Oh how the LA Clippers have missed Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard hit a game-winning shot to lead the Clippers past the Charlotte Hornets 119-117 in a huge road win after he missed six games with a sprained ankle.
Paul George also returned from a leg injury and led LA in scoring with 19 and seven assists.
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Tue, 06 Dec
Tuesday December 6th
The Clippers’ bench helped them get back in the game in the fourth quarter to set up for a tense final couple of minutes where Leonard stepped up in crunch time.
After Terry Rozier’s jumper put Charlotte up 117-115 with 1:34 left, Leonard evened the scores with a put back layup following Marcus Morris’ three-point miss.
Leonard then got the ball back in an isolation play, dribbled right and buried his signature mid-range jumper to put the the Clippers ahead 119-117 with 1.4 on the clock.
The Hornets had to call a time-out after their first inbound attempt nearly ended in a five-second violation before PJ Washington missed a fadeaway jumper to seal the Clippers win.
With it, the Clippers improved to 5-1 when Leonard, who had 16 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes, is on the floor this season and 14-11 overall.
“It felt good,” Leonard said of his game winner post-match.
“My teammates trust me. They (Charlotte) sent (Terry) Rozier on me at the beginning but they did a great job switching.
“I was able to get the ball in my spot and shot the ball confidently.
“I felt good – I can’t wait to get back playing in a rhythm and playing more minutes – but I’m taking a challenge and happy we got the win tonight.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. posted a game-high 28 points with seven rebounds and Washington added 26 points, but it wasn’t enough in the end as the Hornets fell to 7-17.
GREEN EXPLODES IN FIRST HALF
Aussie Josh Green is finding his way at Dallas.
Green exploded in the first half of his team’s meeting with the Phoenix Suns, scoring 14 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from the foul line to go with two rebounds, three assists and two steals in 16 minutes off the bench.
It helped the Mavs get out to a 67-41 by the main break as the Aussie young gin drew big praise from the basketball world on social media.
Luka Doncic was also massive for Dallas in the first half with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists, whole Tim Hardaway Jr. had 11 points with three triples.
CLIPPERS 119 HORNETS 117
BUCKS 109 MAGIC 102
THUNDER 121 HAWKS 114
CELTICS 116 RAPTORS 110
HEAT – GRIZZLIES
76ERS – ROCKETS
SUNS – MAVERICKS
PACERS – WARRIORS