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Kawhi Leonard endured a tough night against his former side the Toronto Raptors but still helped the Los Angeles Clippers to a 99-88 victory.
Leonard led the Raptors to their first NBA title last season but left for the Clippers as a free agent.
The 28-year-old had 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals but committed nine turnovers as the Raptors doubled up on their ex-Most Valuable Player.
Lou Williams scored 21 points off the bench as the hosts claimed victory.
Asked about his team-mates stepping up, Leonard said: “That is what a championship team is about.
“When your star is not going or they are double-teaming you, then you have other guys knocking down big shots like they did.” tonight.”
Curry out till ‘spring’
Meanwhile Golden State Warriors’s All-Star guard Stephen Curry said he expects to return from a broken left hand “in early spring”.
The 31-year-old three-point specialist, who has won three NBA titles and twice been the MVP with the Warriors, is set to miss most of the season with the worst injury of his career.
“I definitely expect to be ready to play. I don’t know when,” Curry said. “At some point in early spring. It’s just a matter of the rehab process.
“I’ve never broken anything and dealt with a hand injury like this.”
The Warriors, who are targeting an eighth consecutive appearance in the play-offs, share the NBA’s worst record this season with the New York Knicks – two wins and eight defeats.
“I’m excited that potentially the rest of the season isn’t lost,” said Curry.
“Surgery was required for this to even have a chance to heal properly. That’s a tough blow.”
Harden best since ’67
NBA scoring leader James Harden netted 39 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 to lead the Houston Rockets to a fourth consecutive victory – 122-116 over an injury-depleted New Orleans.
With 373 points in 10 games, Harden becomes the first player to score so many so quickly in an NBA season since Rick Barry had 381 in 1967.
The only player with more was 1960s icon Wilt Chamberlain.
‘It was a crazy ride’
French NBA star guard Tony Parker was given an emotional tribute on Monday by the San Antonio Spurs, who retired his number nine jersey in a post-match ceremony after their 113-109 defeat by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Parker, 37, won four NBA titles in 17 seasons with the Spurs, joining the franchise in 2001 and becoming a starter as a 19-year-old European newcomer after only four games.
“Thanks for all those years,” Parker said. “It was a crazy ride.”
Parker was named the 2007 NBA Finals MVP.
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