George, Leonard lead Clippers’ 125-98 rout of Hornets

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George had 21 points and 10 assists, Kawhi Leonard added 17 points and the Los Angeles Clippers emerged from two inconsistent weeks with a 125-98 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.

Terance Mann scored 16 points and Lou Williams had 15 for the Clippers, who had seven scorers in double figures and went 23 for 23 from the free throw line during just their third win in eight games. Los Angeles bounced back from blowout losses to New Orleans and Dallas in the previous six days with an overwhelming effort against the Hornets, who lost their third straight.

Miles Bridges scored a season-high 21 points and Gordon Hayward added 17 for the Hornets, who took their worst defeat of the season for the second time in three games.

George scored 12 points while staking the Clippers to a 17-point lead in the first quarter. Los Angeles kept a healthy margin for the rest of the night, allowing Leonard to rest in the fourth quarter.

“We’re a scary team when we play hard,” said Terance Mann, who scored a season-high 16 points in a reserve role.

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball shoots as Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George watches during the first half of an NBA game in Los Angeles. PHOTO: AP

LaMelo Ball scored 13 points for Charlotte in the rookie sensation’s second straight game in his native Los Angeles area. Ball played extensively in the second half despite clearly struggling with discomfort in his right wrist, which appeared to be injured in an early fall.

Hornets coach James Borrego had no postgame update on Ball.

“Give the Clippers a ton of credit,” Borrego said. “They’re a heck of a team… This season has been a grind. We’ve got a young group that’s played a lot of minutes, and they continue to show up every night, keep battling and keep playing.”

The Hornets are winless on their five-game road trip after losing three straight for the first time since January 22.

Charlotte, which lost by 25 in Denver to start its trip, hasn’t beaten the Clippers at Staples Center in 11 tries since February 2009.

“It’s not been our finest basketball these last three games,” Hayward said.

“We can be a lot better, that’s for sure. We’ve got to try to pick ourselves up here, stay together, stay positive. It’s a season of ups and downs, and we’ve been through it already, so there’s no reason to hang our heads. We’ve played three really good teams, and it doesn’t get any easier.”