Clippers best LeBron-less Lakers in 'Battle of LA' 

Agence France-Presse
Clippers best LeBron-less Lakers in 'Battle of LA' 
Clippers star Kawhi Leonard
Christian Petersen / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The Los Angeles Clippers took full advantage of the injury absence of LeBron James on Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time) to score a 127-116 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and James Harden added 23 as the Clippers' impressive recent form continued with a third straight victory.

Former Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook was among six Clippers players to reach double figures in a balanced offensive performance by Tyronn Lue's side.

The Lakers, missing James due to a sore ankle, were led by D'Angelo Russell with 27 points while Anthony Davis finished with 26.

After briefly trailing early in the first quarter, the Clippers maintained control, leading by 16 points just before half-time and successfully keeping the Lakers at arm's length for most of the game.

Although the Lakers got to within two points midway through the fourth quarter, the Clippers tightened their defense and pulled away late in the game.

"For us we're taking it day by day," Westbrook said afterwards.

"We've got so much talent, so many great Hall-of-Famers in this locker room and our job is to make sure that every night we keep chipping away."

Tuesday's victory leaves the Clippers in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 28 wins against 14 losses, behind the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets.

In other games on Tuesday, Oklahoma City Thunder moved to top spot in the West with a nail-biting 111-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jalen Williams' pull-up jump shot with two seconds remaining sealed the win for the Thunder, who trailed by nine points in the third quarter.

"It's a shot I work on a lot," Williams said afterwards. "Coach drew the play up for me to shoot it. He had a lot of faith in me to get to the spot I needed to be in and to make the shot."

Also on Tuesday, the New York Knicks won their local derby with the Brooklyn Nets 108-103 after a remarkable late rally.

The Nets looked to be on course for victory after taking a 10-point lead late in the third quarter, only for the Knicks to outscore them 32-18 in the fourth quarter to snatch the win.

Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson each scored 30 points apiece for the Knicks to set up a battling victory.

Mikal Bridges was the pick of Brooklyn's scorers with 36 points, including seven 3-pointers.

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