Kawhi Leonard destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, scoring 43 in 29 minutes on the floor. His LA Clippers won the contest without any problems 128-103, inflicting the guests from Ohio their 29th loss of the season. The Claw was unstoppable right from the start, harassing his rivals on both sides of the court.
“Just ball movement, team trusting me, obviously I just made shots tonight,” said Kawhi. “I was moving well; overall the team played well, they got me in my spots, they got shots to open the floor for me.”
— NBA (@NBA) January 15, 2020
He was 14-for-22 from the field, making six threes in 10 attempts, and missing just one of his 10 shots from the foul line. Again, we underline that he played 29 minutes. He was two points short of his career-high, but once Doc rivers pulled him out it seems that the reigning NBA Finals MVP didn’t have any complaints.
“It was nice, I had a good seat,” Clippers head coach stated when asked about his impression on Kawhi’s performance.
Clippers were pretty confident right from the start, restraining the guests and controlling the tempo. They always had the advantage, but without a chance for creating some bigger gap. That finally happened in the last three minutes of the half, when they scored 13 unanswered points, starting the series with Leonard dropping two threes, followed by Landry Shamet’s long-distance strike.
Kawhi was unstoppable on the court with 26 points in 17 minutes played of the opening half. The Claw was 9-for-13 from the field, hitting five three-pointers and utterly smashing the guests’ defense.
The entire Clippers’ team was in the mood for firing threes, with the home team hitting 11 downtown shots in 22 attempts.
Although they had a massive lead, the hosts didn’t want to slow down after the break, and they came out and scored 40 points in the third period. The result coming into the final frame was 106-73, and the Cavs were on the verge of getting humiliated. It seemed that they were about to explode from energy.
“Every game we need that energy, regarding whether we win or lose,” Leonard added.
However, Doc Rivers decided to lower the tempo and to replace all the starters and players who carry his team. The guests used that to cut down the deficit to a bearable measure.
Collin Sexton scored 25 for the Cavs, Cedi Osman had 21, while Darius Garland added a double-double with 14 points and 10 dimes.
The hosts played without Paul George, but Lou Williams filled in his spot, scoring 24 points, and missing just three FG attempts in 13 tries.
Ivica Zubac had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, Shamet the same number of buckets all of them behind the arc along with 7 rebounds.
Hosts had 53 rebounds compared to 40 of the Cavs.
Following this event, the Clippers are hosting the Orlando Magic this Thursday night, and after that head, for New Orleans to play on Saturday. It will be the opener of a five-game road-trip which will see Doc Rivers’ boys facing the Mavs who trashed GSW tonight, and the Heat, among other sides.
The Cavaliers have two more stops before coming back to Ohio. The first one is in Memphis against the Grizzlies this Friday, and after that in Chicago against the divisional rivals on Saturday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.