James Harden’s triple-double leads Clippers past Raptors

James Harden racked up 22 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists for his first triple-double of the season and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Toronto Raptors 127-107 on Friday night.

Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds against his former team as the Clippers swept the two-game season series.

Russell Westbrook contributed 20 points off the bench for the Clippers, who have won four straight games and seven of eight. Paul George scored 21 points, Mason Plumlee had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and former Raptors player Norman Powell scored 17 points.

Scottie Barnes had 23 points to lead the Raptors, who have lost four games in a row and eight of nine. RJ Barrett added 22 points, Dennis Schroder and Gary Trent Jr. had 13 apiece and Thaddeus Young chipped in 12.

The Clippers, who led by 21 points in the third quarter, were up by 14 points entering the fourth. Harden’s 3-pointer increased the lead back to 20 points with 9:01 remaining in the fourth. Barrett’s layup cut the lead to 13 with 5:41 to play,

The Clippers used an early 11-0 run en route to a 29-20 lead after the first quarter despite missing all six of their 3-point shots.

Westbrook’s layup bumped the lead to 14 points with 8:19 to play in the second quarter. The lead reached 17 with 2:48 to go on Plumlee’s dunk. The lead reached 19, but Barrett completed the first-half scoring with a layup to cut the Clippers’ lead to 66-52.

The Clippers shot 53.1 percent (26-for-49) from the field in the first half, with Harden providing 17 points and eight assists.

Toronto shot 42 percent (21-for-50) in the first half. Barrett and Schroder each scored 11 points.

Trent’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 11 with 10:56 remaining in the third quarter. Harden’s jumper stretched the margin to 16 with 7:18 to go, and it reached 21 on George’s two free throws with 4:30 left in the quarter.

Toronto came back to trim the deficit to 12 on a 3-pointer by Bruce Brown with 1:49 to go. Los Angeles led 95-81 after the third quarter.

Toronto’s Jontay Porter (eye) left the game in the first half and did not return.

The Raptors were without Jakob Poeltl (ankle) and Immanuel Quickley (quadriceps)