NBA: Clippers beat Lakers in Los Angeles and Enes Kanter plays outside the US

All-Star Kawhi Leonard helped the Los Angeles Clippers come from behind to beat city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers in a packed Christmas Day NBA schedule.

Leonard had 35 points and 12 rebounds in the Clippers’ 111-106 win.

Meanwhile, Turkish-born centre Enes Kanter played his first match outside the US for more than a year as the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 118-102 in Canada.

Kanter, 27, has been a critic of Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In January 2019, Turkish prosecutors issued an international warrant for his arrest and he told the BBC he was trapped in the US.

Before Wednesday’s match he posted on Twitter “I’m Free” alongside a Canadian flag.

Jaylen Brown scored 30 points and Kemba Walker added 22 to beat Toronto 118-102, ending the Canadian side’s 34-game home winning run against Atlantic Division teams.

Speaking about being able to play outside of the US, Kanter told the New York Post after the game: “[It is] Definitely amazing.

“I just can’t describe it with words. Just going out there was more than just a basketball game. For me, it was just going out there and living this freedom.”

The Lakers remain top of the Western Conference despite a fourth defeat in a row, with the Clippers third.

At the other end of the table, the Golden State Warriors sit bottom of the conference but extended their winning streak to three games with a 116-104 victory against the Houston Rockets.

The New Orleans Pelicans maintained their position above the Warriors with a 112-100 win against the second-placed Denver Nuggets.

In the Eastern Conference, Joel Embiid had 31 points and 11 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 121-109.


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