Kawhi Leonard and Paul George Join Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal With Their Prime Performances in Playoffs

Published 06/15/2021, 2:20 AM EDT
Jun 14, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) scores a basket against Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2)during the second half in game four in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers have successfully silenced all their haters after they made yet another incredible comeback this postseason. With the series at 2-2 now, the Utah Jazz seems to be struggling to keep up with the Clippers blockbuster duo, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

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Despite being criticized for choking last season, the two have shown nothing but back-to-back prime performances. And thanks to that, they’ve created history next to one of the greatest duos to ever exist, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

Kawhi-PG and Kobe-Shaq

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The LA Clippers sealed their victory with a 118-104 score and kept themselves alive for another day in the Western Conference Semifinals. However, it was Kawhi who stole the show with his poster dunk in the late second quarter. After receiving the ball just a little inside the arc, he drove past Royce O’Neale into the lane, finally dunking it over Derrick Favors.

This gave the Clippers a big 62-38 lead before the first half ended. Both PG and Kawhi finished the night with 31 points each. With them, the second lead scorer was Marcus Morris Sr. with 24 points as well.

The way the Kawhi-PG duo has risen to the occasion is applaudable. Since the two have scored at least 20+ points in each of their last 11 games, it has made them the third pair in NBA history to pull this off in the first 11 games of playoffs. The last time we pulled this off was by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal back in 2003.

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What does Game 5 hold for the Clippers?

The Jazz definitely made the game interesting in the last quarter. They tried to chase the Clippers and were even able to cut down the lead to 10 points at a time but it was already too late.

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Despite Donovan Mitchell put up 37 points for them, the rest of the team showed plenty of signs of struggle. They were just not at par with LA’s intensity and were looking slow in reading the situations and plays.

Jun 14, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks for a basket against Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) and forward Marcus Morris Sr. (8) during the second half in game four in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With some mistakes and a pinch of bad luck, the Jazz might cost themselves a shot at the title. Will the Clippers be able to pull off another upset as they did against Mavs? Or will the Utah Jazz have enough and take back control of the series?

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Yashima Bhatia

1346 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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