August 5, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Clippers rebound from 51-point loss to blow out Timberwolves

Pulling down a blue mask, Kawhi Leonard moved a water bottle to the right side of his mouth and took a sip, careful to avoid the eight stitches on the left side that were inserted Friday, after an errant elbow connected near his jaw and left the face of the Clippers’ franchise lacerated and bloodied.

The injury sidelined Leonard for a second consecutive game Tuesday. Unlike Sunday, when he endured a franchise-worst drubbing from his seat on the bench, Leonard’s absence didn’t matter during a 124-101, bounce-back rout of Minnesota.

The blowout began early in the second quarter, when the Clippers scored 12 unanswered points in 90 seconds to turn a 39-all tie into a one-sided contest. When guard Patrick Beverley sank a step-back three-pointer three minutes after the run concluded, pushing the lead to 20, Clippers coaches and reserves jumped out of their sideline seats. Leonard joined them, clapping while unfurling a smile so wide it could be seen even behind his mask.

Lou Williams scored a team-high 20 points off the bench to lead seven Clippers in double figures. Two days after the Clippers mustered just 27 points at halftime while falling behind by an NBA-record 50 points, they scored 70 through two quarters against the Timberwolves.

Two days after scoring 73 points total, the Clippers (3-1) exceeded that amount with 22 minutes still to play.

The Clippers made 16 of 31 three-pointers, shot 53% overall and led by as many as 31 points in a victory that could only be described as a palette-cleanser following Sunday’s debacle against Dallas.