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Leonard, Harrell lead Clippers past Wizards 135-119

Kawhi Leonard had 34 points and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers bounced back from their worst loss of the season with a 135-119 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night.

Paul George scored 27 points and Montrezl Harrell had nine of his 20 in the fourth quarter for the Clippers, who improved to 4-6 away from home two games into their six-game trip.

The victory came two days after Los Angeles, which began Sunday in third in the Western Conference, opened the trip with a 119-91 loss at Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee.

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) and guard Ish Smith, right, battle for the ball next to Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Washington’s bench kept the game competitive for more than three quarters. Davis Bertans tied his season-high with 25 points, including six 3-pointers. Troy Brown Jr. scored a career-high 20 points.

Bradley Beal’s 20 points were the most by a Washington starter and came off a difficult 5-for-18 shooting night.

Los Angeles closed the game with a 22-10 scoring run, including a stretch when Leonard and Harrell combined to score 17 consecutive points.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and Washington Wizards guard Isaac Bonga (17) battle for the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Washington. The Clippers won 135-119. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Leonard turned his 10th defensive rebound into a transition dunk and unconventional four-point play after absorbing a personal foul and Ish Smith’s technical to make it 121-109.

Later, he added a reverse layup and a pull-up jumper to stretch the lead to 125-112. Harrell followed with a thunderous baseline dunk and three-point play, and then another layup to make it 130-114.

TIP-INS

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8), of Japan, gestures during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Washington. The Clippers won 135-119. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Clippers: Maurice Harkless picked up a technical foul with 4:39 left in the first quarter, and Beverley picked up another 45 seconds later. … After leaving Friday’s loss at Milwaukee early, F Patrick Patterson sat out with back spasms ... F JaMychal Green returned (tailbone) after a one-game absence.

Wizards: Beal’s first field goal came with 2:26 left in the first half, an acrobatic runner off the glass that tied it at 58-all. He finished the half with 11 points. … Smith’s technical foul was one of three. Coach Scott Brooks picked up a technical with 4:39 left in the opening quarter, and Bertans got one while on the bench 39 seconds before halftime.

COACH-ISMS

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8), of Japan, dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Washington. The Clippers won 135-119. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

“I think our chemistry is really good, but I don't think we're playing well yet as a group — that's two different things. Usually those things go hand-in-hand. They don't this year because we're around each other a lot, we just don't play with each other a lot. It's really the strangest thing I've ever seen.” -- Clippers coach Doc Rivers on his team’s offensive flow at this point in the season.

“You can look at, yeah it is back to back to back, but it’s really not back to back to back. Right? I’m not trying to have you agree with me, but I am.” -- Brooks on F Admiral Schofield playing three straight days between the NBA and G League.

UP NEXT

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and Washington Wizards guard Isaac Bonga (17) battle for the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Washington. The Clippers won 135-119. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Clippers: At Indiana on Monday.

Wizards: At Charlotte on Tuesday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) goes to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8), of Japan, dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP PhotoNick Wass)