left.

–Field Level Media

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