Three Takeaways from Paul George, Kawhi Leonard lifting Clippers past Denver

The Clippers bench defense (with Lou Williams out there) has never been great, but an efficient scoring punch has made up for it. Not this series. Williams was 4-of-11 shooting, speaking to the inefficient shooting, and the Clippers also got crushed on the offensive glass when the bench was in.

Three Takeaways after Paul George, Kawhi Leonard lift Clippers past Nuggets

He finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists for Denver and kept the Nuggets in the game (although his seven turnovers hurt). All that after he had been questionable due to a sprained wrist, but he didn’t show any signs of slowing, especially in the third quarter when Zubac looked helpless trying to […]

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“I think our continuity is growing,” George said. “I think this team is getting more and more comfortable together. I think the challenge, it’s allowing us to come together and we are accepting these challenges. We are having fun with it and we are growing at the same time with it.”

Watch Kawhi Leonard block Jamal Murray at rim with middle finger

While that block alone didn’t win the game, it was a series of plays like that over a few minutes — mostly from Leonard and George, who scored 32 points on the night — that got the Clippers a 113-107 win that has them up 2-1 in the series. Game 4 is Wednesday night.

Keeler: Denver’s now a No Kawhi Zone. And Jerami Grant, Gary Harris just handed Nuggets a Game 3 lifeline.

“I thought Jerami Grant’s defense on Kawhi was spectacular. I thought the four guys behind him were giving the necessary help,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “I thought Gary Harris’ defense on Paul George was terrific. But the help behind that was what we need and what we didn’t have in Game 1.”

Clippers, Celtics restore series leads in NBA play-offs

The Milwaukee Bucks avoided a shock series sweep against the Miami Heat in their Eastern Conference semi-final, but they will need another win on Tuesday to stay alive in a series Miami lead 3-1. The Bucks could be without star Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle).

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The Clippers had been in control for a while by then, using a team-record, 45-point second quarter to build a big lead. And when Dallas cut it to eight midway through the fourth quarter, Leonard responded with a 3-pointer and left-handed dunk on consecutive Clippers possessions to restore a comfortable lead.