Kawhi Leonard came in clutch again in tonight’s victory over the Boston Celtics, 104-107. With only 43.4 seconds left in overtime Patrick Beverley hit an open three to secure a five-point lead over the Celtics, 107-102. With only seconds remaining, the Celtics caught up trailing the Clippers by only three points 107-104. At an attempt to win the game, Celtics star Kemba Walker tried for a three at the corner and was viciously blocked by the Klaw who walked away emotionless as he just sealed the game in overtime 104-107.
Leonard had a flashy game tonight as his block followed his monstrous dunk over Daniel Theis at the end of the fourth quarter. Leonard closed the game with 17 points and six rebounds.
The Dynamic Duo
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George finally took the court together in a highly anticipated season debut. George was out for the first 11 games of the season due to shoulder surgeries and Leonard was out for the past three consecutive games because of a sore left knee. So far this season George is averaging 29.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Leonard is averaging 26.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and six assists a game.
“You can’t shrink the floor when you got me, Lou [Williams], Kawhi, Trezz,” George said per ESPN. “You just can’t shrink the floor. There is no way that guys can take themselves out of the play defensively and try to face-guard. You just can’t do that because Lou, Kawhi or myself — whoever is getting that type of defense — we are going to pick you apart and make plays offensively.”
This was the first time that PG-13 and the Klaw were able to feed off each other in a game situation. Per Farbod Esnaashari of Forbes, George commented on his first game with Leonard in a post game interview.
“It was fun to see what this team would look like on the defensive end. The most positive thing about this team is that we understood there would be growing pains. At no point was this team ever dysfunctional,” said George.
Clippers vs. Celtics
The Los Angeles Clippers struggled offensively as they closed out the third quarter by turning over the ball six out of their last seven possessions. They tacked on 17 lost possessions before the start of the fourth. Late in the fourth quarter the team picked it up when George hit a three to tie the game, 97-97. This started an entire series of events as Patrick Beverley hit crucial shots, Leonard made a poster dunk, and he closed out the game with a game sealing block. Overall it was Beverley that put the Clippers on top as he had a total of 14 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and a pair of blocks. Per Esnaashari Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said in a post game interview, “We gave Patrick Beverley the game ball. He single-handedly willed this game.”
After the game Leonard was asked about his poster dunk and game sealing block, to which he answered in monotone, “Patrick threw me the ball, I took two dribbles to the paint and tried to jump high and dunk the basketball. Kemba got open for a three and I tried to contest the shot and got a block.”