LOS ANGELES (AP) — Down five points with a minute to go, the Los Angeles Clippers turned to a trio of veterans.
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams combined to outscore the Houston Rockets 10-2 the rest of the way and Leonard hit the winning jumper with 15 seconds remaining for a 122-119 victory Friday night.
“We made shots, got stops, we played with confidence,” said Williams, who led the Clippers with 26 points — all in the second half.
Leonard finished with 24 points and George added 19 in the superstars’ second game together. Montrezl Harrell had 18.
“We fight hard. We leave it all out there on the court,” Harrell said. “We never feel like we’re out of a game.”
P.J. Tucker’s turnaround hook put the Rockets up by five with a minute left. George hit a 3-pointer to trim the margin to two, and JaMychal Green blocked Clint Capela’s shot at the other end. Williams then drained a 3 from the right corner that gave the Clippers a 118-117 lead with 30 seconds remaining.
James Harden made a pair of free throws for a one-point Houston lead before Leonard’s pull-up jumper gave Los Angeles the lead for good.
“Lou set a great pick,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “All Kawhi needs is an inch and he got it.”
Russell Westbrook missed at the other end and George got the rebound while getting fouled. He made both free throws with one second left to complete a wild finish and help the Clippers improve to a franchise-best 10-1 at home with their fourth win in a row overall.
“You got Lou, Kawhi and Paul George. They’re going to be composed,” Rivers said. “They’ve been in big games. Each one made a big shot down the stretch.”
Harden scored 37 points, making a career-high 11 3-pointers and sinking 14 of 18 free throws. He also had 12…