Clippers fall at home to New York Knicks – Daily News

LOS ANGELES — It was a slog and a slugfest, as most Knicks games this season — and many Clippers afternoon affairs — tend to be.

And so scoring was at a premium Sunday, when the Clippers and New York, both teams jockeying for playoff seeding in their respective conferences, locked horns in a Mother’s Day matinee before 2,578 fans — including some vocal, socially distanced Knicks supporters — at Staples Center.

The Knicks’ kind of game went the Knicks’ way: 106-100. It snapped the Clippers’ two-game winning streak and doused New York’s two-game losing skid.

New York — which is holding opponents to an NBA-low 105 points per game — exhibited the physical, defensive prowess that has them tangling with Atlanta for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

New York (38-30) held the Clippers (45-23) to fewer than 101 points for just the 12th time this season, as L.A. shot 43% (37 for 86) and never eclipsed 30 points in any quarter.

Offensively, off the bench, it was veteran Derrick Rose who gave the Knicks a lift, using an array of mid-range makes to score a team-high 25 points on 11-for-17 shooting. The 32-year-old former league MVP also had eight assists and six rebounds.

Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 29 points for the Clippers, but he shot just 9 for 26, as the Clippers saw their slim lead over the Denver Nuggets for the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed shrink to a single game with four regular-season games to play apiece.

Leonard — who played through left hand soreness — scored 13 points in the fourth quarter Sunday, including draining three free throws and a 3-pointers in the final 32.6 seconds to trim New York’s lead to 104-100. But after Taj Gibson’s pair of free throws, Leonard’s fading final fling from behind the arc glanced off the rim.

Paul George added 18 points while shooting 8 for 20. He was scoreless in the first and third periods and didn’t attempt a free throw in a season-high 41 minutes, 23 seconds of action.

George’s increased workload was indicative of Coach Tyronn Lue’s shortened nine-man rotation, which featured only Leonard, George, Marcus Morris Sr. Ivica Zubac, Reggie Jackson, Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins Patrick Beverley and Nicolas Batum — a likely served as a glimpse of what the Clippers’ playoff plans might be.

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