Ex-Raptors lead Clippers in win over Toronto

TORONTO — Norm Powell and Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points and 15 points, respectively, to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 124-113 win over their former team, the Toronto Raptors, on Tuesday.

Paul George and Ivica Zubac scored 23 points each to lead the visitors who stopped the Raptors' (15-19) win streak at two games and spoiled a 36-point effort from Pascal Siakam.

Powell and Leonard were vital players in the Raptors' successful championship run four years ago. This was Leonard's second game in Toronto with the Clippers (21-15) since the title.

Powell returned to Scotiabank Arena for the first time since he was traded to Portland Trail Blazers in March 2021 in a deal that brought Gary Trent Jr. to the Raptors.

Powell received a standing ovation when honoured by the home team with a video scoreboard tribute during a first-quarter timeout.

Trent scored 20, while Scottie Barnes was good for a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.

After hitting a season-high 19 three-point jumpers in their win in Cleveland last Friday, the Raptors managed only six with 23 attempts against Los Angeles.

The Clippers pulled away in the third quarter, leading by as much as 18 points but settled for a 97-82 lead.

The Raptors chipped away at the Clippers' lead, pulling to within 13 points with 5:23 remaining. But Los Angeles dug in to finish off their opponents.

The Clippers enjoyed a 60-56 advantage at halftime in a back-and-forth opening two quarters that saw the game tied seven times and 13 lead changes.

George continued his fine play. He checked in with 32 points in the Clippers' 142-131 overtime win in Detroit against the Pistons on Monday and poured in 15 more points in the first half and 21 in total.

Leading the way for the Raptors, who enjoyed a 29-27 lead after the first quarter, was Trent with 14 first-half points, two better than O.G. Anunoby.

LEONARD'S FOOTPRINT

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was asked if Leonard influenced Siakam's work ethic in the former's only season with Toronto.

"Pascal and I'd even throw Fred in there right now, two guys who it just doesn't matter what's going on, they're there early in the morning," Nurse said.

"It doesn't matter how many games we've played or where we've come from. They understand this is what it is. It isn't a sometimes thing. It's a day-in, day-out process. I think those guys learned that from (Leonard)."

UP NEXT

The Raptors will contest the middle of their three-game post-Christmas homestand against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday and conclude with the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2022.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press