The Los Angeles Clippers earned victory on the road last night against the Toronto Raptors, 112-92. This game was big as it was the first time that the Raptors former superstar Kawhi Leonard returned to the city. Leonard was welcomed back with open arms and was awarded with his NBA Championship ring that he earned last season with Toronto. As he received his ring the crowd roared with MVP chants.
The Clippers were on top of their game last night earning a secure lead of 18 at the half, 64-46. During the beginning of the third quarter, Patrick Beverley was guarding OG Anunoby when Marc Gasol came and set a screen against him. The screen blindsided Beverley who took an elbow to the head and went down to the floor. Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers took Pat Bev out of the game and he was seen walking into the locker room. Beverley was out for the rest of the game as he suffered a concussion, per the Los Angeles Clippers. Beverley left the court with 11 points, two assists and four rebounds.
In a post-game interview posted by Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times, Rivers was asked about Beverley’s status. Rivers said that after he took the hit, he didn’t know what was going on.
“I don’t know. I know I called a play and that’s when we knew something was up, because he didn’t know what was going on. It was a pretty hard hit, so we’ll see,” Rivers said.
Currently, Beverley is averaging 7.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 29.9 minutes per game.
Clippers vs. Raptors
The Raptors might have shown a ton of respect for their former teammate but as soon as he stepped onto the court wearing his Clippers’ jersey, everything changed. The Raptors gave Leonard a hard time while on the court and double teamed him almost immediately, forcing him to kick the ball out to the rest of the team. It wasn’t until that last 7:47 minutes left in the first quarter that Leonard scored his first bucket. Initially, he received the ball in the post but was immediately double-teamed. With patience, Leonard kicked the ball back out and re-positioned himself at the three-point line and knocked one down.
The Raptors were able to tie the game up in the second quarter, 36-36. The Clippers answered back and gained a secure lead of 18 points at the half, 64-46. Lou Williams led the team in the first half of the game with 15 points, three boards and five assists. Beverley trailed him tallying 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.
It was in the third quarter that Beverley took an elbow to the head and was taken out of the game. The Clippers kept up their intensity and the lead going into the fourth quarter ahead by 17, 88-71. The Clippers continued their trend in the fourth quarter and ultimately defeated the Raptors by 20 points, 112-92. Leonard led the team with 23 points, six assists and five rebounds. Williams trailed him with 18 points, eight assists and six boards.
The Clippers play against the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. PST.