‘Made the Right Play’: Clippers Teammate Defends Kawhi Leonard Following Loss to Spurs

Published 01/06/2021, 8:30 AM EST
Jan 5, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves the ball against San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) and forward Rudy Gay (22) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers suffered their third loss of the season last night. They were without Paul George, who was forced out with an ankle injury. As a result, the responsibility of leading the team fell on Kawhi Leonard‘s shoulders.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Leonard did his best but unfortunately fell short. With less than 14 seconds left on the clock, Leonard drove in before finding the open Luke Kennard on the perimeter. He had a chance to get a one-point lead for the Clippers, but missed. Most players would have taken the shot themselves, but Kawhi made the right play to find Kennard, who is a career 40% shooter from three.

During the post-game interview, teammate Patrick Beverley had no complaints about Leonard’s decision to pass instead of taking the shot himself. He said, “He’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. He made the right play.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Kawhi Leonard misses another chance to win the game

Following Kennard’s miss, the Clippers had a loose ball foul which led to two free throws for the Spurs. Patty Mills made just one out of the two, making the score 116-113 with 5.7 seconds left.

The ball was inbounded to Leonard, who missed a game-tying three-pointer, which would have sent the game into overtime. Kawhi received the ball at half-court and barely had any time to create space and ended up forcing a tough three-pointer. All in all, it was a poor run play by the Clippers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Though the Clippers ended up losing by three points, Kawhi still did his bit, scoring 30 points and grabbing ten assists, while shooting 13-22 from the field. They missed George badly, who has been their top scorer this season. He currently averages 25 points per game with 50-49-92 shooting splits.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Clippers weren’t able to contain Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills, who combined for 48 points. Their perimeter defense was weak, and they allowed the Spurs to shoot 50% from three as a team. They will now face the Warriors at the Chase Center tonight and hope to return to winning ways. The Warriors have been inconsistent all season, so the Clippers should be able to come away with a win.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1638 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT