LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled past the Denver Nuggets 120-97 on Thursday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Paul George scored 19 points and Marcus Morris added 18 for the Clippers.
Los Angeles shot 57% from the field in an effort that convinced coach Doc Rivers that his team has adjusted and is in the proper frame of mind.
“If you don’t execute, it’s going to hurt you, and part of that is intensity and focus, and you have to have that on every single play,” Rivers said. “I don’t think we understood that early on. I think we do now.”
Nikola Jokic scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who shot just 42%.
Denver was coming off a seven-game series with Utah that just ended Tuesday.