WATCH: Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard Makes a Kobe Bryant Styled Reverse Dunk to Break Mavericks’ Defense

Published 06/04/2021, 11:31 PM EDT
May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives to the basket past Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the first quarter in game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


In Game 6 between the Mavericks and the Clippers, it was Kawhi Leonard vs Dallas in the initial three quarters. The Klaw was doing it all and doing it in style as the Clips struggled to get ahead of the home team. 

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The second quarter being the exception, the Mavericks kept the Clippers on their knees for most of the game. However, they still had no answers guarding Kawhi, who was wreaking havoc from both ends. By Q3, the 5x NBA All-Star had almost double as many points as Luka Doncic had scored by that point.

When Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard pulled a Kobe Bryant on the go

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In a historic sequence, the Clippers were trailing 58-62 in the third quarter when Kawhi Leonard made a flying reverse dunk shot. A pass from guard Reggie Jackson towards center Nicolas Batum ended up in the big hands of The Claw who completed a massive dunk. It looked like a carbon copy of Kobe Bryant’s reverse dunks that he would often complete with ease to intimidate his opponents. Take a look at the iconic shot – 

By Q3, Kawhi had 33 points to just 17 of Luka Doncic. He was shooting at 65% from the field and 100% from the free-throw line.

But the problems with the Clippers lay in all the other pieces showing some early rust to begin the game. In a do-or-die situation, a more dominant show would have helped the Clippers kill those butterflies.

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The Mavericks came forward as a unit but still struggled

Luka Doncic passes around Kawhi Leonard during the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavs, that would otherwise travel on the back of their Slovenian magician, showed a team effort when it mattered the most. Tim Hardaway Jr. was taking every possession to make an attempt on the rim, as his proud father watched from the sideline.

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Kristaps Porzingis with his dunks and a great defensive effort showed that the criticism of his name can light a fire in him. Apart from a struggling Maxi Kleber, everyone seemed locked in.

However, the Clippers were not far behind as they soon picked the heat and made an early comeback in the decisive quarter. Paul George was very impressive from the defensive end, especially that block on Luka Doncic and a save that led to a fruitful possession. With under four minutes left into the game clock, the Clippers led the Mavs by 2 points.

Which side were you supporting and why? Help us know in the comments.

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Watch This StoryKawhi Leonard, Victor Oladipo, and Others’ Vicious Dunk from This Season

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Sourabh Singh

1258 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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