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Durant scores 31, Suns beat Clippers 112-100 for 3-1 lead

Durant scores 31, Suns beat Clippers 112-100 for 3-1 lead

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Devin Booker added 30 and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers without Kawhi Leonard 112-100 on Saturday to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

The Clippers, who lost Game 3 by five points, again made a strong run with Leonard watching from the bench. He has missed two straight games with a sprained right knee. They’re also without Paul George, who hasn’t played since March 21 because of the same injury as Leonard.

Russell Westbrook carried the Clippers in the fourth quarter. He had 14 points, including nine in a row when they twice pulled within two points.

Westbrook finished with a game-high 37 points. Norman Powell added 14 points and Terance Mann had 13 off the bench.

Game 5 is Tuesday in Phoenix.

But as the fourth wound down, the Clippers ran out of gas.

Chris Paul, the 37-year-old former Clipper, had 12 points in the fourth, hitting big jumpers from all over the court each time the Los Angeles threatened.

Paul finished with 19 points and nine assists. Booker had nine rebounds and seven assists. Deandre Ayton had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Looking ageless at 34, Durant scored 11 points in the third, when the Suns erased an early eight-point deficit.

The Clippers scored nine straight points to open the third and take an eight-point lead. But Durant scored 11 points in the period, capped by a 3-pointer that sent the Suns into the fourth leading 83-78.

The Suns trailed by 11 points early in the second, when they outscored the Clippers 25-17 and led 48-47 at the break.

Durant picked up his third foul in the period, while Westbrook, Powell and Marcus Morris already had two fouls apiece for the Clippers.

TIP-INS

Suns: Cam Payne (low back soreness) has yet to play in the postseason.

Clippers: Got outrebounded 49-33. ... Bench outscored the Suns’ reserves, 26-9.

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