Kawhi Leonard Sends Message on Kevin Durant Before Crucial Suns, Clippers Game 2

Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard

Getty Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant are facing off in the postseason for the first time since the 2019 NBA Finals. Durant’s Phoenix Suns and Kawhi’s Los Angeles Clippers will decide who will face the winner of the Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets.

The Clippers stole the first game on the road with a 115-110 victory over the Suns. But this series is far from over. The playoffs are a long, grueling series, and Leonard knows he is in a heavyweight bout with an all-time great player in Durant.

“It’s great, he’s an all-time player right there,” Leonard said of his Game 1 duel with Durant via The Athletic. “That’s what it’s about. You have an opportunity to play great, and you just want the opportunity. If it’s win, lose, or draw, it’s about giving your best out there, and you’re able to play against the best. You just got to keep having fun with it. I mean, it’s good. It’s playoff basketball.”

Game recognizes game apparently because, after the Suns’ Game 1 loss, Durant reciprocated the praise for his fellow two-time NBA Finals MVP.

“He’s a tough cover, and he could score from all areas,” Durant said of Leonard after Game 1 via The Athletic. “He was making shots there in the second half and made some big 3s there in the fourth quarter. Just an all-time player, so we got to continue to be physical and deny his catches and make it as tough as we can on him.”

Devin Booker Sounds off on Torrey Craig

Although the star power was on display during the Clippers and Suns’ Game 1 battle, the role players stepped up in the matchup as well.

The Clippers fully displayed their depth in their win over the Suns as they had five players reach double-digit scoring. And on the Suns’ side, Torrey Craig, who is not usually a player highlighted on the scouting report, was the Suns’ third-leading scorer with 22 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the field and 2-of-4 from deep.

After the loss, Craig received high praise from his teammate, Devin Booker.

“Yeah, I mean he did great in it,” Booker said of Craig’s performance in Game 1. “Just playing in that pocket. If teams are gonna play it like that, put fives on him, then he can just do it like that. He played unbelievably tonight on both ends. Yeah, a hell of a game by Torrey.”

Reggie Miller Sounds off on Suns’ Title Chances

The playoffs just started, and already the Suns are on the ropes as they find themselves in a must-win situation heading into Game 2. It is not what people expected of a team that added a future Hall of Famer in Durant to a core that already featured two All-Stars in Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

Before the playoffs started, NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller said he would be “surprised” if the Suns did not represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

“I would be very surprised if the Suns don’t represent the West, but again, it’s why you play the games,” Miller said to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.

“Two disappointing seasons, you add one of the best players ever in Kevin Durant, I would be surprised. Again, it would take a lot for me not to pick the Suns coming out of the West just for the simple fact you’ve got two guys now who are the masters of the midrange (Durant and Booker). You can just throw them the ball and say, go get me a bucket. Go get me a midrange and they can create offense for others.”