Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points against his former team and Jalen Williams added 20 as the Oklahoma City Thunder continued to solidify their playoff standing Tuesday with a 101-100 victory over the host Los Angeles Clippers.
Josh Giddey scored 13 points and Isaiah Joe added 12 as the Thunder won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points and Paul George added 18 against his former team before departing with a knee injury as the Clippers lost for the second time in their last seven games, while continuing to hold a top-six spot in the Western Conference.
George appeared to hyper extend his right knee after he was fouled by Luguentz Dort on a rebound attempt with 4:38 remaining. He did not return to the game.
Russell Westbrook scored 15 points and Ivica Zubac added 13 as the Clippers lost for the third time in three games against the Thunder this season. The teams complete their season series Thursday at Los Angeles.
Leonard had a chance to give the Clippers the victory on the last possession of the game after a rebound of a Williams miss. But after dribbling near the 3-point line for 21 seconds of the last possession, he was unable to get a shot off in time.
The game was tied 91-91 at the time of George’s injury, with the Clippers going up 93-91 on a jumper from Leonard with 4:22 remaining. The Thunder then went on a 6-0 run to take a 97-93 lead with 2:56 left after a layup from Gilgeous-Alexander.
The Clippers pulled within 99-98 with 1:23 remaining on a 3-pointer from Eric Gordon, but Gilgeous-Alexander followed with a shot from inside for a 101-98 lead with 1:05 left. Nicolas Batum got the Clippers within a point on a layup with just under a minute remaining.
In an eventful first half, the Clippers opened an 18-4 lead barely five minutes into the game before the Thunder rallied to take a 23-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With 4:24 remaining in the first half, Leonard was called for a technical foul for arguing a non-call. Los Angeles’ Terance Mann also protested and was ejected after receiving two quick technicals.