Luka on Kawhi: ‘He’s always in the zone’

The Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard for the situation we saw on Friday night. Leonard, who came to the Clippers after leading the Raptors to an NBA title last season, had 36 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, as the Clippers defeated the Mavericks 130-122 to take 2-1 lead in their best of seven first-round series. 

When he is flowing, Leonard is tough to stop. On Friday, he set a franchise record by scoring 100 points in the first three games of the playoffs, and after the game, the Mavericks reacted to Leonard’s greatness.

“He’s always in the zone. He’s a top-three player in the league,” Luka Doncic, who had a triple-double on Friday night, said after the game. “It’s really tough to stop him. He’s an amazing player, amazing defender. It’s really hard to stop him. I think Maxi [Kleber] is doing an amazing job, DoeDoe[Dorian Finney-Smith]. It’s just hard. He’s an amazing player.”

Tim Hardaway jr. on Leonard:

“Kawhi is going to do what Kawhi does out there on the floor, but we have to give their supporting cast a pat on the back. They did a great job of knocking down their shots, open or contested, and taking advantage of their matchups and just being aggressive out there on the floor. So the difference between last game and this game is when the bench came out and when the other players got involved, they made the most of it, and they took advantage of the opportunity.”

Seth Curry on Leonard:

“It is just tough. We were playing good defense, and he was making shots over us. When we played even better defense and felt like we got to the front of him, he got to the foul line. It was tough. We have to make adjustments, come back next game, stick our game plan, and try to be even better. Tonight, it was just going in; we have to take something away. Tonight we didn’t take anything away from him. He got everything he wanted, and they put him at the foul line.”

With the uncertainty of Doncic after he left and returned and left again due to an ankle injury, the Mavericks could be in trouble moving forward. Still, Friday was  all about the greatness of Kawhi Leonard. 

 

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