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73 from Wolves Towns/Wiggins outdone by 88 from Clippers Leonard/George

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, right, looks for a screen by forward Andrew Wiggins, left, as Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) tries to break it up during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. Photo: (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, right, looks for a screen by forward Andrew Wiggins, left, as Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) tries to break it up during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis.

Updated: December 14, 2019 12:01 AM

This is what the Los Angeles Clippers had in mind when they teamed Paul George with Kawhi Leonard.

Paul George scored 46 points, Kawhi Leonard had 42 and the Los Angeles Clippers held on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-117 on Friday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

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It was the highest combined scoring output of the season for the Clippers’ new superstar duo. Leonard and George’s previous high came Dec. 1 when they combined for 65 points against Washington. They became the first set of teammates in Clippers’ history to each score 40 points. It was the 21st time in NBA history it has happened.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota, which lost its seventh in a row. Towns had 14 points, including a 4-point play, in a 22-6 fourth-quarter run that trimmed a 21-point Los Angeles lead to five.

Andrew Wiggins added 34 points for the Timberwolves. His basket with 1:04 left cut the Clippers’ lead to 119-115. Minnesota didn’t get closer than four the rest of the way.

Leonard and George set the tone early, combining to score the first 23 points for the Clippers. They accounted for 54 of Los Angeles’ 65 first-half points. They became the first duo to each score 35 or more points through the first three quarters of a game in the past 20 seasons, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Leonard made a career-high 19 free throws. He was 19 for 19 from the line.

The Timberwolves took a 51-50 lead in the second quarter with a 15-2 run, capped by a Towns 3-pointer. Leonard responded with seven consecutive points to give the Clippers the lead for good.

George started the third quarter with a 7-0 run of his own. He scored 16 in the third, when Los Angeles took control by outscoring Minnesota 37-23.

Leonard’s 31 first-half points set a career high for points in a half. He tied a career high for points in a first quarter with 16.

Montrezl Harrell scored 18 points for the Clippers. Jeff Teague scored 22 for the Timberwolves.

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Credits

AP

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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