Leonard returns, Clippers rout Timberwolves 124-105

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George led five starters in double figures with 23 points and the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-105 on Sunday night for their eighth win in nine games.

Kawhi Leonard had 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in his return from a four-game absence because of a sore right foot.

Fans attending a Clippers game at Staples Center for the first time in over a year saw their team hit a season-high 21 three-pointers.

Anthony Edwards scored 23 points to lead the Wolves, who dropped their sixth in a row on the road. Karl-Anthony Towns added 16 points on five-of-15 shooting. He missed five of six threes.

The Clippers pulled away in the second quarter, scoring 43 points and hitting 10 three-pointers.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann shoots as Minnesota Timberwolves centre Naz Reid defends. PHOTO: AP

“When everybody is touching it and everybody is getting shots and we’re attacking the basket, we’re a tough team to beat,” Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue said. “Since the All-Star break, I really like where we’re at.”

The Clippers stretched a three-point lead to 23 on Marcus Morris’ three before Leonard’s second three of the game sent them into halftime leading 72-53. Morris finished with 19 points.

Los Angeles followed with 32 points in the third when its lead expanded to 38 points — largest of the game — on a pair of free throws by Terance Mann.

The Clippers held the Wolves to 16 points in the quarter, when Towns picked up his fourth foul after scoring his lone basket.

The Wolves won the fourth quarter, outscoring the Clippers’ reserves, 36-20, but it never made a dent.

Minnesota had seven threes to LA’s two.

The Clippers’ 21st three-pointer was made by Malik Fitts, who scored his first NBA basket since signing a 10-day contract.