SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard had a postseason career-high 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in dominating the Los Angeles Clippers, 100-73, on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.
The Clippers scored a franchise postseason low, and their 11 points in the third quarter were their fewest in any quarter this season.
Boris Diaw had 15 points and Danny Green added 11 for San Antonio, which led by as many as 37 points after two tense games in Los Angeles.
Tim Duncan was held to four points on 2-for-6 shooting but his production wasn’t needed with Leonard displaying his offensive game a day after being named Defensive Player of the Year.
Blake Griffin had 14 points and 10 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan added 10 points for the Clippers.
Game 4 is Sunday in San Antonio.
Griffin averaged 27.5 points on 47 percent shooting in the first two games, but was held to 6-for-15 shooting against a collapsing Spurs’ defense in Game 3.
After a series of highlight dunks in the opening two games, Griffin could only watch from under the basket as Leonard rose high above the rim to corral a pass from Green for a one-handed dunk on a 2-on-2 break. The dunk was part of a 9-0 run that made it 46-33 late in the first half.
Leonard faked a spin outside and stutter-stepped to get by Matt Barnes on a drive and then feigned an upfake to hold Jordan in place long enough to lay the ball in ahead of the Clippers 6-foot-11 center. Leonard followed that up with a stepback, fadeaway jumper on Barnes for a 56-43 lead.
Tony Parker of the Spurs attacked the basket early with unexpected bursts of quickness and energy, showing no indication of the tightness in his right Achilles that put his playing status in question only hours earlier.
While Parker struggled to score, finishing with six points, his drives drew defenders and opened up the outside for San Antonio. The Spurs opened the game 5 for 10 from 3-point range and finished 10 for 24 from beyond the arc.
Clippers: The Clippers are 3-8 all-time in Game 3s of a best-of-seven series. … Griffin averaged 26.2 points in his previous five games against the Spurs. … Chris Paul played in his 700th career game.
Spurs: Leonard was recognized as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year before the game. Duncan playfully feigned presenting the trophy to Leonard a few times before laughing and handing it to the forward. … Parker had three assists, giving him 1,043 for his postseason career and breaking the tie he had with Kobe Bryant for seventh in the NBA history.