Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers used their length and intensity for a dominant defensive effort and 96-85 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of a Western Conference semifinals series.
Leonard had a game-high 30 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and four steals in the victory Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. Nikola Jokic had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for Denver. Jokic and Leonard were the only players to score more than 18 points in the game.
"It was just great intensity," Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "We just stuck to the game plan and didn't do a lot of individual thinking.
"We made mistakes, but we covered them up because we played hard and were very competitive."
The Clippers now lead the series 3-1 and are one win away from a trip to the Western Conference finals. Denver never led in Wednesday's contest while Los Angeles led by as many as 19 points.
The Clippers had just nine turnovers and the Nuggets made only 27 of 68 field goal attempts.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Leonard said. "This Denver team does not quit. They have a good group and a good coach. We are still fighting."
The Clippers put together an 11-3 run in the first 6:43. They added another 11-0 run in the frame to push their lead to 24-7 with 2:25 remaining in the quarter. Los Angeles led 26-12 through the first 12 minutes.
Leonard scored 10 points in the second quarter to help the Clippers secure a 48-40 lead at halftime. The Nuggets then used an 8-0 run to open the third quarter, which tied the score at 48-48. The Clippers responded with a 12-3 run to push their lead back to nine points. Los Angeles led Denver 73-63 as the game entered the fourth quarter.
Clippers guard Paul George had just four points in the game before he hit a 3-pointer to give the Clippers an 83-67 edge with 7:44 remaining. Montrezl Harrell paced the Clippers with eight points down the stretch in the low-scoring final frame.
Jamal Murray scored 18 points and was 6 of 15 from the floor for the Nuggets. Michael Porter Jr. had 15 points off the Denver bench.
"We are still trying to come together," Leonard said of the Clippers. "I don't know where we are right now, but I know we want to keep getting better. That's the focus each and every play."