Leonard leaves bloodied, but Clippers beat Nuggets 121-108

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Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is helped off the court after suffering an injury during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER – Kawhi Leonard was hurt and the Denver Nuggets were mounting a rally like they did three months ago.

This time, the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t allow Denver to complete the comeback.

Leonard had 21 points before taking an elbow to the face in the fourth quarter, Paul George scored 23 points and had nine assists, and Los Angeles beat the Nuggets 121-108 on Friday night.

It was the second straight big win for LA, which beat the Lakers on Tuesday night.

“We’re a different team than last year,” George said.

The Clippers led by 11 with 6:11 left Friday night when Serge Ibaka went up for a rebound and caught the side of his teammate’s face with his right elbow. Leonard lay bleeding on the court before walking to the locker room.

“He got up and walked off the floor, so he’s going to be good,” LA coach Tyronn Lue said.

Leonard was ruled out shortly thereafter and was being evaluated postgame, but it did put a scare into George.